Matt's Reviews > The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
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's review
Feb 27, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 27 to 29, 2012

Obviously a great story, but not nearly as good as the movie. How could it be unless you had Morgan Freeman reading it to you. There will be lots of spoilers in this because I assume everyone has seen the movie, and if you haven't you should be ashamed of yourself.

A few differences I between the book and the movie that I noticed:
No seen where Andy locks himself in the Warden's office and plays music for the jail.
Andy doesn't steal the warden's clothes and set him up when he leaves. This results in the warden not killing himself but simply retiring.
There are 3 total wardens during Andy's time (I don't remember there being more than one in the movie).
The warden doesn't kill the kid who was a cell mate with the real murderer, he just transfers him.
Andy and Red aren't actually friends with an old guy who gets out and hangs himself (I forget his name). They kind of mention this character, but don't really follow up on it.
Andy is a small guy, Tim Robbins is huge.
Red is an Irish ginger, hence the nickname Red.
And the saddest difference, the end of Red's story is while he is on his way to the bus station, there is no actual meeting and hug on the sands of Zihuatanejo.

I have read a few books where the movies are equally good (Dennis Lehane books tend to make equally good movies where you don't really gain much from reading the text), but this is probably the book that fails the most compared to the movie (due to how amazing the movie is, not for anything lacking from the book). This is probably because the movie gives better closure (final meeting of Red and Andy, warden's suicide), along with the great record playing scene, while the book sticks to a somewhat more realistic path. Great story, and incredible movie. I really want to watch this again soon.

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