Will's Reviews > Different Seasons

Different Seasons by Stephen King
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Dec 12, 2008

it was amazing

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption... how do I love thee, let me count the ways. The film was written and directed by Frank Darabont, and represents some of the finest work adapting a written work and remaining faithful to the letter and the spirit of the source text. For those literary snobs - of whom I used to count myself a member - who think they don't like Stephen King, please, please read this work of art. For people like me who found the book thanks to the film, here are some of the differences:
1) the film has only the single warden, the book has several.
2) The film discusses Andy's frame-job of the Warden, while the book leaves him intact on the day of Andy's flight, although clearly a broken and hobbled man.
3) Brooks doesn't hang himself in the book, but it's really close.
4) Ms. Fuzzy Britches herself is actually not the poster Andy leaves behind, it's Linda Ronstadt.
5) Red is probably not a black man.

But, yanno, that's ok with me, because no matter, I still "hear" Morgan Freeman in my head, the perfect casting for Red, and it rings true in the book. It was refreshing to me that Darabont didn't fake the ending for hollywood, that King writes with hope in his heart for us all as well.

This book has a great many things going for it - it's King writing in a great period of his career, it's short and punchy, but still delivers in spades on the excellent drawing of humanity forth from the pages of a book - meaning, there's great character study here. It's descriptive without bordering on insanity of cataloging. But, most importantly, it delivers a sense of presence, of you reading the words of a convict - Red - and being alongside him as he tells his story, the story of Andy, and the story of the other members of the Shawshank "family."

In some ways, the film saved my life at a dark time in my own story, and I go back it occasionally for a visit with an old friend. Now that I've listened to Frank Muller's version of the audiobook, I think I should spend some of that time visiting the remnants of Shawshank with the text as well.

It's not a mostly happy story, but if you've seen the film, you see the smile and promise of joy and the possibility of hope, something forbidden to the broken people who inhabit the prison. Perhaps a little of that joy rubs off on the reader as well. Absolutely worth every second of your time.
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Reading Progress

December 12, 2008 – Shelved
July 13, 2011 – Started Reading
July 13, 2011 –
page 1
0.18% "Listening to Frank Muller's awesome narration of this instead of reading in meatspace."
July 14, 2011 –
60.0% "Nice little detail on the rock hammer replacement. _19_ years, Red says. 19 indeed."
July 15, 2011 –
80.0%
July 15, 2011 – Finished Reading

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