The Green Mile

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9780671041786: The Green Mile

Read this history-making serial novel -- from cliffhanger to cliffhanger -- in its entirety.
When it first appeared, one volume per month, Stephen King's The Green Mile was an unprecedented publishing triumph: all six volumes ended up on the New York Times bestseller list -- simultaneously -- and delighted millions of fans the world over.
Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile, keeping a date with "Old Sparky," Cold Mountain's electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile. But he's never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs...and yours.

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Review:

This novel taps into what Stephen King does best: character-driven storytelling. The setting is the small "death house" of a Southern prison in 1932. The charming narrator is an old man looking back on the events, decades later. Maybe it's a little too cute, maybe the pathos is laid on a little thick, but it's hard to resist the colorful personalities and simple wonders of this supernatural tale. As Time magazine put it, "Like the best popular art, The Green Mile has the courage of its cornier convictions ... the palpable sense of King's sheer, unwavering belief in his tale is what makes the novel work as well as it finally does." And it's not a bad choice for giving to someone who doesn't understand the appeal of Stephen King, because the one scene that is out-and-out gruesome can be easily skipped by the squeamish. The Green Mile was nominated for a 1997 Bram Stoker Award.

From the Inside Flap:

Set in the 1930s at the Cold Mountain Penitentiary's death-row facility, The Green Mile is the riveting and tragic story of John Coffey, a giant, preternaturally gentle inmate condemned to death for the rape and murder of twin nine-year-old girls. It is a story narrated years later by Paul Edgecomb, the ward superintendent compelled to help every prisoner spend his last days peacefully and every man walk the green mile to execution with his humanity intact.

Edgecomb has sent seventy-eight inmates to their date with "old sparky", but he's never encountered one like Coffey -- a man who wants to die, yet has the power to heal. And in this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecomb discovers the terrible truth about Coffey's gift, a truth that challenges his most cherished beliefs -- and ours.

Originally published in 1996 in six self-contained monthly installments, The Green Mile is an astonishingly rich and complex novel that delivers over and over again. Each individual volume became a huge success when first published, and all six were on the New York Times bestseller list simultaneously. Three years later, when Frank Darabont made The Green Mile into an award-winning movie starring Tom Hanks and Michael Clarke Duncan, the book returned to the bestseller list -- and stayed there for months.

And now -- with a new introduction by King's foreign agent Ralph Vicinanza, as well as the author's own foreword -- we have the first hardcover edition of this magnificent novel in which "King surpasses our expectations, leaves us spellbound and hungry for the next twist of plot" (The Boston Globe).

With illustrations and a new frontispiece for this edition by Mark Geyer.

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