Review: The Green Mile by Stephen King

I read The Green Mile as part of a readalong on Instagram, throughout April and May. The book was split into 6 parts, and we then discussed each part when we had finished it. Luckily for me, my dad recently gave me the 6 chapbook format that the book was originally published in, so I read one of these a week to stay on track with the readalong.

Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Home to the men of E Block. All of which are convicted killers, awaiting their turn to walk the dreaded Green Mile, to take a seat in ‘Old Sparky’, Cold Mountain’s electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has worked on the Mile for many years. You can imagine the types of people he’s seen in his time, but he’s never seen anyone quite like John Coffey. Coffey is a giant of a man, with the mind of a child, and has been convicted of a horrifically violent and shocking crime. Paul Edgecombe’s really isn’t expecting the incredible truths that he is about to learn during Coffeye’s time on the Mile. Truths that will challenge even his most cherished beliefs.

This was my first time reading The Green Mile. I’ve seen the film on multiple occasions (which is a must see for anyone who hasn’t seen it already), this did ruin the book slightly for me, because I knew what was going to happen. Having said that, I still thoroughly enjoyed this reading experience, especially in the chapbook format.

Each chapbook starts with a cleverly laid out recap of the previous book. Unlike most recaps, King worked it into the next part of the story, which kept you interested, and didn’t make you feel like you were re-reading the same stuff again. Each one felt fresh and enticing, and in that sense, I couldn’t have asked for more.

This story had my emotions all over the place. There were tears, laughter, and also some moments of disgust (at the characters, not the writing). The execution of Eduard Delecroix was particularly horrific, but incredibly written. 

King really showed off his talent for creating relatable characters with The Green Mile. Each character had a quality or trait that we could relate to, whether personally, or from experience of others. I liked that he showed that ‘evil’ isn’t always the one behind bars, and that your actions will always have consequences.

I think this is one of Stephen King’s best works, and even if you’re not a King fan, it’s worth giving The Green Mile a chance. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

As a whole, I would give The Green Mile a 4/5 rating.

Have you read The Green Mile? If you have, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!

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