reviews: the green mile, the shining

A double dose of Stephen King, both books which have been made into famous movies.

The Green Mile - Stephen King

The writing of Stephen King never ceases to amaze me and The Green Mile is no exception to the trend. Quite often a book and its movie lack harmony, one vastly outweighing the other in impact or interpretation. That is not the case here. The Green Mile takes you beyond the cement walls of the prison and explores the hearts of both guards and inmates, and challenges the reader to see the soul of a sinner. When John Coffey, “like the drink but spelled different,” enters Block E to await execution in the electric chair, a series of unusual events begin to take place. Although supernatural occurrence appear throughout the story, King uses them only subtly, and with the intention of guiding you to the heart of the story, which is very much human. 

The Shining - Stephen King

Unfortunately, “The Shining” has been the slowest and most lacklustre of King’s books that I have read. The plot is relatively complex and combines supernatural elements with the paranormal powers of a young boy with the ability to shine (see and hear things that most others cannot), an in-depth character study of his father; a man driven deeper and deeper into madness. I thought King did a fabulous job making the slip into insanity feel natural, I mean he took a perfectly sane character and over the course of a few hundred pages made him crazy enough to want to murder his own family. However, the amount of time it took to get to that realization was fairly drawn out.