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Different Seasons
 
 

Different Seasons [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Different Seasons is a collection of four novellas, markedly different in tone and subject, each on the theme of a journey. The first is a rich, satisfying, non-horrific tale about an innocent man who carefully nurtures hope and devises a wily scheme to escape from prison. The second concerns a boy who discards his innocence by enticing an old man to travel with him into a reawakening of long-buried evil. In the third story, a writer looks back on the trek he took with three friends on the brink of adolescence to find another boy's corpse. The trip becomes a character-rich rite of passage from youth to maturity.

These first three novellas have been made into well-received movies: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption into Frank Darabont's 1994 The Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil into Bryan Singer's 1998 film Apt Pupil, and The Body into Rob Reiner's Stand by Me (1986).

The final novella, Breathing Lessons is a horror yarn told by a doctor, about a patient whose indomitable spirit keeps her baby alive under extraordinary circumstances. It's the tightest, most polished tale in the collection. --Fiona Webster

Review

Triumphant . . . Stephen King remains a master. (New York Times)

An incredibly gifted writer. (Guardian)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 894 KB
  • Print Length: 692 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0340952601
  • Publisher: Hodder (22 Mar 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003BKZW36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,014 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More intelligent than horror 11 Dec 1999
Format:Paperback
It's stephen King, and another collection of "horror" stories. But if you're looking for unsightly festering wounds, and big bad creepy things: Avoid. If on the other hand you're looking for a more complex psycholigical novel(s), based on character rather than "ickiness" factor you've just found yourself an armchair partner.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful 4 Jan 2009
Format:Paperback
Any writer would give their eye teeth for for just one of these story ideas. It's a mark of King's genius that he can almost throw them away as short novellas (though he does churn them out a little too often these days).

When I casually remark to non-Constant Readers that 'Stand by Me' and 'Shawshank Redemption' are Stephen King stories, I enjoy seeing their looks of surprise. In some people minds, he's been stuck in a horror category with hacks like James Herbert. This collection firmly dispels that notion as he investigates adolescence, corrupting evil and the triumph of the human spirit and rounds it off with a creepy fireside tale.

Of course horror is present here, but it's of the non-supernatural variety. The apparent feelgood tale of teenage camaderie centres around the very boyish desire to see a real dead body - only to confronted and changed forever by the ordinariness of death. Meanwhile, another teenager's morbid curiousity about Nazi death camps sees him change from perfect (if slightly arrogant) student into a monster as he discovers a war criminal lives locally.

Most people will pick this up for 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption'. I'd read this before I'd seen the film, so I'm not sure what it must be like for people who do the reverse. However, reason the film is successful is that it sticks to the plot and brings the characters to life.

The final story, 'The Breathing Method' is almost overlooked because it follows three tales where King is at the absolute peak of his dark powers. Whilst not quite as compelling as its predecessors, it's still a damn fine read.

The next time you hear somebody sneering at you for reading cheap trash like Stephen King, just hand them a copy of this. If they're still sneering after that, it's their loss.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Like finding an old friend 16 Mar 2000
Format:Paperback
I first read this book when I was at school studying for my finals. It struck me then that Stephen King is much much more than a magnificent horror writer, he is also a sensitive writer with a knack for observation.
I have, of course, read the book again since then and I must confess that it's impact on me has grown in the intervening years. Whilst before, I could find a great deal of entertainment in the stories, I can now appreciate them on a deeper level. There is a sense of empathy that is kindled by the characters in the tales. Although I am not in jail like Andy Dufresne, i often feel trapped in certain siuations and can often be overwhelmed with the feeling that each day will be exactly like the last.
If I was looking for a favourite among the four novellas contained in the book, I would plump for The breathing Method. It is a polished, expertly written tale of triumph over adversity and animates perfectly the strength of will that we mere mortals can sometimes display.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
For all those who doubt the fact that Stephen King is one of the all-time great masters at the craft of writing, there is Different Seasons. If nothing else, the doubters should at least acknowledge King's important contribution to reviving the lost art of the novella. King has always said he would write, whether he ever sold a single book - and I think that is completely true. He didn't write these four novellas with publication in mind; each one was written immediately after the completion of a best-selling novel - and each one just sort of sat there after it was finished. What, after all, can a modern author really do with manuscripts too long to be short stories and too short to be novels? Eventually, the idea came to King to just publish them together, with a title that speaks to the fact that these are not the author's usual blood-dripping, creepy-crawling horror stories. In doing so, he not only gave us four of his most captivating works of fiction, he showed a whole new generation of readers the vast, inherent power of the novella.
Three of these four novellas are even better-known than many of King's best-selling novels - due in no small part to the movie adaptations that followed in their wake. It all started with the film Stand By Me - which was not marketed as an adaptation of a Stephen King work of fiction. This was a smart move, considering some of the weak adaptations of earlier King novels. I can only guess how many impressed moviegoers were shocked to learn that Stand By Me was adapted from King's novella The Body. It's a story of four boys who set off to see a dead body, that of another kid hit by a train; their adventure makes for an extraordinary coming-of-age story.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Novellas 26 July 2006
By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
If you are in any doubt about the quality of these stories, consider the fact that 3 out of the 4 have been made into films.

Stephen King is known as a horror writer, but these three show that the man is one of the worlds best story tellers. They are not horror stories.

Shawshank as most people will know is a prison story. Some of this is harrowing and upsetting (such that they couldn't show it in the film), but it is essential for the development of the main character and I never thought it was gratutious.

The Body is a story about growing up and Apt Pupil is about a man with black past and his relationship with a young lad. Both are excellent and compelling reading.

The 4th story, which is as good as the other 3, is gripping and original, and a real page turner. This is more of a traditional King horror story, so if you buy Different Seasons you don't miss out completely on the horror front.

Of course what this book amply demonstrates is Kings marvellous story telling abilities, whether he is writing horror or not.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classy quartet
Four great reads. Each story holds its own weight and I found that all of them were highly compelling. I particularly liked Apt pupil. Marvellous story-telling.
Published 5 days ago by Frank drebin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great product, great delivery, very good
Published 22 days ago by Elaine Aaronricks
4.0 out of 5 stars Seen the films? Now read the original novellas
I read this again for my book club, having originally owned the book a few years ago. I was interested to find out how the stories matched up to the films. Read more
Published 2 months ago by H M Reynolds
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Anything by Stephen King deserves 5*s
Great read as always detailed and full of suspence.
A good old page turner
Published 3 months ago by LazyDays
5.0 out of 5 stars He's a great writer
This was Stephen King at his best. No accident that two of these novellas went on to be highly acclaimed films
Published 4 months ago by suetay
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King is my all time favourite author.
Stephen King is my all time favourite author, thought it took me a long time to find the story that Shawshank is based on, and I was not disappointed!
Published 5 months ago by Catherine Neilson
5.0 out of 5 stars 'king great read!
I've been meaning to read this book for years. I was not disappointed. This is King at his very best.
Published 5 months ago by MR
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant.
This really is just so awesome. One of Stephen King's greatest. I love each and every story in it. Definitely buy if you're a huge fan of King's work.
Published 5 months ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to put down.
Fiction is not my genre, and I bought this solely for the Shawshank story and an impending holiday. There are four stories all of which are equally as good. Read more
Published 5 months ago by M. Cummings
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant read
I wanted to read the story of one of my favourite films and discovered it was only available with these others. A fine mix and all Stephen King thrillers though short and sweet. Read more
Published 5 months ago by susan inglis
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The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them &quote;
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SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION &quote;
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