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Different Seasons

Different Seasons [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 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


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

An incredibly gifted writer. (Guardian)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 867 KB
  • Print Length: 692 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (22 Mar 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003BKZW36
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,949 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
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More intelligent than horror 11 Dec 1999
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like finding an old friend 16 Mar 2000
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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5.0 out of 5 stars King's First Literary Collection 12 Nov 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am (re)reading King's works in chronological order. I read this book when it first came out. Up to this point in his career he had proven he was a master of genre fiction, even including the Bachman books which though not horror are still various genres. Here King now turns his hand to straight fiction with four novellas within this collection, bringing some of his finest work to date and proving that he can write pure fiction, even "literature".

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption - This story is the narrative of a lifer at the prison called Shawshank. Shortly after he is incarcerated along comes a new inmate named Andy Dufresne. Andy has a huge impact on our narrator and he tells us Andy's story along with what life is like inside a maximum security prison. A gritty dramatic prison tale that held me fast from beginning to end. (5/5)

Apt Pupil - This gets close to what we've come to expect from King. Not a horror story, by any means but a thriller; a psychological thriller. I couldn't quite remember this story at first but it all came rushing back as I started to read. A 14 yob is fascinated with the death camps of the Holocaust and after some detective work finds out a neighbourhood man is an SS Nazi in hiding, blackmails the man into telling him all about the details of what really happened at the camps and the two form a respect/hate relationship that lasts for the rest of their lives until what drew them together pulls them apart with vengeance. A bit hard to read at times (these are sick individuals) but an unputdownable read! (5/5)

The Body - I was looking forward to re-reading this one the most as "Stand By Me" is one of my all-time favourite movies that I've seen many times.
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5.0 out of 5 stars King is a GENIUS 29 July 2003
I decided to buy this book because I saw the film 'Apt Pupil' (Bryan Singer) on TV and thought it was a really good film. At first, I was only really bothered about reading the Apt Pupil novella and that is the one I flipped to straight away when I recieved the book from Amazon. From the first page I was hooked and finished reading it in a about a week. I couldn't put it down, every night during that week I stayed awake until the early hours of the morning (but it was worth it). This novella is EVEN BETTER than the film (which is also extremely good in its own right)! I expected the novella to have almost exactly the same plot as the film, but boy was I in for a surprise.
Events in the film would have probably been more surprising if it stayed closer to the book. Apparently, there was a film version of Apt Pupil made in the late 80's but production stopped and the film was never released. I would like to see this version (or what there is of it) out of interest, to see if it is even closer to the book than Bryan Singer's version.

'Apt Pupil' is about an undetected Nazi war crimnal (Kurt Dussander AKA Arthur Denker) living in an American suburb. A school boy called Todd Bowden who has a morbid fascination with WW2 Nazism discovers Arthur Denker's true identity. Todd Bowden blackmails Dussander, telling him that he will keep quiet about his true identity in exchange for 'stories' about the atrocities committed in the concentraion camps during WW2. Atrocities that he himself committed, Todd wants to hear these accounts first-hand. From this, a relationship develops that plunges deep into the recesses of human evilness and which produces disasterous consequences.
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The four novellas featured in this stunning collection are a great example of how unjustly Stephen King has been labelled 'just a horror writer.'

Sure it was the phenomenal early success of Carrie, The Shining etc that was responsible for Stephen's 'Horror King' tag; but recent gems like The Green Mile and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon show how versatile this prolific and highly imaginative author of more than thirty books has been (you just don't know what he's going to do next!).

Three of the novellas in Different Seasons have been made into movies, and all are available on DVD: The Body is better known as the classic coming-of-age film Stand By Me (starring River Phoenix); there's the tense prison drama The Shawshank Redemption (with Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman); and then the Nazi holocaust thriller Apt Pupil (David Schwimmer). The remaining beauty, The Breathing Method, is a great little ghost story for that quiet non-movie night in front of the fireplace.

A novella by Stephen King standards, by the way, is nearly as long as a novel by most other authors. So four big books for the price of one ain't bad!
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