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Different Seasons [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

In this classic collection of four novellas, the grand master takes you on irresistible journeys into the far reaches of horror, heartache and hope.

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is the story of two men convicted of murder - one guilty, one innocent - who form the perfect partnership as they dream up a scheme to escape from prison.

In Apt Pupil a golden schoolboy entices an old man with a past to join him in a dreadful union.

The Body sees four young boys venture into the woods and find life, death. and the end of innocence.

The Breathing Method is the tale of a doctor who goes to his club and discovers a woman who is determined to give birth - no matter what.

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: 688 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 (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,368 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
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Seen the films? Now read the original novellas 11 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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.

The Body - this was made into the film 'Stand By Me'. This is a film I always enjoy watching. Who doesn't have a time in their past they look back on with nostalgia?
For me, the film was slightly better than the book. There is a section in the book where the character inserts a section of a novel he is writing, which I found myself skipping through. The story would have been better with this cut out (although the other story that Geordie tells around the campfire is a classic element that should remain).

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption was of course made into the Shawshank Redemption. The film and the book are equally good. With good detail of prison life and a positive ending, despite all the suffering the lead character goes through.

Apt pupil was also made into a film, although I must confess I haven't seen it.
The main characters are quite twisted, so though you might start out sympathising with them, it is difficult to do so, by the end.

Breathing lessons is quite a good story, one that has never been tapped to make a film or TV series. I liked the concept of a gentleman's club in which stories were told at Christmas time. There seems to be a tradition of telling spooky stories at Christmas.

Overall ratings for individual novellas:
The body: 4 1/2 stars
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption: 5 stars
Apt pupil: 4 stars
Breathing lessons: 4 stars
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great collection 4 Jun. 2013
'Different Seasons' is a collection of four novellas by Stephen King. I haven't really read many novellas in the past but I found these four to be the perfect length. More than a short story, and less than a novel, the novella is an interesting genre and a difficult form to get right but Stephen King does it perfectly as usual.

The first novella, 'Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption' was an interesting tale of a man's wrongful imprisonment for the murder of his wife and her lover. There were some good twists and the narrative reminded me a little of 'Green Mile'. First Person point of view is definitely one of King's strong points.

The second novella, 'Apt Pupil' really gripped me. It showcases the power struggle between a teenage boy and the Nazi war criminal he has discovered living in his quiet suburban neighbourhood. Parts of this story had me wanting to close my eyes and the dream sequences were pretty horrendous. It was a fascinating read though and it really stuck with me for days.

This was followed by 'The Body', the basis for the film 'Stand by Me'. Told from the point of view of the adult Gordie, the novella centers around young Gordie and his friends adventure to go and ind the corpse of a boy their own age who died when he was hit by a train. That's the surface of it anyway. Really, the novella is about friendship, about family and the expectations that life throws at us. It's about the choices we make and the fact that sometimes, though we think we might have a choice, our lives are mapped out for us before we even have a chance. Having watched 'Stand by Me' several times, I was really surprised by how much the screenplay stayed faithful to the original source. At times, I felt as though I was reading the script, it was just so familiar.
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5.0 out of 5 stars King At His Very Best 3 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Even though Stephen King rose through the ranks of publishing to make his name in the horror genre, some of his best work lies outside genre. This book, collecting together four novellas, is a breathtaking and startling tour-de-force the likes of which have not been seen for many years. From the opening story - "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" - to the last - "The Breathing Method" - the stories are clear, lucid and compelling.

The Shawshank Redemption is probably one of the most famous stories ever told - and the movie currently holds the #1 spot on IMDB. It is the story of an inmate at the Shawshank Prison, Red, and the years he spent watching a banker accused of two murders. It's not a horror story, although there are moments that make you feel a bit creeped out, and it's one of the best he has ever written.

Apt Pupil is a totally different story, about a teenage boy's affiliation with a Nazi war criminal. It's a coming of age story, it's a horror story, it's the story of reminiscence and struggling redemption.

The Body - turned into the fantastic movie Stand By Me - is another coming of age story, this time between a group of boys who discover a dead body.

The Breathing Method is probably the one story that isn't as good as the rest, but three out of four ain't bad, right? It's the story of a group of men who like to tell stories - and this story is a bit corny, a bit cheesy, but still a fun trip into the darker side of life.

If you love Stephen King, dramas, horror, mystery, suspense and coming-of-age novels, then this collection is right up your street. If you don't read horror, then this could be your introduction to Sai King and his fully-realised world.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved them!
Terrifying short stories. I loved them!
Published 1 month ago by Clara Fortnum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Avid Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Love S.K. great read.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
not your typical horror yet reveals the shocking truth of human nature and subconsciouse . a good collection of stories. good.
Published 2 months ago by aclt
5.0 out of 5 stars but still in great condition. very happy with this
book was used, as stated. but still in great condition. very happy with this, and it was delivered quickly.
Published 2 months ago by Lou mo
4.0 out of 5 stars Just the right amount of pages per story
The Langoliers is one of my favourite Stephen King 'short' stories, it plays with so many ideas that could be expanded or made into a full length novel but I think it was kept... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sam Al-Janabi
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, bizarre stories
A great collection of very bizarre, surreal stories. I think my favourites were popsy, the moving finger and umney's last case (took a while to figure that story out!). Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars A great selection
My favourite would have to be Dedication. Shocking and gripping. Another one would be Umney's Last Case. Read more
Published 3 months ago by GEM
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you great book in excellent condition!
Published 3 months ago by alfredo de carvalho
3.0 out of 5 stars Not my favourite compilation
Whilst this was quite good with some interesting stories, I have to say that I didn't find it as compelling as some of his other short story compilations. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bazz
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