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The Green Mile [Hardcover]

Stephen King
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)

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Book Description

16 Nov 2000

The Green Mile. Those who walk it do not return -- because at the end of that walk, at the Cold Mountain penitentiary, is the room in which sits the electric chair.

It is 1932. The newest inhabitant of Death Row is a giant black man, John Coffey, convicted -- apparently on his own admission -- of the senseless and brutal murder of two little girls. Executing a man is never easy, but at first sight taking society¿s revenge on Coffey is one of the easier jobs chief guard Paul Edgecombe and his fellow warders have had to do.

But nothing is as it seems with John Coffey, and around him unfolds a story both bizarre and horrifying. Whether he is an evil murderer or a holy innocent, Coffey has strange powers, which may yet offer salvation to others, even if they can do nothing to save him.

THE GREEN MILE is perhaps the finest novel yet by one of the world¿s greatest storytellers, by turns warmly human and shatteringly horrific, and unputdownable from first page to last.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; New edition edition (16 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752841238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752841236
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (268 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 206,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

When Stephen King originally wrote The Green Mile as a series of six novellas, he didn't even know how the story would turn out. And it turned out to be one of his finest yarns, tapping into what he does best: character-driven storytelling. The setting is the small "death house" of a Southern prison in 1932. The Green Mile is the hall with a floor "the color of tired old limes" that leads to "Old Sparky" (the electric chair). The charming narrator is an old man, a prison guard, looking back on the events decades later.

Maybe it's a little too cute (there's a smart prison mouse named Mr. Jingles), maybe the pathos is laid on a little thick, but it's hard to resist the colourful personalities and simple wonders of this supernatural tale. And it's not a bad choice for giving to someone who doesn't understand the appeal of Stephen King, because the one scene that is out-and-out gruesome (it involves "Old Sparky") can be easily skipped by the squeamish.

The Green Mile won a 1997 Bram Stoker Award for Best Novel --Fiona Webster --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


"The New York Times" Mr. King now dominates like Carrie at the prom. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that blew me away 19 Jun 2004
I watched the film first and I thought it was breath-taking. I then decided to read the book and it was even better.
I had cried at the film and thought since I knew what would happen I wouldn't cry at the book but i cried even more than the film.
I am so glad a got the complete book in one volume because if I had had to wait for the next part for a month I don't know what I would have done.
One of the best 3 books I have ever read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You will never be the same again 30 Nov 2006
This was the first book I had read by Stephen King as I wrongly thought that he only wrote horror stories. This was one of the most moving stories I have ever read and has prompted me to write to an inmate on death row. I passed the book on to my teenage daughter who was also deeply moved. Well written, thought provoking and consistent, holding the reader right up to the final pages. If it doesn't stir up your emotions you must be dead.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars compelling, thought-provoking tragedy. 18 Oct 2002
I'm not really a big Stephen King fan, as I don't like horror and blood and guts. However, I thought I'd give this one a try,
and I'm so glad I did. It is a really good story, and even though the subject matter is death and execution, it isn't really gratuitous, but necessary to the story. I have read some of his books and thought they just dealt in sensation, and were out to shock, but this one is a 'proper' story, well-told,and very effective. I read the book really quickly as I couldn't put it down until I'd finished, and I have read it again since, and still think it's great. I also watched the film, and I thought it interpreted the book wonderfully. Usually, I am disappointed if I have read a book first, and then see the film, but this one stuck pretty much to the story, and of course, the acting was wonderful (Tom Hanks, need I say more?). I was very pleasantly surprised by this offerring from Stephen King, and he has definitely gone up in my estimation on the strength of this book. I really enjoyed it, and would recommend it to everyone.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazingly haunting story. 21 Feb 2004
By Sue Lewendon VINE VOICE
I was one of the people who read this book when it was originally published. It was serialised in 6 short paperbacks, and I had to wait a whole month in between each installment. Every one of them ended on a cliffhanger too!!!
However, I am very glad I was patient enough to read it that way, as this is a story that should not be rushed but savoured.
It is set in the 1930's mainly, although some of it is told from today's point of view. (The main character is narrating his life story to a friend.)
It tells the tale of the prisoners and guards on death row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. Killers such as 'Billy the Kid' Wharton and the Cajun Eduard Delacroix. With good men to run the 'Mile' such as Paul Edgecombe and Brutus Howell. But even guards can be bad, as is the case with Percy Wetmore.
But the most important and amazing character is the new inmate on the 'Mile', John Coffey. Here is a black mountain of a man who stands accused of murdering two little white girls, two sisters.
But Paul soon starts to wonder about this strange man, how can it be that someone capable of such a horrific crime, can be scared of the dark? King has brought to life a truly outstanding character in Coffey who might just not be who they think he is.
The other prisoners are brilliantly portrayed too. Eduard Delacroix who has trouble understanding English, (unless it's to his benefit of course!), and his little pet mouse he refers to as Mister Jingles. And a fantastic character, Billy the Kid, who is bad to the bone. He does some remarkably funny things in this story that had me laughing out loud.
This is a story like no other I have ever read. It has everything and more you could possibly hope for from the pen of King.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The only possible story to eclipse Shawshank 29 Aug 2001
By A Customer
I saw the film before I read the book - and was blown away by the intensity of the story. The book proved, as usual, to be even better. The surprising aspect was the fact that the characters in the book, I thought, came to life as the actors in the film. Percy Wetmore, particularly stood out as the snivelling, vindictive, malicious wannabe that was portrayed by the actor (who also did a superb Eugene Tooms in the X-Files). The book had me in tears as much as the film - somehow the written word can be just as emotive. I was initially put off reading it due to the serialisation of books - but then, I'm a hungry reader. A must for all King fans, especially if you loved Shawshank.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steven King? 4 Dec 2002
Having sat one rainy night and watched the film I thought I'd give the book a try as I was impressed with the film and have to say the book blew me away even more so than the film.
I've tried reading Steven King books before, but found them a bit too much for me. Whether they've been too sci-fi orientated or too horror based they've just not been my cup of tea. But this is a welcome change to Steven's writing. It's very readable and the characters have a lot of depth. I'd recommend this to anyone who has seen the film and enjoyed it, as the supernatural elements are far better described in writing. And for anyone who has not heard of the film or the book, don't be put off by the word 'supernatural' at all - this is a very touching, well-written story that doesn't dwell on the supernatural but more uses it to compliment the situation.
Definitely my favourite book I've read so far!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A must read
Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic king
Wish I'd read before seeing the film...still good though
Published 7 days ago by david slater
5.0 out of 5 stars The Green Mile
Still must read, however I have heard it is a wonderful read.
Published 8 days ago by Michelle
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage King belter
If only all King's books could be like this
Published 9 days ago by Wilki
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Believe it or not, this is the first Stephen King book that I have read, a friend said it was the best book she had ever read, so on her recommendation I brought it for my holiday... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Marnie
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
My first stephen king novel it was an amazing read didn't want it to end this I couldn't put it down
Published 18 days ago by Melanie Brodrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive reading
as with all Stephen King books, you get hooked into the story, tell yourself you'll read "just one more chapter" and you lose an evening. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
I liked the build up of the story, and the way it is told from the wardens point of view.
Published 1 month ago by Barbara Lowe
5.0 out of 5 stars the green mile
Brilliant book!! Well worth reading. The copy that I received was used but fine considering it was only 1p, you'd pay more in charity shops for more wear!
Published 1 month ago by littlegran11
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Condition
Arrived on time and in very good condition! I've been so interested in King for a while now so I'm really excited to finally read The Green Mile.
Published 1 month ago by Chloe
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