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4.0 out of 5 stars 3 out of 4 Great Short Stories, 25 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Shawshank Redemption (Paperback)
This 500+ page book is a collection of four short stories that are loosely based on the seasons. I'd say two are excellent, one good and one not so good but the collections is definitely worth a read. Two of these books have been made into films and they're all set, or conclude in the 1960's.

1) Hope Spring Eternal: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption - 4 stars
IF you've not seen the Morgan Freeman/Tim Robins film where have you been! But yes this is the book the film was based on. This is set in a prisons and centres on a man convicted of killing his wife (but did he?) and we follow his time in prison.

This is the rare occasion when I'd say the film is better than the book. Not to say the book is bad but the film is better at rounding the incidents up to a better whole. I was amused that I read it in Freeman's wonderful voice.

2) Summer of Corruption: Apt Pupil - 2 stars
This follows the story of a older kid in America who discovers and sort of befriends an ex Nazi war criminal living in his mists. I found the relationship very interesting to start with to see who really had the upper hand but for me the direction the story took wasn't satisfying. I guess my other main problem with the book is that I disliked both characters, your supposed to but it didn't make for pleasant reading. I wasn't keen on Rage either, which has a similar unlikable character, but others really like it so may be I'm in the minority.

3) Fall from Innocence: The Body - 5 Stars
This is the story the film Stand by Me with River Phoenix and Corey Feldman is based on. A group of 12 year old boys go on a quest to find a body that might be lying deep in the forest after one overhearing a private conversation. The kids are written extremely well and is a joy to read. It's told by one of them when they're older and this works well to give some perspective on what happened.

4) A Winter's Tale: The Breathing Method - 5 Stars
This story follows an old accountant who joins a gentlemen's club that's focused on telling stories. It's structure is a bit odd and the meat of this novella is one of the stories told about a doctor treating a pregnant women years earlier. I thought this might have a lot more meaning with the other stories but it doesn't really (unless I missed it) but it's really well told, a bit horrible and overall very good.
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