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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 11 August 2006
Different Seasons is a collection of 4 novellas, and is notable for seeing King beginning to stretch away from writing just horror tales, though there is certainly enough macabre moments contained here to keep the more bloodthirsty fans happy. `Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption' tells the story of a wrongly convicted murderer and his escape from prison, seemingly a tale told so many times there's nothing more to add, but King transforms this into a beautifully moving character study. `Apt Pupil', while containing no supernatural elements, is certainly close to King's horror territory, being a disturbing a tale about a young boys blackmail of an ex-Nazi concentration camp commandant. A trifle overlong perhaps (this `novella' is around the same length of King's debut novel Carrie) but the bizarre double-blackmail relationship between the two characters is compulsive, and the dispassionate finale is memorable. `The Body' is undoubtedly the highlight of the collection, and certainly one of the best things King has ever written - a thinly-disguised childhood reminiscence fictionalised as a successful authors thinly-disguised childhood reminiscence - it captures brilliantly the coming of age from childhood to adulthood, and features some of King's best prose. Finally `The Breathing Method' is a back to basics old-fashioned horror story - all the basic tropes are familiar genre favourites: the mysterious gentleman's club where Lovecraftian things slither out of sight in upstairs rooms; the Victorian-style Christmas fireside ghost story - but King injects some modern-day grand guignol splatter horror to keep things fresh - slightly ridiculous, but good fun.

With four long stories in different genres, and every one in it's own way is successful, this is an excellent collection, and one of King's best books.
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