The Green Mile by Stephen King

The Green Mile is a fantastic serial novel  by Stephen King in 1996. It has been edited in six differents volumes named The Two Dead Girls, The Mouse on the Mile, Coffey’s Hands, The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix, Night Journey and finally Coffey on the Mile. Thoses volumes were published on newspaper. After, the story was reduced as only one volume.  The story is concentrated on the characters Paul Edgecomb and John Coffey ( Like the drink, only not spelled the same ). There’s also anothers important characters who’s called Brutus « Brutal » Howell, Harry Terwiliger and Dean Stanton whose are Paul’s associates, and even a mouse named Mr.Jingles that it’s considered as a very important character.

Here’s the story

In the thirties, Paul Edgecomb, a 40 years old men, is a death row supervisor in a prison, especially in the E Block, with his associates Brutal, Harry, Dean and unfortunately Percy Wetmore, a young and nasty one. One day, they receive a new prisoners who is very special. It’s John Coffey. He looks harmless and act like a child who is afraid in front of his parents. Paul and the others man are wondering about his case. Actually, Paul read the murder report and has been completely shocked about it :
Two young girls have been raped and strangle until death.

Paul as doubt about him as a murderer, because he think that he’s too sweet and kind. Much time past and a lot of things happened. In the E block, they met Mr.Jingles, a little mouse very clever and mysterious. She became the friend of everyone oin the Block, especially to one prisoner named Eduard Delacroix. Actually, supervisors found that John Coffey has got power of healing and resurrection. He has resurrect Mr.Jingles when Percy just smashed her with his foot. It’s at this time that the truth has been obvious for Paul, Brutal, Dean and Harry : John is innocent and just wanted to save the two little poor girls. Paul did the best to help him. Few moments before his dispatch, he ask him if he wants him to escape the prison. Unfortunalety, he refuse the propostion and accept the death as a good friend. He was tired of living, as he said to Paul :  » […] I’m tired, boss. Tired of bein’ on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. Tired of not ever having me a buddy to be with, or tell me where we’s coming from or going to, or why. Mostly I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There’s too much of it. It’s like pieces of glass in my head all the time […] « 

 A Long time after, Paul talk about what happenned in his life to one of his friend, and explain that he’s actually 111 years old, as the same for Mr.Jingles that he’s keeping safe in a hut in a forest. He think that it’s his punishment to have killed on of the miracle of God. Paul’s wondering about his death, he hope that she’s will be here as soon as possible.

This Stephen King’s novel is one of my favorite, and one of his most famous and tragic. Through this story, King denounces the racism and the death penalty. The most interesting thing, is that he wrote this story in the moment. He didn’t know when it will end, how many volumes he will write, or how will turn the story. He has given a new a new sense or literature with the serial novel, and has won the award Best Bram Stockard Novel in 1996.

The most sensitive thing in this book is John Coffey. Just the thaught of the death of a poor innocence gave me shiver. Another thing could give a call into a question : In this book, I didn’t realize it yet but, I felt so concerned about the faith of Eduard Delacroix and one other prisoner. I’ve been attached to thoses characters but I have surprised myself to feel compassion to two murderer. It’s a complete called into a question, and it’s by this way that Stephen King denouces de death penalty.

Finally, the talented Franck Darabont, who is directed The Walking Dead, has been the director of the movie The Green Mile in 2001. With the one and only Tom Hanks who is playing Paul Edgecomb, this movie won four awards for the Best Movie in 2001, and the Best Script.

" We each owe a death - there are no exceptions - but, oh God, sometimes the Green Mile seems so long. "

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