- The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel © 1996
- Plume (Penguin) (2007)
- 465 pages
This is more than generic horror: It’s a human story that makes you question your views and values. Does a death-row inmate deserve respect? Is capital punishment justified at all? What is the significance of the electric chair when it just speeds up the inevitable? Is human vengeance ever warranted?
I thought this book might loose something by being released in serial format. Now I’m convinced that its progressive released helped the story. In order to draw the reader back into the story each installment, King used a frame-narrative. An old man in a home for the aged spends the entire book writing out his memoirs (which become the book). In the end, the frame-narrative and the main story interact in marvelous ways.
King is prolific enough to have some stinkers under his belt (like Rose Madder). Fortunately, most of his work shines. While this story doesn’t quite stand up to the scope of The Stand or The Dark Tower, The Green Mile (along with his other prison narrative: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption) is one of his best.