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The Green Mile by Stephen King

January 27, 2018

John Coffey is a black man in the 1930’s with a mind that seems like a child’s. He has been put into the Cold Mountain Penitentiary on death row and has an appointment with old sparky (the electric chair) because he has been accused of killing two white girls under the age of twelve. However, his life on “the mile” (death row) gets changed when he meets the head of the mile, Paul Edgecomb, who starts to treat him differently and with a little more care. Coffey also comes from a very poor farm life and a family that was treated badly and experienced racism and prejudice.

In The Green Mile, Stephen King develops a strong protagonist who faces lots of challenges throughout the book and shows lots of character development. The longer John is on the mile, the guards start to treat him better than usual and get to know him better than the rest of the inmates, which leads to John getting special privileges—like Paul’s wife’s corn bread and other little perks.

I appreciated that the theme of this novel is that not everything is always what it looks like—not everything is black and white. There will always be unknown areas in every scenario. There will also always be injustice. For example, John says, “I’m tired, boss. I’m tired of people hurting each other for no reason.” That quote shows the theme that not everything is how it looks, and it also shows that John is not some crazy killer but that he wants the world to be a safe place for everyone.

I rate this book a 10/10 and would strongly recommend this book to anyone who likes an older setting and a fantastic story with lots of plot twists and a very shocking ending—or someone looking to try a new genre or author. Considering the length of this book, it was fast-paced and hard to put down.

Zephaniah

POCKET BOOKS, 536 pages


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