Stephen King’s The Green Mile  » Books  »
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  • The restraint room, which until Wharton's arrival had been a convenient storage closet, was frequently occupied by the straightjacketed felon
  • This experience forced Paul to make a few horrifying choices

    • by Sarah81

      all reviews
      Originally a serial novel, Stephen King�s �The Green Mile� is a touching but horrifying look into human nature. This novel is told from the perspective of Paul Edgecombe: an elderly man spending his last years in a Georgia retirement home. But when Paul was young, he was in charge of The Green Mile: Cold Mountain State Penitentiary�s version of Death Row.

      Paul has a lot to say about his days at Cold Mountain. Back in the 1930s, when he was in charge of this section of the prison, Paul saw more than a few condemned prisoners into the electric chair. It�s hard to imagine a soft-hearted, kind man like Paul Edgecombe putting convicted murderers to death, but that was his job when he was a young man.

      This very-likable man was the boss of several guards. Most of them got along

      with both each other and the prisoners. The exception was Percy Whetmore: a young hotshot with relatives in all the right government offices. Percy didn�t particularly care about keeping peace on The Green Mile: Paul�s constant warnings to stop agitating prisoners went ignored.

      That was not, however, Percy�s worst sin. He took an immediate hatred to Eduard Delacroix, one of the inmates. It was bad enough that Percy took his baton to Eduard as the prisoner entered the prison for the first time: what Percy did to the condemned man later was infinitely worse.

      Having to deal with the likes of Percy on an everyday basis was bad enough for Paul and the other guards, but there were bigger problems going down as well. There was William Wharton, who believed that he was a regular Billy the Kid. When ...

      • this psychotic guy decided to make trouble, he really made some trouble (feigning a drug-induced stupor until he has the opportunity to choke one of the guards; grabbing Percy and the like). The restraint room, which until Wharton’s arrival had been a convenient storage closet, was frequently occupied by the straightjacketed felon.

        These elements, however, are not the main points of �The Green Mile.� Paul�s story really revolves around a prisoner named John Coffey. This large man was more of a mountain than a man: he was terrifyingly large but unbelievably gentle. His crime: killing two young girls. Convicted and sentenced, John was bound for execution just like any of the other prisoners on The Green Mile.

        John, though, was not quite like the rest: he had a special gift, which Paul soon discovered. This experience forced Paul to make a

        few horrifying choices: ones that did not include good results. Ultimately, Paul did not have a decent way out: he had to go with what he believed to be the lesser of two evils.

        Mixed in with the past is the story of Paul�s present. He might be very old, and The Green Mile might be very far behind him, but he�s still in a bad place. Paul has frequent run-ins with Brad Dolan: a nursing-home orderly who is anything but concerned for the residents. This man, in fact, reminds Paul of Percy: the line between the past and the present is, at the very least, blurred.

        This novel is touching and funny, serious and moving, all at the same time. King�s tight, simple writing style makes Paul�s storytelling realistic and engaging. Readers cannot help but keep reading this book well into the night.

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    The review was published as it's written by reviewer in November, 2007. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 17111241030530/k2311a111/11.1.07
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