King’s March: The Green Mile

March 19, 2014 Contemporary Fiction, Psychological, Supernatural 36

Greetings Bookworms,

Let it never be said that I am not susceptible to peer pressure. When I saw that Rory from Fourth Street Review and Wendy from Wensend were putting together a Stephen King event for March, I decided to throw my hat in the ring. Now, if you’ve been here a while, you’ll know I’m a big ridiculous chicken about my Stephen King. I have to be careful about what I read because of nightmares. I figured The Green Mile would be a safe choice for me, since I’d seen the movie and remained nightmare free. (Tear free? Not so much, but that’s another story.)


The Green Mile is narrated by an aged Paul Edgecombe. In 1932, Paul was middle aged prison guard in Alabama… Paul isn’t just your garden variety guard, though. He oversees “The Green Mile” where inmates condemned to die in the electric chair serve out their last days. As an added bonus duty, Paul and his crew have to carry out the sentences. Because strapping convicted murderers into Old Sparky is still better than being unemployed during the Great Depression.

When John Coffey is brought onto the Mile, strange things begin to happen. John Coffey is remarkable. He’s and enormous African American man, standing 6’8 and full of muscle. Coffey landed in prison after being convicted of raping and murdering a pair of young white girls. Something about the story never quite adds up for Paul. Coffey is accused of the most horrific crime, but is mild mannered and sensitive to the point of being afraid of the dark. His mannerisms are remarkable enough, but Coffey’s hidden talents are mind boggling.

This book, you guys. THIS is what people need to read when they think Stephen King only does horror. Holy cats, this foray into magical realism was LEGIT. Because I’d seen the movie before I read the book, I had a pretty clear idea of what was going to happen, but I’ve never been particularly bothered by spoilers. For a dude who does so much scary and horrible, King’s got a soft spot for redemption and goodness. I doubt I’ll ever feel warm and fuzzy after reading a King novel, but this one came pretty close… Hot sticky tears and warm fuzzies are basically the same thing, right?

Alright Bookworms, sound off. Have you read any Stephen King? What’s your favorite? 

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36 Responses to “King’s March: The Green Mile”

  1. Melinda

    Ok thanks for letting us know this one isn’t horror – it’s one of the reasons I’ve stayed away from reading Stephen King!

  2. Nish

    Yay for you also participating in King’s March. I confess I much prefer Stephen King’s straight up horror to his other books.

    For King’s March, I am reading Under the Dome and it’s pretty good though, although not much of horror.

  3. Amy

    I haven’t read much Stephen King at all but 11/22/63 is definite my favorite…and it’s not at all scary! AND just might invoke a few warm fuzzies !

  4. Megan M.

    I haven’t read any King. I tried to read The Green Mile but it didn’t grab me. But I was also 12 or 13 so maybe I was just too young? I should try it again, especially since it’s magical realism which is my FAVE.

    • Words For Worms

      It could be an age thing, I mean there’s an extended conversation about a urinary infection and old people, so it might not have appealed to a youngster? Might be worth another shot.

  5. Ashley F

    Ok confession time. When I was like 10, long before “teen fiction” was a thriving genre, I started raiding my mom’s bookshelves when I ran out of age appropriate things to read. I read a lot of Robert Ludlum, John Jakes and yes, Stephen King. Like I sooooooo shouldn’t have been reading IT at age 12. One of my favorite books of all time is Stephen Kings The Eyes of the Dragon. Love it. Read it like 12 times. You dig fantasy so you should totally read this book. Not typical “horror”. It’s actually the first introduction of Randall Flagg who shows up in ya know, The Stand and The Dark Tower. READ IT.

  6. Emily

    I’m a huge King fan and actually like his non-horror much better. All of his books have a dark side but they’re so well done. A lot of people complain about the length of them but I find that he just wraps me up in this world that he creates and the length doesn’t get to me. This is one of his that I haven’t read yet (I know, how is that possible?!?!) but it is high on my to read list and patiently waiting for me on my nook.

    • Words For Worms

      This is one of the shortest King novels I’ve read! The Stand, Under the Dome, and 11/22/63 are all MASSIVE chunksters- this was a little over 500 pages. I’m always surprised by how quickly a King novel goes, but this was downright speedy.

  7. Charleen

    I cried all the ugly tears for this book. If I ever do see the movie, it’ll have to be while I’m home alone so I don’t disturb anyone with my ridiculous sobbing.

  8. Darlene @ Lost in Literature

    Well, you probably already know the ones I’ve read.
    Carrie, On Writing, Guns and The Stand.
    I really enjoyed On Writing and felt like I got to know him a bit. And I gawked and gawked about The Stand.
    I don’t really want the scary, something like The Green Mile would be more my style.
    And I’m kind of glad I never read Under the Dome cause those that did don’t tend to like the summer series. But over here, we really enjoyed it.

  9. April @ The Steadfast Reader

    I’m SO GLAD you’re sending out the message that The King isn’t all horror! 🙂 I love horror and suspense… the entirety of The Dark Tower series is by far his magnum opus but I’m willing to settle for The Stand if I have to pick one… okay maybe The Shining… shit. I just can’t pick.

    You should read 11/22/63… not scary and full of the fuzzies (though King writes a rather clunky ‘sex’ scene in that one).

    • Words For Worms

      I read 11/22/63 a while back and it was really good. I don’t really remember a clunky sex scene, so it couldn’t have been THAT terrible 🙂

  10. Samantha

    The Green Mile is absolutely excellent. I loved it when I read it, and it’s been a long time, but I still remember how good it was. Stephen King is a talented writer, which I think some people don’t realize because he’s kind of ‘pop culture’ ish rather than literary in a way, but he has great characters, etc.

    I’d recommend The Dark Tower for something less ‘can give you nightmares’. There are a few things in The Stand that might be nightmare-y, but that’s not so much horror, and it’s also SO good.

    • Words For Worms

      I had the impression that The Dark Tower series was going to be super scary- I’m excited to hear it’s not so nightmare-ish! (I looooooved The Stand. Loooooooved!)

  11. Jennine G.

    I liked this movie and agree that Stephen King has some serious talent. I don’t read the horror either, but his other stuff…amazing!

  12. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    This is one of the few Stephen King books I’ve read and I really liked it too! I’m all about happiness and redemption in books and I was definitely surprised to find that from Stephen King 🙂

  13. Andi (@estellasrevenge)

    I remember reading this one as a kid, when it was released in six short novellas, and just absolutely crying my eyes out. I tend to forget this is King’s work, but it’s absolutely the best of King’s work that I’ve read.

  14. Priya

    I’ve neither seen this nor read it. But only yesterday, people at my book club were saying the movie made them go, “So what?!” And I couldn’t defend good ol’ Stephen King. But you make me want to read this book AND watch the movie! The book’s not too huge, is it?

  15. Kerri

    I grabbed this book after reading The Stand because I had to have more King. This books was so wonderful. I was crying pretty steadily at the end.

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