“The Green Mile” by Stephen King
(First publication: 1996 / This edition: Orion Books 1999)
Taken during a coffee/chocolate break at D’Ark.
You’re gonna be so happy to see the end of me. (pg.182)
Okay. Before I get into the book… I just want to express how stunned and caught off-guard I got just a second ago when I was searching the “first publication” year for this book. I Google’d “The Green Mile” and the first thing that came up was the movie. With Tom Hanks. And it’s a movie poster that I’ve seen probably at least a hundred times, but my mind totally forgot about the movie (which I’ve never seen) since I got this book. Never made a connection.
Thought that was pretty cool, and think that would be interesting to watch.
(Above: “The Green Mile” feat. a latte and D’Ark’s chocolate lave with grilled pineapples & bananas and homemade vanilla ice-cream)
So. As you can probably tell, I’m all about “reading everything and every genre”. I try to be open to all types of books—so that I’m not blocking myself or limiting myself from any. However, I’m very iffy about horror books. I’m not good with anything even a tiny bit “horror”-tinted, whether it’s books, movies, music, or even just gossip. So that’s why I had never thought that a Stephen King novel would find its way in my hands, let alone my bookshelf.
I got this book from a best friend, Mika, on my birthday last year. She gave me “The Green Mile” and Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar”—which I started reading, like, a day after my birthday. I remember her handing me “The Bell Jar” first, and I was excited because we had been discussing it a few days earlier and I had expressed that I was interested in reading it. Later on in the night, she presented me the second gift—which was this: Stephen King’s “The Green Mile”. She proceeded on telling me that it’s her mom’s favorite book and that she loves it. I was just staring at the book in my hands and I was semi-panicking. I remember the first thing that I blurted out was, “But isn’t it scary though? Like ghosts and stuff?”
I’d been putting it off for months and months. Obvious reasons. And every time we meet and bring it up, she’d tell me again that it’s her mom’s favorite and it’d spark my curiosity more—because the fact that she likes it and her mom likes it already makes the book so special.
But still, every time I nudge myself to pick it up and stop being such a pussy and read it already, I just get nervous—I mean, the cover with the lone, old electric chair is not the most welcoming note for a person who’s not so keen on the sound of “Stephen King”.
A few weeks ago, Mika and I had a night out with another one of my friends, Kandai—and we got to talking about books. They mentioned “The Green Mile”—and there’s Mika going off again, gushing about how great it is…and then there’s Kandai agreeing with her! So I was by then thoroughly convinced that I need to get my sh*t together and read the damn book already or else I would be forever missing out on this amazingly awesome book!
…. I started the next day.
And the first chapter “book” is titled… “The Two Dead Girls”.
Still. I fought on. I laid in my bed reading, with my imagination running wild and worrying about the phrase “the two dead girls” and how long I’d have to deal with them for.
Fortunately, like Mika had warned me, it’s not “a scary book” and even though it has “ghosts and stuff”, it’s not as bad as I expected. My expectations were a lot worse and the reality is actually a lot tamer. If Stephen King could talk to me, he’d probably say like, “Oh, what a pussy. You should read my other books. This is Level 0.5.”
I honestly, really, really enjoyed this book. It was thrilling and kept me at the edge of my seat (and bed). It kept my nervous, but in the most fun way. I caught myself gasping at a death of a mouse. I caught myself blurting out “WTF?!” at mean, unreasonable men (Ahem, Percy, you butthead.)
It was like you’re literally reading a movie. The way it’s written—it’s as if you’re reading a storyboard rather than a book. It keeps you so curious and keeps you wanting to go on just a little bit longer. It’s quite a long book (450 pages) but I read through it in just a week—it was always hard to put down.
Okay, to be honest, I think I felt that the ending was a bit predictable—and even though there was a whole lot of suspense, you can still guess a lot of what was about to happen. And I guess I’m a bit annoyed that I don’t have some answers for my “Why is this like this? Why is he like that?” questions—but that’s kind of expected when you’re reading a supernatural story.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and would probably read it again in the future. It’s such an exciting, thrilling book—a type of adventure I’ve never been on before. (But I don’t think I would want to read anymore Stephen King though—this was almost too much for me to handle already.)
Oh, and it’s not just supernatural and thrilling either—it’s actually a very emotional story. There’s a lot of human-ness and love in there, which surprised me a lot. If you want something gnarly and gritty—but still emotional, I highly recommend this. It’s like combining a supernatural/horror story with John Steinbeck. Plus Sherlock Holmes.
Here are some of my favorite lines from the book:
Life is a capricious business. (pg. xiii)
You’re gonna be so happy to see the end of me. (pg.182)
A man with a good wife is the luckiest of God’s creatures, and one without must be among the most miserable, I think, the only true blessing of their lives that they don’t know how poorly off they are. (pg.263)
[…] weird love’s better than no love at all. (pg.289)
(Above: Photos at Organic Supply)