I saw the movie right after it came to video. Not usually something I would have watched when I was younger but I really liked it. It has always stuck with me and the reason is because of the characters. I have read some pretty disappointing books in the last month so I wanted something I knew would be a good one. I don't usually do this but there are so many things I want to talk about this book so there will be SPOILERS in this review. If you haven't seen the movie or read the book this is where we shall part. Beyond this point there is a change that something might get ruined for you.
I haven't read this book until right now. It stayed very close to the book but of course there were little things that are in the book that are cut out of the movie. These little pieces help fill in gaps and keeps the story moving. The one thing I didn't care for much is after the second part we get these interludes with Boss Paul in a retirement home and we find out that this book is his very own hand written tale. I liked this piece at the end because we get to know what happens to everyone but when these interruptions started the story would stall. King I think did this on purpose because it always happened when there was a cliffhanger chapter ending.
King has this amazing gift to write a book that can scare the pants off me and then turn around and write a book that makes my eyes teary. He is also the only author I have read who makes you sad to see a mass murderer finally end in the electric chair. I loved the scenes with Delacroix and Mr Jingles. His character was really child like at times and funny even with living out the last of his days. The other thing about reading this book was knowing the whole time that John Coffey was innocent the whole time. Knowing that he will walk the Green Mile and end his days in old sparky when he was just trying to help was heart breaking. The time period really plays the stereotypes and prejudice in a way that I feel was probably very realistic. I wasn't around in the 1930's but I can only imagine that this has to be close to what life was like back then.
Movies can be limited in what they can do with scenes. It has been a long time since I have seen this movie but the seen with Delacroix in the Electric chair when Percy intentionally doesn't wet the sponge was so much more gruesome and realistic in the book. On top of that the very end when John Coffey takes his turn in the chair was so emotional I couldn't keep the tears from my eyes. I could sympathize with Boss Paul and the other guards. I have grown with these characters from the very beginning because of how King wrote these lifelike characters. I allowed for me to be really invested in what happens next and to feel each emotion throughout the story.
I have talked about all of the amazing likable characters King wrote in this book but he also does villains really well. I have never hated a character more than Kings Jim Rennie in Under the Dome, but Percy comes really close in this book. Percy is just a despicable person who enjoys torturing people and throwing around his powerful relatives to get exactly what he wants. Percy is like a like a stubborn child who has never been told no.
I think I have rambled on long enough so I will just get to the rating. I couldn't put this book down and I know I could go on about different things in this book for pages. I am going to give this the highest of honors on my shelf and rate it 5 out of 5 stars and this has been added to my favorite books.