The Green Mile by Stephen King

The Green Mile

The Green Mile by Stephen King

Published: 1996




The Green Mile by Stephen King  is the tale of John Coffey, a large illiterate black man who is on death row (The Green Mile) for the alleged rape and murder of two young white girls in 1932.  

The story is told by Paul Edgecombe who was the guard supervisor at the jail when Coffey was there. He is now in a nursing home and is telling his story to another resident of the home, Elaine.  

Edgecombe describes how Coffey was actually a gentle soul, with the power to heal.  He tells how another prisoner, Eduard Delacroix befriends a mouse who becomes his best friend. Then he describes  of the brutality and ignorance of one of his guards, and  we learn the identity of the real killer of Coffey’s victims.  And he tells of Coffey’s death.  For yes, although we knew John Coffey was innocent, he was ready to die.  Living was cruel, and he’d had enough.

And then Paul Edgecombe shows Elaine a mouse.

This is such a sad book.  Such a good book.  Such a Stephen King book.  The characters are “real”, deep, lovable (or disgusting), as only King can make them.  We feel for them.  We worry, we cry.  And then of course, there’s the mouse.


Favorite Quotes from The Green Mile:

“Yes, sir, boss, like the drink only not spelled the same way.”

“You gonna be a circus mouse after all, Mr. Jingles!”


Re-Read: February 2015



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