Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King

The Shawshank Redemption
by Stephen King

Different Seasons ('82) is a collection of four novellas, markedly different in tone & subject, each with a journey theme. The 1st is a nonhorrific tale about an innocent man who carefully nurtures hope & devises a wily scheme to escape from prison. The 2nd concerns a boy who discards his innocence by enticing an old man to travel with him into a reawakening of long-buried evil. In the 3rd, a writer looks back on the trek he took with three friends on the brink of adolescence to find another boy's corpse. The trip becomes a character-rich rite of passage from youth to maturity. These 1st three novellas have been made into movies: "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" into Frank Darabont's '94 The Shawshank Redemption (available as a screenplay, a DVD & an audiocassette), "Apt Pupil" into Bryan Singer's '98 film Apt Pupil (also released in '98 on audiocassette) & "The Body" into Rob Reiner's Stand by Me ('86). The final novella, "Breathing Lessons," is a horror yarn told by a doctor, about a patient whose indomitable spirit keeps her baby alive under extraordinary circumstances. It's the tightest, most polished tale in the collection.--Fiona Webster

My Rating: 5 of 5 "Loved it!"

Fantastic story. I was captured for the whole four hours it took to read it. I didn't want to stop.

I have yet to watch the movie, but I believe it's on Netflix, so I'll have to watch soon. I've been told that the movie is fantastic as well.

What I liked most about The Shawshank Redemption was the ending. It felt like I got everything that I wanted for the characters, only it was given to me in a way that wasn't the most obvious or direct rout. It pulled on my heart strings just enough. In the span of these four hours, I met a stranger with a background unlike mine, and came to care about his troubles and rejoice when he overcomes them. It was very satisfying.

Some books I end up reading don't leave me with too many thoughts afterward. The Shawshank Redemption is not one of them. I don't know if it was Stephen King's intention to make me wonder about the prison system and the people (guilty or innocent) trapped inside it, but it certainly left me with thoughts that I'll have to chew on before they become opinions.

Excellent book, and well worth the time to read. Pick a free evening and enjoy!

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