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The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel
 
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The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel [Format Kindle]

Stephen King
4.2 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Amazon.com

This novel taps into what Stephen King does best: character-driven storytelling. The setting is the small "death house" of a Southern prison in 1932. The charming narrator is an old man looking back on the events, decades later. Maybe it's a little too cute, maybe the pathos is laid on a little thick, but it's hard to resist the colorful personalities and simple wonders of this supernatural tale. As Time magazine put it, "Like the best popular art, The Green Mile has the courage of its cornier convictions ... the palpable sense of King's sheer, unwavering belief in his tale is what makes the novel work as well as it finally does." And it's not a bad choice for giving to someone who doesn't understand the appeal of Stephen King, because the one scene that is out-and-out gruesome can be easily skipped by the squeamish. The Green Mile was nominated for a 1997 Bram Stoker Award.

Extrait

Chapter One

This happened in 1932, when the state penitentiary was still at Cold Mountain. And the electric chair was there, too, of course.

The inmates made jokes about the chair the way people always make jokes about things that frighten them but can't be gotten away from. They called it Old Sparky, or the Big Juicy. They made cracks about the Power bill, and how Warden Moores would cook his Thanksgiving dinner that fall, with his wife, Melinda, too sick to cook.

But for the ones who actually had to sit down in that chair, the humor went out of the situation in a hurry I presided over seventy-eight executions during my time at Cold Mountain (that's one figure I've never been confused about; I'll remember it on my deathbed), and I think that, for most of those men, the truth of what was happening to them finally hit all the way home when their ankles were being damped to the stout oak of "Old Sparky's" legs. The realization came then (you would see it rising in their eyes, a kind of cold dismay) that their, own legs had finished their careers. The blood still ran in them, the muscles were still strong, but they were finished, all the same; they were never going to walk another country mile or dance with a girl at a barn-raising. Old Sparky's clients came to a knowledge of their deaths from the ankles up. There was a black silk bag that went over their heads after they had finished their rambling and mostly disjointed last remarks. It was supposed to be for them, but I always thought it was really for us, to keep us from seeing the awful tide of dismay in their eyes as they realized they were going to die with their knees bent.

There was no death row at Cold Mountain, only E Block, set apart from the other four and about a quarter their size, brick instead of wood, with a horrible bare metal roof that glared in the summer sun like a delirious eyeball. Six cells inside, three on each side of a wide center aisle, each almost twice as big as the cells in the other four blocks. Singles, too. Great accommodations for a prison (especially in the thirties), but the inmates would have traded for cells in any of the other four. Believe me, they would have traded.

There was never a time during my years as block superintendent when all six cells were occupied at one time -- thank God for small favors. Four was the most, mixed black and white (at Cold Mountain, there was no segregation among the walking dead), and that was a little piece of hell. One was a woman, Beverly McCall. She was black as the ace of spades and as beautiful as the sin you never had nerve enough to commit. She put up with six years of her husband beating her, but wouldn't put up with his creeping around for a single day. On the evening after she found out he was cheating, she stood waiting for the unfortunate Lester McCall, known to his pals (and, presumably, to his extremely short-term mistress) as Cutter, at the top of the stairs leading to the apartment over his barber shop. She waited until he got his overcoat half off, then dropped his cheating guts onto his tu-tone shoes. Used one of Cutter's own razors to do it. Two nights before she was due to sit in Old Sparky, she called me to her cell and said she had been visited by her African spirit-father in a dream. He told her to discard her slave-name and to die under her free name, Matuomi. That was her request, that her deathwarrant should be read under the name of Beverly Matuomi. I guess her spirit-father didn't give her any first name, or one she could make out, anyhow. I said yes, okay, fine. One thing those years serving as the bull-goose screw taught me was never to refuse the condemned unless I absolutely had to. In the case of Beverly Matuomi, it made no difference, anyway. The governor called the next day around three in the afternoon, commuting her sentence to life in the Grassy Valley Penal Facility for Women -- all penal and no penis, we used to say back then. I was glad to see Bev's round ass going left instead of right when she got to the duty desk, let me tell you.

Thirty-five years or so later -- had to be at least thirty-five -- I saw that name on the obituary page of the paper, under a picture of a skinny-faced black lady with a cloud of white hair and glasses with rhinestones at the comers. It was Beverly. She'd spent the last ten years of her life a free woman, the obituary said, and had rescued the small-town library of Raines Falls pretty much single-handed. She had also taught Sunday school and had been much loved in that little backwater. LIBRARIAN DIES OF HEART FAILURE, the headline said, and below that, in smaller type, almost as an afterthought: Served Over Two Decades in Prison for Murder. Only the eyes, wide and blazing behind the glasses with the rhinestones at the comers, were the same. They were the eyes of a woman who even at seventy-whatever would not hesitate to pluck a safety razor from its blue jar of disinfectant, if the urge seemed pressing. You know murderers, even if they finish up as old lady librarians in dozey little towns. At least you do if you've spent as much time minding murderers as I did. There was only one time I ever had a question about the nature of my job. That, I reckon, is why I'm writing this.

The wide corridor up the center of E Block was floored with linoleum the color of tired old limes, and so what was called the Last Mile at other prisons was called the Green Mile at Cold Mountain. It ran, I guess, sixty long paces from south to north, bottom to top. At the bottom was the restraint room. At the top end was a T-junction. A left turn meant life -- if you called what went on in the sunbaked exercise yard life, and many did; many lived it for years, with no apparent ill effects. Thieves and arsonists and sex criminals, all talking their talk and walking their walk and making their little deals.

A right turn, though -- that was different. First you went into my office (where the carpet was also green, a thing I kept meaning to change and not getting around to), and crossed in front of my desk, which was flanked by the American flag on the left and the state flag on the right. On the far side were two doors. One led into the small W.C. that I and the E Block guards (sometimes even Warden Moores) used; the other opened on a kind of storage shed. This was where you ended up when you walked the Green Mile.

It was a small door -- I had to duck my head when I went through, and John Coffey actually had to sit and scoot. You came out on a little landing, then went down three cement steps to a board floor. It was a miserable room without heat and with a metal roof, just like the one on the block to which it was an adjunct. It was cold enough in there to see your breath during the winter, and stifling in the summer. At the execution of Elmer Manfred -- in July or August of '30, that one was, I believe -- we had nine witnesses pass out.

On the left side of the storage shed -- again -- there was life. Tools (all locked down in frames crisscrossed with chains, as if they were carbine rifles instead of spades and pickaxes), dry goods, sacks of seeds for spring planting in the prison gardens, boxes of toilet paper, pallets cross-loaded with blanks for the prison plate-shop...even bags of lime for marking out the baseball diamond and the football gridiron -- the cons played in what was known as The Pasture, and fall afternoons were greatly looked forward to at Cold Mountain.

On the right -- once again -- death. Old Sparky his ownself, sitting up on a plank platform at the southeast comer of the storeroom, stout oak legs, broad oak arms that had absorbed the terrorized sweat of scores of men in the last few minutes of their lives, and the metal cap, usually hung jauntily on the back of the chair, like some robot kid's beanie in a Buck Rogers comic-strip. A cord ran from it and through a gasket-circled hole in the cinderblock wall behind the chair. Off to one side was a galvanized tin bucket. If you looked inside it, you would see a circle of sponge, cut just right to fit the metal cap. Before executions, it was soaked in brine to better conduct the charge of direct-current electricity that ran through the wire, through the sponge, and into the condemned man's brain.

Copyright © 1996 by Stephen King

Détails sur le produit


En savoir plus sur l'auteur

Stephen King est l'auteur de plus de cinquante livres, tous best-sellers d'entre eux à travers le monde. Parmi ses plus récentes sont les romans La Tour Sombre, Cell, Du Hearts Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, en Atlantide, La Petite Fille qui aimait Tom Gordon, et Sac d'os. Son livre documentaire acclamé, sur l'écriture, a également été un best-seller. Il est le récipiendaire de la Médaille nationale de 2003 Réservez Fondation pour contribution exceptionnelle aux lettres américaines. Il vit à Bangor, Maine, avec son épouse, la romancière Tabitha King.

Commentaires en ligne 

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 un clin d'oeil à la peine capitale 11 novembre 2003
Par Montana
Format:Broché
King maintient toujours le lecteur en suspens et on éprouve toujours les mêmes sentiments d'effoi, peur, dégoût (certains personnages méritent vraiment ce qui leur arrive!), la peine et en fait de l'humanité, et de l'admiration en même temps.
Quand on se rend compte ce que représente le personnage principal on a envie de hurler et tout faire pour le sauver - sans savoir si vraiment on pourra.
On peut apprécier ceux qui doutent de l'efficacité ou la nécessiter d'infliger la peine capitale...mais comme je disais, il faut admettre que certaines personnes méritent une fin juste.
Contrairement à la plupart de ses livres, celui-ci mérite un peu plus de réflection; il n'est pas parti dans une direction complètement surnaturelle cette fois-ci et on apprécie.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 brilliant 1 janvier 2010
Par heyjude
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I found this book to be just as good as the film, if not better, and could easily fit the characters from the film into Stephen King's original characters. I normally like to read the book first! I thought it a thought provoking book on good and evil, the use and nature of the electric chair and the process of the law. A VERY readable book which I could not put down.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Une histoire mytique 16 octobre 2000
Format:Poche|Achat vérifié
Un best seller de S. King, comme à son habitude, 1 histoire très prenante, dramatique à souhait. On s'accroche plus au personnage de Caffey dans le film que dans le livre. Mais il faut voir le film aussi !
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 BEAU 14 août 2003
Format:Broché
Dans ce monde marqué par la haine, la violence, le dégoût et la mort, une "lueur" éclair les pensées de l'homme...
Ce personnage est-t'il vraiment le monstre que l'on croit? Qui l'a crée, qui le détruira? L'homme anéanti par lui-même présenté dans cette fable de S. KING... citation du film : "sometimes the green mile is so long..." (à voir !)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  1.085 commentaires
123 internautes sur 127 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One terrific movie, one awesome book 21 juin 2000
Par Leah Jesse - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
I have to admit that I watched the movie before I read the book. I was very pleased after finishing the book to realize that the movie did not deviate too far from the book at all.
This is the first Stephen King novel I've ever read. I don't care for horror and supernatural stories, but this particular story I felt needed to be read, not for the supernatural tale, but for the human experience.
In the 6 sections of the serial novel that comprises the paperback, King develops the story of John Coffey, who is sent to death row, which is also called "The Green Mile", for the rape and murders of twin girls. However, Paul Edgecombe, security guard, doesn't believe that this man, who's afraid of the dark, could have committed such a terrible crime. Intertwined within this story are subplots that include, Percy Wetmore, Eduard Delacroix, and William 'Billy The Kid' Wharton, and of course Mr. Jingles.
The movie is approximately 3 hours long, and it was worth every minute. I read the book in 2 days, and that's a record for me, and it was also worth every minute.
59 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 SIMPLY SUPERB! 1 décembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This book is an old man's (Paul Edgecomb - the head prison guard at Cell Block E), recollection of events that occurred in 1932 at the Cold Mountain State Penitentiary. In particular, it focuses on John Coffey, a convicted murderer and rapist of two small girls, convicted murder and psychopath William (Billy the Kid) Wharton and convicted murder Delacroix. And a mouse by the name of "Mr. Jingles". It is the story of a special gift which one of these prisoners possesses, one that none of us would probably want.
King has produced a profoundly moving story and I assure you, the last fifty pages of this book will be read through tear-filled eyes.
The characters and story are memorable; the lessons and messages are clear.
I absolutely loved this book...I think you will too! (Let's all hope Hollywood does a good job with it) Most highly recommended!
37 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 One would be hardpressed to find a book as enjoyable as this 3 décembre 1999
Par Eric - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
The movie "The Shawshank Redemption" has one of the most compelling stories of all time. Great characters, gripping plot, a heartfelt emotion make it an experience like no other. Now, there is another king (no pun intended) in town. The Green Mile, with its cast of well-fleshed and intriguing characters (John Coffey, Delacroix, and even Mr. Jingles the mouse) and emotion thicker than pea soup make this a great book already. But where this book truly shines is its plot; engaging, well-crafted, intriguing, thought-provoking, riveting, you name it, this plot has it. Considering that Stephen King didn't know how it would end when he began writing it, this an astonishing feat. This is the best book I have ever read, and I recommend it to anyone.
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Painfully beautiful 16 décembre 1999
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
I bought the book because I wanted to know the story before the movie was released. I am a Stephen King fan but realize that not all of his stories translate well on film, so I wanted to get a heads up beforehand. In the same vein as 'Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption' (title of the original story, not the movie), Stephen King took what could have been a depressing and, what I'm sure some were expecting, horrifying story line, and wove into it some of the most touching glimpses of humanity and spirituality that I have ever read. Since the story is set in the 1930s, I thought he captured the racism of the time very well -- the interactions between John Coffey and the other characters in the book seemed natural, if that is a word wants to associate with prejudicial attitudes.
What I liked about the book is that Stephen King was able to humanize everyone. In spite of being Death Row inmates, one can almost feel a sympathy for these men, except for Wild Bill Wharton, of course. John Coffey's tears, Delacroix's friendship with a stray mouse -- it was an interesting contrast to our popular perceptions of 'hardened criminals.' Also, the interactions between the 'guilty' men on the inside and the 'innocent' men on the outside make you think about who is more capable of evil (study Percy Whetmore).
I agreed with one reviewer that, in collapsing the series into one novel, there was some unnecessary repetition at the beginning of each segment. Aside from that, I had very few problems with the book, and I cried when I finished reading it. Not the reaction I expected to have upon arriving at the end of a Stephen King novel. But, I leave you to judge for yourself. Also, go see the movie -- it is equally beautiful, and brings the characters (specifically John Coffey and Percy Whetmore) to life in a way that you can't get from reading the book. If anything, watch it for Mr. Jingles.
26 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A magnetic book with a deeply involving story 25 janvier 2000
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Poche
Is John Coffey a Murderer? As the large man is admitted to Death Row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary saying, "I tried to take it back, but it was too late," that is question Paul Edgecombe, head of security, must ask himself.After some investigation, and with the help of Eduard Delecroix, a convicted murderer, and his pet mouse Mr. Jingles, Paul discovers the truth and is forced to make the most difficult decision of his life. Along the way, William "Billy the Kid" Wharton comes to the Green Mile (so named for its lime carpeting) and shakes things up, just adding to the trouble caused by Percy Wetmore, the antagonistic rookie guard.The book is told in first person and six parts, as Paul Edgecombe recounts the events and carries on a simultaneous present tense story. I liked the book it has realistic dialogue as well as a down-to-earth view during the Great Depression, and the way it was written in parts gives it a unique feel. The Green Mile, by Stephen King, is definately worth the read.
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We each owe a death, there are no exceptions, I know that, but sometimes, oh God, the Green Mile is so long. &quote;
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&quote;
Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not. Time takes it all, time bears it away, and in the end there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again. &quote;
Marqué par 66 utilisateurs Kindle
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The world turns, thats all. You can hold on and turn with it, or stand up to protest and be spun right off. &quote;
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