The Green Mile

Mass Market Paperback | November 15, 1999

byStephen King

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The #1 New York Times bestselling dramatic serial novel and inspiration for the Oscar-nominated film of the same name starring Tom Hanks, the “literary event” (Entertainment Weekly) of The Green Mile is now available in its entirety.

When The Green Mile first appeared, serialized as one volume per month, Stephen King’s The Green Mile was an unprecedented publishing triumph: all six volumes ended up on the New York Times bestseller list—simultaneously—and delighted millions of fans the world over.

Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile, keeping a date with “Old Sparky,” Cold Mountain’s electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile. But he’s never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs...and yours.

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From Our Editors

All six installments of Stephen King`s bestseller are included in this movie tie-in edition of The Green Mile, The Complete Serial Novel. Lauded as King`s best book in years, The Green Mile takes place in a depression-era Cold Mountain prison. Guard Paul Edgecombe has seen evil incarnate in previous prisoners, but it didn`t prepare him for John Coffey. It is a haunting novel of good and evil, inno...

From the Publisher

The #1 New York Times bestselling dramatic serial novel and inspiration for the Oscar-nominated film of the same name starring Tom Hanks, the “literary event” (Entertainment Weekly) of The Green Mile is now available in its entirety.When The Green Mile first appeared, serialized as one volume per month, Stephen King’s The Green Mile was an unprecedented publishing triumph: all six volumes ended up...

Stephen King is the O. Henry Award-winning author of more than thirty books, including Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Bag of Bones, The Shining, The Stand, The Green Mile, and the stories on which the Academy Award®-nominated films Carrie, Stand by Me, and The Shawshank Redemption are based. He is also the author of Storm of the Century, an original screenplay written for television. His most rec...

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Format:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:544 pages, 6.75 × 4.19 × 1.01 inPublished:November 15, 1999Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0671041789

ISBN - 13:9780671041786

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A definite must read! This book was incredible. Couldn't put it down, it was just soooo good!
Date published: 2012-12-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This novel is brilliant!!! Had me in tears!!!
Date published: 2012-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Powerful This isn't your typical Stephen King novel. Filled with such emotion and pure wonder, this book changed my life. The innocence of John Coffey is saddenning when you think about the world he was subjected to. It will make you believe in miracles and look at the world differently.
Date published: 2011-06-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good. well written, interesting.
Date published: 2008-06-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of THE BEST books I ever read Mr. King is an absolute GENIUS!!! I LOVED this book. It had me go through every emotion I can think of; from astonishment and humor to shock and grief. This book was truly horrifying at times as well as uplifting and amazing at others. I could not put it down. My husband thought I was going bonkers. I'd laugh out loud and then be crying. By the time I got to the end of the book, I could barely read for the tears. Wow, Mr. King, you're Wonderful!!! You're imagination astounds me. Could we please have another like this? Please???
Date published: 2008-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "Amazing" I never did like Stephen King's book, but I got to say that this one was excellent, I don't usually cry when reading a book , but I sure did with this one,you really get to like this John Coffey character who's a different kind of being, your heart just go out for him
Date published: 2008-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Tearjerker Who'd have guessed Stephen King could make you cry - and not out of fear. This is a wonderful book so worth reading.
Date published: 2008-01-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from AWFUL!!! What a waste of my time and money! I only remembered I had read this series while updating my "bookshelf". Stephen King should be ashamed of himself for foisting this rip-off on the reading public. I remember it was advertised as being such a new concept before being published and I faithfully bought each in the series with the hope it would improve. It didn't!! Weak story-line, pale characters and improbable scenario. I stopped reading his books for years after.
Date published: 2007-11-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from THESE BOOKS SUCK! i AGREE WITH TED FROM LONDON/ONT REVIEW... This was a sloooow, frail story. I couldn't help but visualize the author adding a new chapter each week to the original serial version during a 30 minute break from some more challenging project. It offers little insight into the human journey no matter who the human nor what the journey... You said it, Ted. I don't understand all the hype? It wasn't a good story, it was almost pathetic. It was very weak at times and all I kept thinking was, why am I buying this in installments? Of course, I started with book one and thought, okay maybe its just a weak start. But book 2 was no better. By book three I knew I was hosed. WHAT A SCAM! The dark tower as a series, FINE! I get that. But this piece of crap? DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY! Go get a comfy chair in some CHAPTERS book store or library and read it for free. When you're done, buy a latte and go home and sleep it off. MAN THESE BOOKS WERE A WASTE OF TIME/CASH! the whole time i was reading them i kept thinking that king was simply writing them between his "real" books, God, what a disappoinment! I don't know if I said it already, but the movie sucks too.
Date published: 2006-11-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Book so Far! I bought the Green Mile 2 days ago, and I'll be done by the end of the week. It's the best book I ever read, and I'm not even done. Never have I read 100 pages in a day. (I am very busy most of the time) I liked this book so much that I bought Salem's Lot, Pet Semetary, Carrie, and Bag of Bones too. The only other Stephen King books I read were The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and a bit of Nightshift and It, but they couldn't hold my interest too much. Stephen King is my new favourite author. I used to read Fantasy, but I'm back into Horror, and let's just say I hope Stephen King's children have the same gift he does!!
Date published: 2003-02-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow! Amazing book and amazing movie. I have to admit that when I started this series I was so unimpressed by the tiny installments that I quit reading it after the second, or was it third. It was too disjointed as I couldn't get the books all together. When I got this edition, I sat down and read it cover to cover and loved every minute of it. I even cried at the end (of both the book and the movie). This is a brilliant novel and I am grateful that it came out in the complete form or else I never would have finished it.
Date published: 2001-03-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Smashing! The Green mile was so brilliant!! it was definetly my favourite of all of Stephen King's books... It was really emotional and it really made you feel like you were there, in that pententiary with the characters!
Date published: 2000-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I know I will have fun walking the mile I have not read the book yet but I know I will have fun walking the mile.
Date published: 2000-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from amazing mile it was the greatest book i have ever read. stephen king just takes you into the the mile with him. he brings you like in john coffey's head. part of you goes with the characters when they go. It is simply a serial novel that you will want to read over and over again. Once you have read the book the movie is very good as well. I think that the books are better because you cannot transform this kind of greatness into a motion picture just as great.
Date published: 2000-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Emotive Roller-Coaster, A "Green Mileston Another of Stephen Kings riveting creations - one of his greatest. In the manner he has perfected he sways you from revulsion to pity, from hatred to tears. Staggering. Coffey - "only not spelled the same...."
Date published: 2000-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from FABULOUS!!! What a fabulous story...Stephen King is amazing once again. The Green Mile kept me up for many nights...and entered many of my dreams! I have yet to see the movie for fear that it may destroy my vivid mental picture. This one is a definite keeper!!!! A King classic without doubt: every one of my emotions was touched.
Date published: 2000-06-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Green Mile - Read the book, see the flick! I read this book when it was serialized and found myself in a constant state of turmoil waiting for the next segment. People coming to the story now are fortunate to be able to buy all segments in one book. Even people who are not hard-core Stephen King nuts will be moved by this story. When you finish it, read The Shawshank Redemption; yet another excellent King effort, also set in a prison, but with no supernatural overtones whatsoever.
Date published: 2000-06-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME This book is the best book ever in the world. This book is fantastic.
Date published: 2000-06-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of THE BEST books I ever read Mr. King is an absolute GENIUS!!! I LOVED this book. It had me go through every emotion I can think of; from astonishment and humor to shock and grief. This book was truly horrifying at times as well as uplifting and amazing at others. I could not put it down. My husband thought I was going bonkers. I'd laugh out loud and then be crying. By the time I got to the end of the book, I could barely read for the tears. Wow, Mr. King, you're Wonderful!!! You're imagination astounds me. Could we please have another like this? Please???
Date published: 2000-05-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My First King Wow. What a book. It was one of the best I have ever read. I usually read books by the master Michael Crichton and I had not been able to find an author that is at his ranks and he does not write many books. When I picked this book up I found it amazing, riveting and amazingly suspenseful. Coffey is one of my favorite all time novel characters and this is one of my very favorite books. I could not put it down. This is the first books I have ever been tempted to read a third time.
Date published: 2000-05-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I expect the movie's better This was a sloooow, frail story. I couldn't help but visualize the author adding a new chapter each week to the original serial version during a 30 minute break from some more challenging project. It offers little insight into the human journey no matter who the human nor what the journey.
Date published: 2000-04-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Tears I have to say that I am a avid reader and books have never made me cry, but this one did. I feel in love with the character John Coffey. This is also the first Stephen King book I read, what a great job.
Date published: 2000-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from the green mile rocks the green mile is the best serial novel i have ever read in my life stephen king is the best writer in the world. p.s chapters rocks
Date published: 2000-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible!!! I just finished The Green Mile, and I have to say that I was absolutely amazed! As a rule I don't like Stephen King, but this book is truely a masterpiece. From the moment I picked up the book (hesitantly I admit!) and started reading, I was fixed. The Green Mile is the type of book that reminds people why they love reading, and now holds a spot on my list of best books ever written. An outstanding accomplishment in literature.
Date published: 2000-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't Put It Down I saw the movie first and wanted to read the book. The book has some subtle changes from the movie, so it holds you in its grasp just the same. Even though its a fairly lengthy book, I read it in 3 days due to the fact that the characters won't let you go. The descriptions of characters, events and places are so complete, you will see and feel each execution. A must-read.
Date published: 2000-03-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Green Mile - Excellen This book was excellent and so difficult to put down. Even though I am not particularly a Steven King fan I have read many of his books and this one is by far the best. His writing style made it truly enjoyable.
Date published: 2000-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from milestone This was by far one of the best novels I have ever read. I found it very touching as well as horrifyingly sad. Anyone who likes to read at a mature level would love this masterpiece.
Date published: 2000-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Green Mile The Green Mile is the first book I have read by this author and I could not put it down. I highly recommend it. I have heard that the movie has been given three stars from critics which I find hard to believe after reading the book.
Date published: 2000-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book! I saw the movie first, and this book is very different, in a good way. I am a fan of the author and this book surpasses my favorite book of his, The Shining. This book is a classic.
Date published: 2000-02-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Two thumbs way up! I loved this novel.... but hated the movie. I think it might have something to do with the fact that when I see a movie after reading the book, I don't usually like the way actors portray the characters who were "real" in my mind while I was reading the book!
Date published: 2000-01-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping!!!! I went to see the movie before I got the book and I loved the movie so much that I had to read it. It's somewhat different from the movie, and I had never read a Stephen King book before, but it is SOOOOO good!! The characters are extremely clear and it feels as though they're speaking right to you. I would highly recommend this book to anyone! People say that the movie is never as good as the book, but I thought they were both awesome!!! If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, definitely do both!
Date published: 2000-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Green Mile If there is one book that you plan to read soon please make it The Green Mile. Promises of great entertainment and I could not put it down. I give this book a very big thumbs up. Read and enjoy.
Date published: 2000-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Short Mile By far his best work since "The Stand". The seamless knitting of serial chapters creates a full length novel of the struggle between truth and so-called justice. The final execution was far more horrific than any monster ever devised previously by Stephen King. The anguish felt by Paul and his crew was almost tangible. Once again he has breathed life into his characters, and while this book will not scare you per se, it will definitely move you...
Date published: 1999-12-30

Extra Content

Read from the Book

Chapter OneThis 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