By Stephen King
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The Green Mile is a 1996 serial novel written by Stephen King. Published in six volumes, The Green Mile was crafted while the book was already in production. The Green Mile focuses on the encounter that Paul Edgecombe, a death row supervisor, has with an unusual inmate, John Coffey, who displays inexplicable healing and empathetic abilities. The novel The Green Mile was originally published in serial form before being republished as a single volume work.
A first-person narrative told by Paul Edgecombe, the novel The Green Mile switches between Paul as an old man in the Georgia Pines nursing home sharing his story with fellow resident Elaine Connelly in 1996, and his time in 1932 as the block supervisor of the Cold Mountain Penitentiary death row, nicknamed “The Green Mile” for the color of its floor.
The Green Mile by Stephen King: This year marks the arrival of John Coffey, a 6’8″ black man who has been convicted of raping and murdering two small white girls. During his time on the Mile, John interacts with fellow prisoners Eduard “Del” Delacroix, a Cajun arsonist, rapist, and murderer, and William Wharton (“Billy the Kid” to himself, “Wild Bill” to the guards), a wild-acting and dangerous multiple murderer who is determined to make as much trouble as he can before he is executed. Other inhabitants include Arlen Bitterbuck, a Native American convicted of killing a man in a fight over a pair of boots (also the first character to die in the electric chair); Arthur Flanders, a real estate executive who killed his father to perpetrate insurance fraud, and whose sentence is eventually commuted to life imprisonment; and Mr. Jingles, a mouse, whom Del teaches various tricks.
Paul and the other guards are antagonized throughout the book by Percy Wetmore, a sadistic guard who enjoys aggravating the prisoners. The other guards have to be civil to him despite their dislike of him because he is the nephew of the Governor’s wife. When Percy is offered a position at the nearby Briar Ridge psychiatric hospital as a secretary, Paul thinks they are finally rid of him. However, Percy refuses to leave until he is allowed to supervise an execution, so Paul hesitantly allows him to run Del’s. Percy deliberately avoids soaking a sponge in brine that is supposed to be tucked inside the electrode cap to ensure a quick death in the electric chair. When the switch is thrown, the current causes Del to catch fire in the chair and suffer a prolonged, agonizing demise… (Summary by Wikipedia)
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