I often wonder when I see a cobbler, or a security guard, or a fruit seller, etc, that what might be their life story. If ever a movie is made while keeping such a person who is not in a conventional job, or in a profession that one aspires greatly to have someday, as the central character then what would be the plot like. It could give a sneak peek of a different life, of different thought process, of different adventures. There are many such roles of which we never think about. One such role is the job of an executioner and the officers around. So when I checked this book “The Green Mile” by Stephen King, I was really intrigued by its plot. Needless to say that I have not seen this movie also, so the excitement grew manifolds.
The Green Mile is the story of a prison where prisoners are given capital punishment in an electric chair, also called as Old Sparky. In this prison comes an infamous criminal, John Coffey, who has been charged with assaulting and then murdering two young girls. The head guard, Paul Edgecomb, finds John very intriguing. John is always crying, repenting for the girls, is afraid of dark, and has also a mystery associated with himself. There are other prisoners too who are to be executed as well, and there is also a mouse in the prison named as Mr. Jingles by one of the inmate. The story is written from a humane angle of the prison guards, their camaraderie which often gets translated between the inmates as well, and their juggle with self-consciousness on capital punishment.
The book is a great example of how storytelling is so important. There were not very great passages I found to highlight, but it was overall a feel good book. From the premise it was set in, I presumed it will be a ruthless and revenge based story, but alas it was everything but ruthless and revengeful. It was actually extremely empathetic, from a humane level to also from a supernatural angle. I loved reading about John Coffey and the way Paul and his fellows felt about him and each other.