Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Forgotten Bo... Novella: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption



By the year 1982, I'd read all of author Stephen King's novels (including the Hugo Award winning non-fiction work, Danse Macabre), in chronological order (except for Carrie)*. So when I came upon his newest that summer, Different Seasons, I thought I knew what I'd be getting: another of his horrific, but imaginative, tales that would make me shudder by the time I'd close the novel. But, this book would throw the proverbial curve at me (to say the least). Different Seasons was King's first collection of four novellas put into one bound print volume. Each of these, likely the first novellas of this or any kind I'd ever read, were very different affairs of fiction. Even the table of contents had an unexpected design to the book. Each of the novella titles had a seasonal lead (I still have the original Viking Press hardcover sitting in my book shelf). From the original Table of Contents page:



This post has been updated and moved to my current blog, which can be found here.

13 comments:

  1. Wow, this reminds me that its been ages since I've read this book. I still think my fave King book is the collection of novellas he wrote under the Richard Bachman moniker. "The Running Man" is an incredible story and I was so pissed at how they butchered it in the film version... with the notable exception of the genius casting of Richard Dawson as Killian. I still think that that story could be done properly as a film with maybe someone like Christopher Nolan or Paul Greengrass at the helm.

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  2. It's been ages since I read THE RUNNING MAN! IIRC, it was a fast paced story that was atypical of early King. And you're so right about how the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie butchered that story (and I agree that Dawson's casting in it was brilliant). I need to re-read that novella, too. Thanks for adding to this, J.D.

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  3. Excellent work, Michael. It's a great story and a truly wonderful film. I was lucky enough to catch Shawshank's UK prem at the London Film Festival and it received a standing ovation. The aria? It really is dripping with emotion and one of those scenes you always carry with you.

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  4. This is brilliant. Thank you, Michael. You've made me remember that once upon a time I admired King's work and, like you, read each book as it came out, including the exception of Carrie.

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  5. Very kind of you to say, Steve. That must have been some event to attend. And I share those exact sentiment regarding that aria sequence, my friend. Thanks much.

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  6. I'm glad we share that experience, Naomi. Thank you kindly for your thoughts and comment.

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  7. Great story to remember and a great review as always! I'm not a fan of King's "standard" work but I think he's an incredible storyteller. I also think there is no one that compares with him in his ability to describe emotion and physical reactions. I loved the collection in Different Seasons. That and Bag of Bones is the only King I go back to for seconds. I don't think Bag of Bones was popular at all but I loved it.

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  8. Very generous of you to say, Rachel. King is an incredible storyteller. I've not read Bag of Bones, but have heard of it. Out of curiosity, what draws you back to that particular novel? Thank you for your comment, Rachel.

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  9. I think it has to do with how well King writes emotion/feeling. I don't mean just in the "I'm so emotional" today as in a sort of weepy and upset way (but, of course, I think he can write that, too) but literally being able to convey any emotion or feeling a character might be having. In case you don't remember the details, the book is about a writer whose wife dies unexpectedly and his grief. There are some supernatural elements involving the cabin he's living in, etc. Anyway, I was so inside that guy's head. There wasn't anything he felt that I didn't feel along with him. I also liked him a lot and was completely wrapped up in where he was going. I think I keep going back to the story because it's not the kind of book I usually read but King had be utterly absorbed. I liked that he was able to create a connection between me and a story that I don't usually connect with.

    Thinking about this made me want to read the book again so I started digging around for my copy. No luck! *sigh* Moving alot makes every item you own much like a sock in a dryer... you just might not ever see it again! Ah well, I'll get another copy sometime.

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  10. You've convinced me to give this a try. There is an existing unabridged audiobook of it, and King does the narration. He's one of the few authors that does get good marks for doing the audiobook reading by reviewers. Thanks, Rachel.

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  11. Kathleen A. RyanMay 28, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Excellent post. If my husband and I find The Shawshank Redemption on TV, we watch it. We never tire of it. You've chosen a terrific scene. 
    I remember reading Apt Pupil ~ what a story. I enjoyed the movie, too. 
    Have a lovely weekend!

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  12. Same here, Kathleen. I never tire of that film. Apt Pupil was another unexpected and chilling tale (good adaptation, too). Thank you for your kind words and comment. Have a great weekend.

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