Just plugging along on the #ChronologicallyKing readalong!
DIFFERENT SEASONS – Stephen King (Originally Published 1982)
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption–the most satisfying tale of unjust imprisonment and offbeat escape since The Count of Monte Cristo.
Apt Pupil–a golden California schoolboy and an old man whose hideous past he uncovers enter into a fateful and chilling mutual parasitism.
The Body–four rambunctious young boys venture into the Maine woods and in sunlight and thunder find life, death, and intimations of their own mortality.
The Breathing Method–a tale told in a strange club about a woman determined to give birth no matter what.
Chandra’s Thoughts: 4/5 stars
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption ★★★★★ – I always hate reading something after I watch it because descriptions rarely match up and they didn’t hear but the overall storyline was the same. Does anyone else only hear Morgan Freeman narrating now? A fantastic read and now I want to go watch the movie again.
Apt Pupil ★★★☆ – It’s so hard not to see Ian McKellen in my head the entire time I read this. For me, this was a case of the film was better. While the story definitely did pack a punch, I did feel it was a bit drawn out in places and jumped the shark a bit as I didn’t quite understand how the two main characters ended up in the positions that they did. One kind of made sense and the other… *shrug*
The Body ★★★★ – Ahhhh – I remember this movie so vividly from my childhood. Of course, that blueberry pie scene is forever stuck in my mind. King is fantastic at young kids and their coming of age. As kids we tend to feel isolated at times and going on a journey together with your bests is always eventful. I also appreciate fast forwarding so we see what may have happened once they’re adults.
The Breathing Method ★★★☆ – The only one not turned into a film and the least talked about of the four. Personally, I liked the creep factor in this one and I’m still curious about how exactly the club functions. I think I may need to reread this one later and see if I pick up on some more nuances because I think subconsciously I like this one much better than I’m allowing myself right now.
This novella collection is superb and I’m glad I FINALLY got around to reading them. Of course, there are slight differences in the novella to screen adaptations but nothing that makes that much of a difference, which was nice to read.
My Thoughts: 4/5 stars
Of all the Stephen King novella/short story collections, DIFFERENT SEASONS is one of my favorites (a second to FOUR PAST MIDNIGHT). I think this one also has some of the most well-known novellas because of the films that came after them – I mean who hasn’t seen Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption? If you’re looking for a King book to start with, this would be up there on the list of recommendations!
Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption is one where I saw the film first. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hear Morgan Freeman’s voice in my head while reading it (both times). Typically people either love the film or the book better and I think this was a case where I really enjoyed both.
I may be one of the few that hasn’t seen the adaptation of Apt Pupil yet. I know a lot of people really like this one, but it wasn’t one of my favorites in this collection. Novellas shouldn’t feel like they have lulls, but there was a moment of that here. So I think that was the main drawback for me with the pacing. I definitely want to see the adaptation now!
The Body brought such a classic film adaptation with it. I can’t think of anyone that I know that didn’t love that movie. One thing that King excels at is the coming-of-age stories for kids and the journeys they go on in the process. I think everyone can imagine what this adventure would have been like with their best friends. If you loved the movie, then I recommend picking this one up – either in this collection or in the newly released standalone edition.
The Breathing Method was more creepy than the others and had some more mystery around it. The little bit that the synopsis gives I think is the perfect amount of information you need. A strange club and a woman absolutely determined to give birth – I’m not quite sure why people aren’t fans of this one or why it’s usually forgotten in this collection, but I did enjoy it!
Overall, this was a great novella collection and one of the King books that I would recommend if you loved the adaptations or if you’re a fan of short stories. I know they aren’t for everyone, but these are definite standouts.