Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stephen King Revives the `Chapbook'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Stephen King Revives the `Chapbook'

Article excerpt

THE GREEN MILE

No. 1: The Two Dead Girls

A serial novel by Stephen King

92 pages, Signet, $2.99

STEPHEN KING has revived a technique that last succeeded for Charles Dickens: the chapbook, a novel in installments, like the one-reel serials that movie theaters showed to juvenile audiences of the '40s and '50s.

He plans to publish "The Green Mile" in six paperback installments, at $2.99 each, plus tax. Those who buy all six will shell out about $18. That's an awfully pricey paperback book. On the other hand, it's a dicey deal for King.

What if the first one bombs and nobody buys the rest?

I found the first one a mixed bag.

The writing is splendid. King evokes time (the early 1930s) and place (death row in a Georgia prison) wonderfully.

He pins the mood down perfectly; his narrator points out that after all the chores of prison were done, "mostly there was waiting - in prison there's always plenty of that, so much it never gets done. …

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