Number of pages: 560
Started: 11 June 2007
Finished: 22 June 2007
Different Seasons is comprised of four novellas, each completely different from the rest. The four stories are (with Stephen King's quotes included after the titles): Hope Springs Eternal - Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, 'about an off-beat prison break'; Summer Of Corruption - Apt Pupil, 'an old man and a young boy locked up in a gruesome relationship based on mutual parasitism'; Fall From Innocence - The Body, 'a quartet of country boys on a journey of discovery'; A Winter's Tale - The Breathing Method, 'an off-the-wall horror story about a young woman determined to give birth to her child no matter what (or maybe the story is about that odd Club that isn't a Club'.
I was mostly interested in reading this book because of Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption; The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favourite movies and I was interested in seeing how the book and the movie compared. I was surprised to find how similar they were - I had assumed that Hollywood would take a lot of liberties but a lot of the dialogue from the movie came straight out of King's story. So it's no surprise that I loved this novella. I think it's a brilliant story and a wonderful movie.
I found Apt Pupil to be really disturbing and couldn't wait to get it over with, which isn't to say it was a bad story, just that King did well to stir up my feelings of disgust and horror at these two terrible characters. I enjoyed The Body and the interrelationship between the characters. I've previously seen Stand By Me and enjoyed the movie, but didn't remember enough of the movie to interfere with the book. I liked the fact that the ending of The Breathing Method left many unanswered questions about the Club.
Overall, a really good read with some interesting and varied stories. When reading Rita Hayworth... and The Body, in particular, I had to keep reminding myself that this was Stephen King, the 'horror' writer. Highly recommended, even if you would usually avoid Stephen King, as there's next to no horror here.