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Editorial Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: If you've seen the Tom Hanks movie, you know this is a great story. But do yourself a favor and listen to it. Frank Muller, chosen to narrate by King himself, turns each character into flesh and blood with the pitch and pacing of his voice. I spent a Saturday with my headphones on because I couldn't turn off the story before finishing it. (I apologize for my rudeness to the person who called me that afternoon. You couldn't have known that I was dealing with life and death issues.) — Beth Anderson

Publisher's Summary

Hear this history-making serial novel - from cliffhanger to cliffhanger - in its entirety. When it first appeared, one volume per month, Stephen King's The Green Mile was an unprecedented publishing triumph: all six volumes ended up on the New York Times best seller list - simultaneously - and delighted millions of fans the world over.

Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile, keeping a date with "Old Sparky," Cold Mountain's electric chair. Prison guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile. But he's never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs...and yours.

©1999 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved (P)1999 Simon & Schuster, Inc., All Rights Reserved, AUDIOWORKS Is an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A literary event." (Entertainment Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

An excellent narrator and an excellent story.

I first read The Green Mile back in 2000 after wondering for some time whether the movie was the same as the book. I casually mentioned this to my sister and received the audiocassette version of this book as an Easter present. At the time I hadn't yet been exposed to the narration of Frank Muller or even had much exposure to Stephen King's work. I liked this book best out of those books that I had read. It's the story of Depression era Death Row, but more accurately it's the story of one prison guard's questioning the morality of his profession when an unusual prisoner, both in terms of his size and his personality, is sentenced to death for the brutal rape/murder of a pair of twin girls. Only the man's physical appearance (he's a nearly seven-foot-tall, musclebound black man), seems to support the charges of murder. His gentle, gentle, childlike personality however, doesn't fit, and when he is later revealed to possess a strange gift for healing, Paul Edgecomb begins to question not merely the nature of his own job, but whether or not the man accused of the unspeakable crime is the one who committed it. Frank Muller, a narrator who will be sorely missed, narrates this book with expression, giving each character a distinctive personality. So far I haven't found a book he's read that he didn't do justice. As I said above, he'll be sorely missed by those who loved his works. For those who don't know, Frank Muller was in a motorcycle accident some years back and, though he was wearing his helmet he nevertheless sustained severe head injuries. Two years ago this June he passed away, presumably having succumbed to his injuries. Regrettably however, even had he survived it's likely that his career as a narrator would have been finished. But at least he gave us many excellent works by which to remember him.

27 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Orita
  • Milford, CA, USA
  • 03-30-03

Both the book and the reader were just plain great

To me this was the kind of story that seeemed like I was there. The descriptions and characters had a vivid reality. Most of all I was filled with the emotions of the book. The little mouse was wonderful. He added so much to the story. I spent an awful amount of time listening instead of doing the stuff I should have been doing. The book needs no revision to keep the suspense for the several sections. It still reads very well.

24 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jeff
  • Silver Spring, MD, USA
  • 12-01-07


Man, the King can write, can't he? From word one, I was hooked. You know when you buy a really good watermelon at the store? You get home, cut that sucka up, take a tentative hopeful first bite and then sit back and think 'I am in good hands.' That's what I felt like hearing this book -- it's got everything -- great characters, incredible plot, just enough outlandish fantasy to keep things Kingesque.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stuart
  • HuddersfieldUnited Kingdom
  • 08-08-05

Right Book, Right Reader.... Enjoy!

The Green Mile is a great book. Originally released in 6 "episodes", the best thing about the narrative is the way Stephen King meters out the story to the reader.Just enough to keep you hooked at every point, but told with a "slow burn" and a style that gives you the feeling that everything that you are being told is leading up to something big, which it is!

The Characterisation is awesome in that you connect with these people, and you are given a clear idea of how to feel about the characters (with one exception, who you will learn to judge as the book progresses) without being patronised! Very satisfying.

This book is primarily about people, but it places them in a well realised environment that you do feel a part of as you read.

This book is read by Frank Muller, who has such a distinctive style, that after you've finished this audiobook, you'll find it hard to listen to any other book read by him without thinking you're listening to The Green Mile.

He is quite simply, the perfect reader for this particular book.

I warn you now that if you start this book, there's a good chance that you'll be hooked, and you'll want to listen to it again and again........... and you'd be right to do so.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • David
  • Statesville, NC, USA
  • 11-09-07


Entertaining from start to finish. Naration wonderful. This story is about inmates on death row and the effect on guards (Screws) in charge of their care. Do not let the "short story series" aspect deter you from listening. This is not a collection of "short stories". Rather it is a complete cohesive book that was originally published as a serial. It is one complete book that has been knit together masterfully by the King of suspense, Stephen King. I enjoyed every minute. Characters and story line are easy to follow. You will laugh, cry, cringe and be dismayed by the "system". You will not be disappointed. Buy this book, it is one of the best ever written.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dennis
  • Asheville, NC, USA
  • 07-07-03

Intriguing story that makes you want to believe

There is just a little bit of what I'd call supernatural in here, but for the most part it's just good fiction set in the 1930s (with flashes to later years). Methodical and interesting detail about the world that revolves around the electirc chair, with a compelling story about one inmate. I thought it was more main stream than other Stephen King works that I've read and found it thoroughly enjoyable.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jane
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • 09-27-12

An unusual story, makes me admire the author.

I was intrigued and interested with many characters. Of course I loved the character John Coffey. I was so sad for him. And I cried for him. I kept thinking of what I would have done to save his life. I wanted the other characters to do more than they did, but that would have been a different story. So I reluctantly accept the story I got. At one point John says he’s tired of being alone, wished he had someone with him to tell him where they’d been and where they were going. Another line in the book that will stay with me was about a type of killing: “it happens every day all over the world. If it happens, God lets it happen and when we say I don’t understand, God replies I don’t care.” I think the idea of God not caring is behind a number of Stephen King books. So, I know I won’t always get a happy ending from him. But the way he writes dialogue and events and characters are so worthwhile that I’ll keep reading.

I have two complaints about this book - technical. This was written as a six part series, each part published separately. Therefore each part has a recap of prior events to refresh the reader’s memory. This “refreshing of memory” was redundant. I wish the author would have taken those parts out when publishing the single book.

My second complaint was the jumping back and forth in time. The narrator is an old man recalling and writing about what happened in 1932 with John Coffey. The 1932 story is frequently interrupted with things happening in the old age story. I was ok with some of it, but not when he jumped in the middle of a critical scene. That was artificial suspense, which made me mad at the author and took me out of the story. Both stories are good and important for each other, but I would have liked the switching done at logical stopping points, not in the middle of conversations.

The narrator Frank Muller was wonderful - as usual.

Genre: mystery with fantasy, death row fiction.
Ending: mostly sad, but interesting for some.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


This was a terrific audio book. The characters were well drawn, thestory was riveting and moving and nearly brought tears to my eyes, and the narration was flawless. I have never read nor listened to Stephen King before, and was very dubious about this book, but I was very, very pleased that I downloaded it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • brenty
  • United States
  • 03-12-14


I don't have a lot to say about this book. I saw the movie years ago, thought it was great, but had mostly forgotten it. I'm going to have to revisit the movie now to compare and contrast.

This book didn't change my life or anything, but it held my interest incredibly well and was -- at the risk of sounding pithy -- incredibly touching and inspiring in a way that is just uncommon enough to be special.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Green Mile

An incredibly written book with a narration just as incredible. You can't go wrong with this one.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful