Reviews

Different Seasons, by Stephen King

katiebromley's review

Go to review page

4.0

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption - Great! The movie follows this story perfectly so I knew exactly what was going to happen but I enjoyed reading this nonetheless.

Apt Pupil - Hated it. This is probably the most disturbing story I’ve ever read. I normally read right before bed and this was so messed up that I literally dreamed about it and got a horrible nights sleep. I think because this story brought in elements of real history (Nazis/The Holocaust) that it was particularly distressing to read.

The Body - Loved it!!! Just like Shawshank Redemption, the movie follows this novella almost exactly. I do think I liked the book a little more because it did add more depth to their relationships and how the search for the body impacted the friends.

Breathing Method - An unexpected thought provoker. I had no context or clue as to what this story was going to be and I loved it. Both stories within the story had elements of surprise and mystery about them that had my imagination running. A really pleasant surprise story to end the collection.

Overall this book would have easily been 5 stars for me if I hadn’t hated Apt Pupil as much as I did. In the end I have to give it a 4 because of that.

soursock's review

Go to review page

3.0

First two stories were good

elenacini's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

4 racconti lunghi. Uno più bello ed intenso dell'altro.

stefan_mursic's review against another edition

Go to review page

5.0

1. Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
2. Apt Pupil ⭐⭐⭐⭐
3. The Body ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
4. The Breathing Method ⭐⭐⭐⭐
5. Afterword ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

ruskie's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

What I liked the most is the last tale in the book, perhaps the less famous. The one nobody wanted to make a film out of. The breathing method - I might be wrong but it reminded me of Poe. Like - a lot.

jaded618's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Woah, what a ride.

I thought the beginning of this book was crazy enough, and then it just got worse and worse. I was just astonished by the ending!!

fina_abena's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

nur "Die Leiche" gelesen

thatgirlrobin's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

I wasn’t thoroughly gripped by some of this. But the classic stories in here and worth the read. Shawshank and The Body were the two best, and they get well deserved respect in my opinion.

veelaughtland's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption - 4/5 stars.

I've seen the film adaptation of this, The Shawshank Redemption, once before and it was a long time ago, but my memory of the story was still fairly accurate. I also remember being underwhelmed by the adaptation, but now I'm really inspired to go back and give it a second chance because I really enjoyed this novella. Red as a narrator was a fantastic choice for telling the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker imprisoned in Shawshank for murdering his wife and her lover, a crime he is adamant he didn't do. The prison life is gone into in depressing detail, and I really felt like I was in there with them. It was quite bleak at times but not without hope, and even though the characters kept their guard up a lot of the time, I still felt I knew them by the end, even though we hadn't spent that much time together. Definitely well worth a read.

Apt Pupil - 4/5 stars.

This was the longest novella in the collection, and my personal favourite - it felt a lot more like the King I'm used to in its darkness and its examination of the human capacity for evil. Although I hadn't seen the adaptation of this yet, I felt worried going in that I already knew too much about it - that it was about a young All-American boy called Todd who finds out that an old man in his neighbourhood is actually a Nazi war criminal in hiding. But oh no, there is so much more to this story than that. In fact, you know these facts within the first few pages. What it leads to however was the real surprise, and I loved the depths it went to. The characters genuinely bothered me, especially Todd, and they really got under my skin. And I could never have predicted the twists and turns and the ending. Some bits dragged maybe a little bit, but overall this is a really strong story if you like your novellas messed up and uncomfortable. Highly recommended.

The Body - 3/5 stars.

This was probably my least favourite novella of the collection, but it was still really good! The inspiration for the beloved movie Stand By Me (which I do remember enjoying but again, it was a long time a go), this novella was again a change of pace from the ones that came prior. It is narrated by Gordon, a grown man looking back on his childhood in Castle Rock and an event that changed his and his three friend's lives forever. It's a classic tale of lost innocence, and a bit of road-trip style story at that (although without the vehicle). But I did find that the story felt a little on the thin side in comparison to the previous ones I had read, and some material (mainly Gordie's story interludes) felt a little bit like filler. I was satisfied with the ending, and I liked the vulnerability that the characters exhibited, but it didn't hit me quite in the same way that the others did. Still definitely worth a read though, and it's made me also want to revisit this classic film as well.

The Breathing Method - 3/5 stars (but probably closer to a 3.5 if I was still rating things in half stars).

This one was the real unknown in the collection - it's the shortest novella in the collection at less than 100 pages, and it's also the only one that's never adapted. I can definitely see why - the story is too short to provide enough material for a full-length feature film, and I can't imagine certain scenes being filmed without looking incredibly fake and/or cheesy. Maybe in an 80s movie, but not now. However, this one is the closest to horror that the collection strays, and is also the most bizarre. I felt the first half of it let it down a little bit, it's kind of a story within a story in some respects. But when the actual crux of the story gets going, it will leave you captivated. It's about a woman determined to give birth no matter what, and even I didn't understand the true meaning behind that until around the last 10 or so pages. I could never have envisaged what was coming, and it was genuinely shocking and grotesque, let me tell you. King is fantastic at horror writing, and it put me in the mood for one of his full-length horror novels after this, perfect for coming into October.

Overall this collection was highly entertaining and immensely readable. King is a brilliant storyteller, and the fact that he wrote these stories off the back of full-length novels with his leftover creativity is insane. I'm glad I finally got to this because his work always gets me out of a slump.

Reviews to follow.

thereadingtrashqueen's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil were absolutely brilliant. 5/5 for sure! Absolute favorites.

The first I had read before a long time ago, but the other stories were new to me. I will be watching the movie of Apt Pupil because damn, that was disturbing. I happened to listen to it on Holocaust Remembrance Day and that just added an extra layer of horror at the story.

The Body was my least favorite, as I had trouble connecting to it, and The Breathing Method was a bit too short for me. I felt like it needed a little more, but that may have been the audio. I will definitely have to reread it when I get my hands on this book in physical form!