Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme, hosted on its own blog. This week’s question is:
What’s the last book that made you spring to your feet, eager to spread the word and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it?
I wouldn’t exactly say I sprung to my feet after reading this, as I kind of felt like it kicked me in the gut. Amusingly, I’d been hearing for years how I had to see the movie, had to see the movie, how have you not seen this movie yet?! Naturally I was more drawn to the book, and a couple months ago I finally picked it up: Stephen King’s The Green Mile.
I was not at all prepared for the emotional toll this book had on me. I knew only the barest hints of the plot — something to do with a prison and a death row inmate and miracles — but a lot of what happened I could see coming ahead of time. Not in a bad way. The parts that were supposed to surprise me did, and I got the feeling that the parts that didn’t surprise me weren’t supposed to. In that way, it was a very natural story… natural in its progression and inevitable in its conclusion.
This is a book that defies categorization. Last time I discussed genre a bit, and I wouldn’t call this a thriller. It sort of fits my own qualifications (some parts stand out over others, but on the whole it was rather light on the suspense and urgency), but it just doesn’t “feel” like a thriller. I wouldn’t call it horror either, though apparently I’m in the minority. It won a Bram Stoker Award, after all, and it’s shelved/tagged as horror more than any other genre on both Goodreads and LibraryThing. Maybe it’s just King’s name that leads people in that direction, but it didn’t feel like any other horror I’ve read.
Whatever it was. It really doesn’t matter, because any time I think about it, I forget all about the specifications of one genre or another, and I’m just pulled back into the story. It was so good, the first 5-star book I’d read since last summer. And now I can understand all the people who were shocked and dismayed that I hadn’t seen the movie. I still haven’t seen it, but I’m honestly not sure if I want to. Partly because the book was so good and how could the movie possibly do it justice (though I thought The Shawshank Redemption was fantastic, and Frank Darabont adapted and directed both movies). But more just because it hit me SO hard, and I honestly don’t know that I can put myself through that again.
A final note (speaking of things that hit me hard): I still can’t believe sometimes that Michael Clarke Duncan is gone. It’s not that I forget, exactly, that I think he’s still alive. I just don’t think about him at all, and then whenever I do, it hits me all over again. Usually celebrity deaths don’t affect me, but his did for some reason. So, maybe I do need to see the movie, if only to see him in his most celebrated role. Then again, that’s just another layer of emotion, another kick in the gut… maybe I’m better off just sticking with The Whole Nine Yards.
What’s your last “have to tell everyone about it” book?