The Green Mile (novel)

The Green Mile is a novel written by Stephen King, and first released in 1996. A movie of the same name was released in 1999, and directed by Frank Darabont, the director of The Shawshank Redemption movie.

Brief plot

Below is a brief outline of the plot that does not reveal the story ending. You can read the full The Green Mile plot, which does reveal the ending.

The story is based primarily on the E Block of the Cold Mountain Penitentiary. The main characters are the inmates and wardens of the prison. The book is narrated by Paul Edgecombe, the captain of the guard. The "Green Mile" is the corridor from the cells where the prisons live to the execution room. These corridors are often called the "last mile". At Cold Mountain the linoleum floor is green.

The story is primarily set in the 1930s. There is a section where the main character Paul is shown as an old man in a nursing home.

The story revolves around John Coffey. A seven foot black man who is convicted of raping and killing two small white girls. He is a quiet man, who is afraid of the dark, which coupled with his enormous size makes him an memorable character. He is the calmest prisoner the warders have ever seen.

Other prisoners include Eduard Delacroix, a small and cowardly man with a pet mouse called Mr. Jingles, and William Wharton, a tough boaster claiming to be a modern day Billy the Kid.

The warders realize that John Coffey is different to any other inmate.

Read the full The Green Mile plot.


Initially the story was published as a series, in six low-priced paperbacks. King wrote the later volumes of the series after the first had been published. It is thought that King did this as a challenge, keeping with his style of crafting the story as it is written, rather than plotting the story before he starts writing.

The Green Mile is now available as a single volume. The novel is as the original series, with the exception of one passage where a character in a straitjacket wipes his brow. A mistake King and his editor did not spot.

Initial volumes

Volume Title Release date
1 Two Dead Girls March 28, 1996
2 The Mouse on the Mile April 25, 1996
3 Coffey's Hands May 30, 1996
4 The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix June 27, 1996
5 Night Journey July 25, 1996
6 Coffey on the Mile August 29, 1996


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