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Different Seasons [Mass Market Paperback]

Stephen King
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 4 2014 Signet
From the Magical Pen of Stephen King, Four Mesmerizing Novellas…

“Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption”

An unjustly imprisoned convict seeks a strange and startling revenge…the basis for the Best Picture Academy Award nominee The Shawshank Redemption.

“Apt Pupil”

Todd Bowden is one of the top students in his high school class and a typical American sixteen-year-old—until he becomes obsessed about the dark and deadly past of an older man in town. The inspiration for the film Apt Pupil from Phoenix Pictures.

“The Body”

Four rambunctious young boys plunge through the façade of a small town and come face-to-face with life, death, and intimations of their own mortality. The film Stand By Me is based on this novella.

“The Breathing Method”

A disgraced woman is determined to triumph over death.

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Product Description

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Different Seasons (1982) is a collection of four novellas, markedly different in tone and subject, each on the theme of a journey. The first is a rich, satisfying, nonhorrific tale about an innocent man who carefully nurtures hope and devises a wily scheme to escape from prison. The second concerns a boy who discards his innocence by enticing an old man to travel with him into a reawakening of long-buried evil. In the third story, a writer looks back on the trek he took with three friends on the brink of adolescence to find another boy's corpse. The trip becomes a character-rich rite of passage from youth to maturity.

These first three novellas have been made into well-received movies: "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption" into Frank Darabont's 1994 The Shawshank Redemption (available as a screenplay, a DVD film, and an audiocassette), "Apt Pupil" into Bryan Singer's 1998 film Apt Pupil (also released in 1998 on audiocassette), and "The Body" into Rob Reiner's Stand by Me (1986).

The final novella, "Breathing Lessons," is a horror yarn told by a doctor, about a patient whose indomitable spirit keeps her baby alive under extraordinary circumstances. It's the tightest, most polished tale in the collection. --Fiona Webster


“To find the secret of his success, you have to compare King to Twain and Poe—  King’s stories tap the roots of myth buried in all our minds.”—Los Angeles Times

“Buy Different Seasons. I promise you’ll enjoy it….He creates people who are so alive, you can almost sense them.”—Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“The wondrous readability of his work, as well as the instant sense of communication with his characters, are what make King the consummate storyteller that he is.”—Houston Chronicle

“Hypnotic.”—The New York Times Book Review

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
There's a guy like me in every state and federal prison in America, I guess-I'm the guy who can get it for you. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read This and Tell Me He's Not The Master Dec 10 2003
Format:School & Library Binding
I have no patience anymore for people who say, "Stephen King is not much of a writer." How can they say that? Because he is succesful? Because his books sell? Because he has chosen horror (primarily) as his genre? Please read this collection of short works (4 novellas? 4 longish short stories?) and tell me that he is not the master. Yes, he has written some loopy stories at times; yes, he has written books that seem self-undulgent or just plain weird. But if you read these classic scribblings (Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, The Breathing Method, Apt Pupil, The Body), you will begin to see why Stehpen King is the most successful writer who has ever lived: (success = every book he has ever written is still in print, still on the shelves, and this goes way back to Carrie in 1973-74; he has earned over a billion dollars in sales, not counting film royalties). Read these stories and you will begin to see the first of the two particular talents he has in abundance: humanity. He writes HUMAN characters. He knows PEOPLE. He can put a mirror up to the human condition like the best literary writers. His second talent is that he can and does tell a story. This is how he gets under the literary writers' collective skins and surpasses them and everybody else in the marketplace. In short, he is successful because he has the talent of the literary writers and he has the plot ambition of the popular writers. He's the writer who has it all. All hail, the master! I am proud to be numbered among his fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel Jolley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For all those who doubt the fact that Stephen King is one of the all-time great masters at the craft of writing, there is Different Seasons. If nothing else, the doubters should at least acknowledge King's important contribution to reviving the lost art of the novella. King has always said he would write, whether he ever sold a single book - and I think that is completely true. He didn't write these four novellas with publication in mind; each one was written immediately after the completion of a best-selling novel - and each one just sort of sat there after it was finished. What, after all, can a modern author really do with manuscripts too long to be short stories and too short to be novels? Eventually, the idea came to King to just publish them together, with a title that speaks to the fact that these are not the author's usual blood-dripping, creepy-crawling horror stories. In doing so, he not only gave us four of his most captivating works of fiction, he showed a whole new generation of readers the vast, inherent power of the novella.

Three of these four novellas are even better-known than many of King's best-selling novels - due in no small part to the movie adaptations that followed in their wake. It all started with the film Stand By Me - which was not marketed as an adaptation of a Stephen King work of fiction. This was a smart move, considering some of the weak adaptations of earlier King novels. I can only guess how many impressed moviegoers were shocked to learn that Stand By Me was adapted from King's novella The Body. It's a story of four boys who set off to see a dead body, that of another kid hit by a train; their adventure makes for an extraordinary coming-of-age story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars This Book is A Beautiful Work of Art Oct. 3 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book was a wild, and intense ride, and helped me look at things a a very different way. I understood (from the afterword) King's need to write something other than horrer. I myself like to write short horror stories and there's always something there telling me to write a grand fantasy or a bizarre science fiction. The books themselves were each different like the seasons they were named for. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, a book about a willfull man named Andy Dufresne who is wrongly put in jail and uses his own mind and sense of self to stay sane and escape. It was one of my favorites. Though some parts were slightly gruesome, it was all in all a hope inspiring, flax golden tale. When you think about it after you read it, it reminds you of flowers blooming and fending off sudden frosts and cold spells, just like the season of spring for which it was named.
The Apt Pupil, my least favorite, is about an adolescent boy who figures out his elderly neighbor is really an old Nazi Death Camp officer and tortures him for his own enjoyment, twisting his own mind, and retwisting the ming of the old man. This story was too long and too intense, just like summer can be. The whole book was like riding a demented roller coaster from Hell. I enjoyed the story sometimes, but sometimes it was just to violent, too demented, or at some points too corrupted. I had to put the book down for a week or two after the old man baked the stray cat in his oven. It was way too sad and mean. I guess I liked it simply because I like horror, but it was just too "icky".
The Body was the best story of them all. It was about four boys who venture far away from home to find the body of another boy their age. It was cool and calming just like fall. Everything in the story was so beautifully detailed.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not a bad set of short story's.
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Brown
2.0 out of 5 stars Different season
Interesting stories. Some held my attention better than others. I actually preferred the movie version of shawshank redemption to the book.
Published 16 months ago by carol anne woods
5.0 out of 5 stars The Seasons of Stephen King
This is the first of three books Stephen King has released that contain four novella-length stories. The other two collections are Four Past Midnight and Full Dark, No Stars. Read more
Published 20 months ago by John M. Ford
4.0 out of 5 stars Different Seasons
This book is excellent. It was written years ago, and my origional copy was lost. I bought another at Amazon, and re-read it, and enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read... Read more
Published on March 12 2011 by aprilrose0048
5.0 out of 5 stars The proof that Stephen King is a great writer...
Different Seasons is perhaps the best Stephen King book with which to initiate the neophyte who says, "He can't be a good writer - he writes HORROR. Read more
Published on June 13 2004 by JR Pinto
4.0 out of 5 stars Four great non-horror King novellas
"Different Seasons" is not your typical King horror novel. It is a compilation of 4 novellas (short stories). Three of the stories were eventually made into movies. Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by Michael Weiser
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
The book, A Diffrent Season, is a really exciting book with a good balance of love and baseball. It is about a girl who wants to play baseball, and how the baseball star and a girl... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2003 by a student
5.0 out of 5 stars Four terrific tales from a master storyteller.
If you've never read Stephen King before, this book is an excellent place to start, as it will show you that King is much more than just a "horror" writer. Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2003 by doctor_beth
5.0 out of 5 stars The Body is Amazing
In the book, Different Seasons, I read the 3rd story, "The Body". Even, though I put my age as 12, i am 13. Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best....
This collection of stories has to rank as my favorite. Most people have seen the adapted movies: Stand by me; The Shawshank Redemption; and Apt Pupil, but the stories offer much... Read more
Published on April 28 2003 by Charles J Horne
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