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Different Seasons Mass Market Paperback – Aug 29 1983

4.4 out of 5 stars 198 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (Aug. 29 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451167538
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451167538
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 198 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

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Inside This Book

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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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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
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. Each of the stories is matched loosely to a season of the year.

"Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" is the story of Andy Dufresne, sent to prison for murdering his wife and her lover. Andy quickly stops protesting his innocence after learning that "we're all innocent in here." Andy finds ways to make his sentence more bearable and help some of his fellow inmates. This story was made into the film The Shawshank Redemption.

In "Apt Pupil" we learn that the unassuming and reclusive Arthur Denker is really a Nazi war criminal. A neighborhood boy named Todd knows this and blackmails Denker into teaching him how to torture and kill. The authorities bumble around trying to catch both of them. This story was made into the film Apt Pupil.

"The Body" is about four boys who go on an overnight trek to confirm the rumor of a dead body near some train tracks. As they walk, we learn about each of the boys, their town, and the jokes, stories and games of early 1960's childhood. The story was the basis for the film Stand By Me.

"The Breathing Method" is the only story in this collection that has not--as yet--been made into a film.
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