It's been a long time since I read a Stephen King novel, and I might not have read this one if it had not turned up on our office's paperback swap shelf. I'd already seen the film, despite not being a Tom Hanks fan (so sue me), so I thought I knew the story.
As is so often the case, the book is significantly better than the film. This seems to be particularly true when it comes to Stephen King. There is so much subtle backstory that is lost in translation when creating screen plays.
Anyway, this is a first-person tale told from the perspective of Paul Edgecombe, the supervisor of Cold Mountain Penitentiary's death row in Georgia during the 1930s. He talks not only about his colleagues, but also about some of the prisoners -- John Coffey in particular. John is an African-American man accused of killing two Caucasian girls -- which is pretty much an "open-and-shut" case in the segregated South.
Over the course of time, Paul and his colleagues come to realize that John is more than what he appears to be (to say more would be to deliver spoilers).
This is an entertaining book about redemption, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.