Title: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption
Author: Stephen King
First published August 27, 1982
181 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780896214408 (ISBN10: 0896214400)
Paul Edgecomb, a prison officer, oversees death row at Cold Mountain Penitentiary. He witnesses a miraculous healing of one of his inmates, John Coffey, who possesses a supernatural gift.
As the execution date approaches, Paul struggles with his own beliefs and the system he works for. Meanwhile, John Coffey’s fate hangs in the balance as he faces the ultimate punishment for a crime he did not commit.
Discover the power of redemption and the resilience of the human spirit in this gripping tale by Stephen King.
About the Author
Stephen Edwin King was born as the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. When he was two years old, his father abandoned the family, leaving Stephen and his older brother, David, to be raised by their mother.
Stephen spent some of his childhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father’s family lived, and in Stratford, Connecticut. However, when Stephen was eleven, his mother decided to move her children back to Durham, Maine, permanently.
Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become too old to care for themselves, and Ruth King was convinced by her sisters to take on their physical care. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support.
After Stephen’s grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.
Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. While studying at the University of Maine at Orono, he began writing a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS.
He was also actively involved in student politics as a member of the Student Senate. Stephen initially held conservative views on the Vietnam War, but he later came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus.
In 1970, he graduated with a B.A. in English and was qualified to teach on the high school level. However, a draft board examination after graduation found him unfit for military service due to high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.
Stephen met Tabitha Spruce while working as a student at the Fogler Library at the University, and they got married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to secure a teaching position immediately, the couple relied on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, Tabitha’s student loan and savings, and occasional income from selling short stories to men’s magazines.
In 1967, Stephen made his first professional short story sale (“The Glass Floor”). He continued to sell stories to men’s magazines throughout the early years of his marriage, and many of these stories were later compiled into collections or appeared in other anthologies.
In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, a public high school in Hampden, Maine. He continued to write in his free time, producing short stories and working on novels during evenings and weekends.
Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, written by legendary horror author Stephen King, is a novella that was first published on August 27, 1982. The story falls under the genre of literary fiction and is known for its poignant themes that touch upon the human experience.
The novella has since been adapted into a highly successful film, The Shawshank Redemption, which has achieved cult status among movie lovers.
The story is set in the mid-20th century and revolves around the character of Andy Dufresne, who is convicted of a murder he did not commit and sentenced to life imprisonment at Shawshank State Penitentiary. The novella is narrated from the perspective of Red, a fellow inmate who befriends Andy and develops a deep respect for him.
The story follows their relationship as they navigate the harsh realities of prison life, and Andy’s relentless pursuit of freedom.
King’s writing style is gripping and evocative, and he paints a vivid picture of the brutal and unforgiving world of prison. The characters are expertly crafted, with Andy and Red emerging as fully realized individuals, each with their own hopes, fears, and motivations.
The novella is a masterful exploration of themes such as justice, redemption, and the power of human connection in the face of adversity.
One of the strengths of the novella is its pacing, which is taut and expertly controlled. The story moves along at a brisk pace, with each chapter building upon the tension and drama of the previous one.
The plot structure is also expertly crafted, with King expertly weaving in twists and turns that keep the reader engaged and guessing until the very end.
However, one of the weaknesses of the novella is its brevity. At just over 100 pages, the story feels somewhat truncated, and some readers may wish for a more in-depth exploration of the characters and their backstories.
Overall, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is a masterful work of literature that deserves its place among the best of King’s oeuvre. The novella is a poignant exploration of the human experience that is sure to resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds.
For those who have seen the film but have not yet read the book, it is highly recommended, as it offers a more nuanced and detailed look at the characters and their motivations. For those who are looking for a gripping and thought-provoking read, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption is not to be missed.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.