Different Seasons is a compilation of 4 stories....
- Hope Springs Eternal: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption This is the story the movie The Shawshank Redemption was based on...and the movie was spot on. I am utterly impressed by how such a descriptive story can be told in only 100 pages. Amaze-balls!
- Summer of Corruption: Apt Pupil This is the story of a teenage boy who becomes obsessed with a Nazi war criminal and hearing the stories of what he did to the Jews.
- Fall From Innocence: The Body This is the story the movie Stand By Me was based on..and again, the movie was brilliantly done in relation to the story King wrote.
In the early 1980s, Stephen King wanted to create a collection of novelettes that were not horror stories - although the last story was clearly a supernatural one. Three of these four novelettes were made into movies! I've heard of most of them but have yet to review all the films.
These stories are broken down into seasons, in the order of spring, summer, fall and winter.
The first tale is Rita Hayworth & The Shawshank Redemption, also a film named simply "Shawshank Redemption", narrated by an inmate named Red and his involvement with the rough life of a prison inmate and its corruption among the guards and wardens, but also a story of a man falsely accused of a double murder, Andy Dufresne. The book has some hard-to-read graphic parts but overall is entertaining. I did enjoy the first person narrative through most of it.
The second story is The Apt Pupil, also made into a film with Ian McKellan, about a high school student who becomes fascinated with the Nazis. In his search he finds at a former war criminal is living in his neighborhood. Ironic that this man has avoided capture by Nazi hunters for decades, only to be found out by a teenager. The teenager is told of the real atrocities of the war to a degree where he begins to change, loses his innocence (if he had any at all) and both the war criminal and the teenager embark on a path of horror.
The third story, made into the film "Stand By Me" is called "The Body", an apparent coming of age story of four boys who discover the whereabouts of a dead boy hit by a train. The adventure begins with them getting there, what happens when they are discovered, and where are they now, told in first person by one of the boys who is now a famous novelist. The story is realistic, but peppered with a lot of vulgar language (just an observation, not a criticism).
The last tale is mysterious - a man makes his way to a "men's club" that is way more than it seems. It's broken down into four parts where we meet the narrator, find out a bit about him and his lonely life, discover a large room where stories are told and the results of that tale. It's a story within a story and the ending is a bit anti-climatic to me at least. As far as I know, this last story was not adapted to film.