author: Stephen King
genre: Fiction, inmates, escape
dates read: May 8th – May 12th
review: 5 out of 5 stars
summary: Red is an inmate at Shawshank state prison. He recounts his story, mostly in context to Andy Dufresne, a fellow inmate who was in the prison for more than twenty years. Red himself is in there for close to forty years. He describes their lives on the inside and the friendship that blossoms as Andy proves himself to the powers that be. In his former life he was a banker and ends up helping the guards and administrative staff at the prison do their taxes, file for loans, invest their money, and addresses whatever other financial needs they might have. But he is carefully planning his escape, something that takes extreme patience and even more luck.
personal thoughts: I love the movie adaptation and found that it followed the book quite closely. While this is a pretty short story, King has developed strong characters in Andy and Red. Andy’s persistence and quiet nature is admirable. I love how Red tells his story, his unassuming way. Together these characters create a wonderful story that was compelling and rich.
“If the weather bureau says the hurricane just changed course, this guy assumes it’ll change back in order to put his house on ground-zero again. This second type of guy knows there’s no harm in hoping for the best as long as you’re prepared for the worst.” p. 67
“Writing about yourself seems to be a lot like sticking a branch into clear river-water and roiling up the muddy bottom.” p. 94