So, I was more than happy to join Wensend and Fourth Street Review for their March reading event, King's March, in which bloggers will read Stephen King books and link up on their blogs weekly to share their thoughts. This gave me the chance to read a story I'd been curious about for awhile. I decided to read Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, a King short story that may be better known by its movie title, "The Shawshank Redemption." At only 77 pages, it didn't take long at all and was worth it.
In King's short story, Red is the man who can "get things" in Shawshank prison. This sets him up as the perfect narrator because everyone knows him and he knows everyone. Red gives his own background story, the intentional murder of his wife and incidentally, the accidental death of the neighbor woman and her child, in a car with weakened brakes. He then begins to talk about Andy Dufresne, a banker who was found guilty of murdering his wife and her lover. From the start Andy claims innocence, which is hard for any of the inmates to believe. Andy begins the next twenty-some years being abused by fellow prisoners. He soon finds his groove when he begins helping prison guards get the most from their taxes and the warden's money laundering. He becomes important within the prison and is allowed to open a library, also gaining the protection of the guards from the torture of other inmates. Andy becomes so important that it seems the warden will do anything to make sure he never leaves Shawshank, even when a clear opportunity arises.
What no one knows about is Andy's secret activity...not even Red, who is closer to him than anyone. However, I don't want to spoil it, in case you've neither read this story, nor seen the movie. It is too good to know the ending ahead of time.
I have to say, the movie did a satisfactory job at keeping to the story. Of course, having seen the movie countless times, I imagined Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins playing the roles of Red and Andy throughout. Even when the story revealed to me that the character of Red is an Irsihman, therefore also a white man, I still preferred Morgan Freeman...he's the bomb! And honestly, I'd say make sure you see the movie! They changed a few things and even removed a few years and characters to make the movie flow, but overall, the entire story is intact and I much prefer the justice of the movie's ending to that of the story. (And you know you don't hear the movie preference from me often!) Guess you'll just have to read and watch to see what I mean.
What's your experience with Stephen king's short stories?