The Green Mile is a 1996 serial novel written by Stephen King. It tells the story of death row supervisor Paul Edgecombe's encounter with John Coffey, an unusual inmate who displays inexplicable healing and empathetic abilities. The serial novel was originally released in six volumes before being republished as a single volume work. The book is an example of magical realism.
The setting for Cold Mountain State Penitentiary is inspired by Louisiana State Penitentiary, although unlike in the book, Louisiana only installed the electric chair in 1938, while the book is set in 1932.
The Green Mile was first published in six low-priced paperback volumes. The first, subtitled The Two Dead Girls was published on March 28, 1996, with new volumes following monthly until the final volume, Coffey on the Mile, was released on August 29, 1996. The novel was republished as a single paperback volume on May 5, 1997. On October 3, 2000, the book was published in its first hardcover edition (ISBN 978-0743210898). In 2007, Subterranean Press released a 10th anniversary edition of the novel in three different versions, each mimicking the original six-volume release: the Gift Edition, limited to 2,000 copies, containing six unsigned hardcover volumes of each separate part, housed in a slipcase; the Limited Edition, limited to 148 numbered copies, and signed by Stephen King, housed in a slipcase; and the Lettered Edition, limited to 52 lettered copies, and signed by Stephen King, housed in a traycase. Every edition contained new illustrations by Mark Geyer, the novel's original illustrator. Each version had its own design, and cost $150, $900, and $2,500, respectively.