King of the Dark Episode 4: Different Seasons

Welcome to Episode 4 of King of the Dark, our ongoing weekly series of excursions into the parallel universes created by Stephen King.  On today’s episode, Louis Peitzman, Liz Braswell and Bill Tipper have their hands full with a quartet of worlds to explore, all drawn from King’s 1982 collection of four novellas, Different Seasons. If that title doesn’t ring a bell, consider that three out of the four were adapted as feature films:  the opening tale “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” became the Academy Award-nominated 1994 film The Shawshank Redemption. “The Body” became Rob Reiner’s 1986 classic Stand By Me, starring a young River Pheonix and Will Wheaton. And “Apt Pupil” was adapted into a dark suspense film of the same name featuring Sir Ian McKellan. Different Seasons might be one of King’s less well known titles — but its stories have proved as enduring as any of his books: and the ending is positively haunting.  Featured in this conversation:  embattled masculinity, Morgan Freeman as the greatest narrator of all time, the word “gooshy,” and a sincere apology concerning pizza.

You can start with the beginning of King of the Dark with our episode on Carrie, or check out last week’s episode here. Or Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Stitcher to follow King of the Dark and hear fascinating author interviews from the B&N Podcast every week.


A “hypnotic” (The New York Times Book Review) collection of four novellas—including the inspirations behind the films Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption—from Stephen King, bound together by the changing of seasons, each taking on the theme of a journey with strikingly different tones and characters.

This gripping collection begins with “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” in which an unjustly imprisoned convict seeks a strange and startling revenge—the basis for the Best Picture Academy Award-nominee The Shawshank Redemption.

Next is “Apt Pupil,” the inspiration for the film of the same name about top high school student Todd Bowden and his obsession with the dark and deadly past of an older man in town.

In “The Body,” four rambunctious young boys plunge through the façade of a small town and come face-to-face with life, death, and intimations of their own mortality. This novella became the movie Stand By Me.

Finally, a disgraced woman is determined to triumph over death in “The Breathing Method.”

“The wondrous readability of his work, as well as the instant sense of communication with his characters, are what make Stephen King the consummate storyteller that he is,” hailed the Houston Chronicle about Different Seasons.

Explore all of Stephen King’s books at Barnes & Noble.

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