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Christians who like the genre of fantasy fiction have become increasingly sensitive to friendly themes in the novels of Stephen King. In his 1989 preface to The Stand, King summarized his epic apocalypse as a "long tale of dark Christianity." His novel Desperation (1996) turned on the meaning of 1 John 4:8 for a boy who had just been converted through a Methodist minister."It seemed to me that most people who are writing novels of supernatural suspense are very interested in evil, and the evil side resonates for them," King said about Desperation in an Internet interview. "And I wanted to see if I could create a strong force of good and desperation, as well. So it's a very Christian novel in that way, too. It's going to make some people uncomfortable, I think."Last year came The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, with its heroine guided by God through a hellacious misadventure in the North Woods. God's intermediary becomes a Red Sox pitcher who himself credits the Lord with all his "saves." Last winter's Storm of the Century was a teleplay about collective guilt interpreted through the story of Legion in Mark 5 and Luke 8. While King's admirers wondered how a serious accident last summer would affect his work, the movie version of The Green Mile arrived in time for Christmas.The movie, which stars Tom Hanks, David Morse, and Michael Clarke Duncan, was directed by Frank Darabont, who also directed The Shawshank Redemption. Darabont wrote the script for The Green Mile, but has stayed close to the original, apparently adding only one scene. The rest of the movie, including the last line—which many reviewers attributed to Darabont—is straight Stephen King. Darabont did leave out a key scene from the book, a dream sequence in which the ...

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March 6, 2000

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