Different Seasons – Apt Pupil

Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank RedemptionAs I already said before, when I was writing about my Mountain of Books, I am going to read Different Seasons in between other books. My reason for doing this is because this novel contains 4 great novellas, 3 out of these 4 novellas had been made into movies. I have seen 2 of them and still looking forward to see the other one. I have reviewed the first novella back in 2010 and will read the next novellas soon.

A lot of people said that Apt Pupil is the worst novellas in Different Seasons, but I have to disagree with them. I might not like Apt Pupil as much as Shawshank Redemption, but I still enjoy it a lot. This novella really defines my objection on Kick-Ass (a movie), I said in my review that I like Kick-Ass less than anyone I know because of the little girl who goes on killing people but turns up to be normal. I find that VERY impossible. Kid will easily corrupted by such killing. Apt Pupil really shows how scary story can turns normal kid into a creepy kid.

The story begins with the appearance of Todd Bowden, a bright 13 year old boy who once claimed as an apt pupil by his school. Todd had been spying on an old man for a couple of months. The day to show himself in front of the old man finally came. Todd knocked on the front door of Arthur Denker’s house. Mr. Denker was annoyed with Todd but his annoyance soon changed into a surprised as Todd called him as Kurt Dussander, a fugitive Nazi who had killed thousands of Jews during the war. Todd told him that he wanted to know EVERYTHING about the war. He wanted Dussander to spill all the gooey part of the concentration camp.

Out of threat, Dussander started telling Todd everything he had done in the concentration camp. He hated the boy from waking up all the nightmares he had been trying to forget for years. Todd felt like he own the old man in his hand, but things started to change when Todd started having nightmares about the war. A mind of a 13 year old boy is supposed to be pure of ideas on how to torture people, but Todd’s mind was full of imagination from Dussander’s horrible past. Dussander told him how he gassed the inmate, how he tortured them with food, and many other horrible stories. The stories sipped on to Todd’s mind and made him had all those nightmares. Dussander also had the same kind of nightmares, the boy had somehow aroused the monster inside Dussader.

The boy’s mind changed bit by bit, he became more convulsive and easily lost his temper. He ended up killing someone and soon realized that his nightmares will go away after the killing. Todd had turned into Dussander’s apt pupil without him realizing it. The relationship between Todd and Dussander was between hate and love, they both hated each other but they couldn’t get away from each other.

Faith brought them to a situation where they could not escape anymore. Simple thing led to another bigger thing.

I really like this novella. In only 178 pages, we could see how each character’s role changes from the one who has the control into someone who is under the control. A relationship based on curiosity that turned into hate and yet, in the end, there is no one else to trust but the one they hated the most. We can also see how normal kid can easily be changed into a cold blooded serial killer because of stories that he isn’t supposed to know before he is old enough to understand them. A sleeping monster can easily be awoken if you keep on making him remember his past life.

Once again, Stephen King has made me awed with his book. It is interesting to see how he writes opening lines before each novella that somehow related to seasons and the story. Hope Springs Eternal for Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption because the story is about the power of hopes. Summer of Corruption for Apt Pupil because the story is about someone’s mind being slowly corrupted. I put several months between the first novella to the second one, but I don’t think I can do that anymore now…I will read The Body as soon as I finished my current book.

Book Details:

Title  : Apt Pupil (Novella) from Different Seasons
Other Novella  : Rita Hayworth and The Shawshank Redemption; The Body, The Breathing Method
Author  : Stephen King
Language  : English
Page  : 111 to 290 (in Different Seasons)
Publisher  : Penguin Group
Rating  : 


  1. Interesting review. It is scary what can happen to people depending what influences they experience. Stephen King really has a talent for finding scary and worrying topics. I received Full Dark, No Stars yesterday… Felt in the mood to read something of him but none of the novels that I have as they are too long. Curious to see how it is.

    1. This novella was quite scary,it kinda worry me if I ever become a mother.

      I haven’t read Full Dark yet, but I read some great reviews about the book. I will read it one day, as I’m planning to read ALL SK’s books

  2. Excellent review. Apt Pupil isn’t one of my favourite King stories in book or film form but it still has a great concept just like most of King’s stories.

Say something so I know you have read my post, THANK YOU for reading :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s