Read 11/22/63 by Stephen King Online


Enhanced eBook.ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTSRANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENTKENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED.WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journeEnhanced eBook.ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTSRANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENTKENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED.WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry's, like America's in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there's Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying....

Title : 11/22/63
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781451651645
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 864 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

11/22/63 Reviews

  • Nataliya
    2018-11-24 14:52

    Go ahead, book snobs. Proclaim haughtily that Stephen King is not Literature. I shall retort with a Pratchett quote, "Susan hated Literature. She'd much prefer to read a good book." And nobody argues with Sir Terry.(Since 'a picture is worth a thousand words', the above is a three-thousand-words summary of this book. Impressive, no? And also - dancing is life.)As you probably guessed from the not-too-spoiler-sensitive title, 11/22/63 is a book about time travel. My love for it is an exception rather than a rule - you see, I am not usually a fan of the Grandfather paradox. Speaking of which: “Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?"He stared at me, baffled. "Why the fuck would you do that?”As the title proceeds to shamelessly tells us, the book deals with the assassination of John F. Kennedy (and if the title fails to convey the message, then hopefully you - like yours truly - have Google-pedia'd it. Hey, don't judge, I was born in Eastern Europe). Anyway, it's another of Stephen King's 'what if?' situations. What if you could go through a 'rabbit-hole' to the past? Would you try to change history for the better, would you try to right the wrongs? Well, who wouldn't??? And so Jake Epping, an English teacher, sets out to spend half a decade in the past to prevent the assassination of JFK (and to figure out whether Lee Harvey Oswald was indeed the lone gunman that day, despite all the conspiracy theories). "As I flipped to the back, I kept seeing that double take. And the grin. A sense of humor; a sense of the absurd. The man in the sixth-floor window of the Book Depository had neither. Oswald had proved it time and again, and such a man had no business changing history." **What if their lives had never intersected?**“Even people capable of living in the past don't really know what the future holds.” The question is - what would have happened had JFK survived the assassination that day in Dallas? Would we still have Vietnam War, race riots, and Martin Luther King's death? Could the lives of many innocent people be spared? Could JFK lead the country into a better future? Jake believes so. But what if the past resists the change? What is the price of changing the past? "The past is obdurate for the same reason a turtle’s shell is obdurate: because the living flesh inside is tender and defenseless." This book again dispels the long-believed but mistaken axiom that Stephen King is a "horror writer" - of a spook and startle variety. No, in the traditional sense he is not. He knows that the true monsters are those that live inside every one of us (and, ahem, occasionally in Derry, Maine). He has created his own brand of psychological suspense - with the brilliant and scary insight into the minds of average everyday people (who all have some darkness inside them and a skeleton or two in the closet - sometimes quite literally) superimposed onto the masterful description of small towns themselves (eerily resembling sentient living creatures, determined to hold on to their dark secrets). (*) And we get plenty of these in this book, as Jake's quest to prevent that fateful shot in November in Dallas takes him along the way to the small towns of Derry, Maine and Jodie, Texas.* I have an irrational fear of living in a small town, thanks to Stephen King. What if it turns out to be another Derry or Castle Rock?! *shudder* (By the way, this trip to the past gives plenty of deeeeee-licious 'Easter Eggs' to King's Constant Readers. We see little echoes from Pennywise the Clown era in Derry, meet our favorite 1958 Plymouth Fury (Hellllloooo there, Christine!), and even get a nod to A Wizard and Glass with Takuro Spirit).“On that gray street, with the smell of industrial smokes in the air and the afternoon bleeding away to evening, downtown Derry looked only marginally more charming than a dead hooker in a church pew.”Derry of 1958 (right after the terrifying events of IT) is particularly repulsive and sinister. It's a small wonder Jake is able to continue his quest after starting in such an ominous place. But even there King manages to include some unexpected beauty - just remember Richie and Bevvy dancing. And the reverse applies to the idyllic town of Jodie in which Jake is finally able to feel that he actually LIVES in the past. Deep down under the beauty and quaintness lies the ugly little reality. And the same remains true for the Land of Ago, the glorious past of absent airport security, no cholesterol warnings, and everyone happily puffing their way to lung cancers. The 1950s-60s are described with sweetness and nostalgia, but King never hesitates to bluntly remind the reader that the past has teeth and it's not afraid to bite.King is an excellent writer and an amazing storyteller. His writing is effortless and natural, the characterization is apt and memorable, and the dialogue superb and real-sounding. I truly felt for Jake during each step of his journey. I loved how Oswald was described as not a villain or a nutcase but a flawed broken little man who stumbled into the middle of events that changed history. The other characters - Sadie, Deke, Ellie, Frank Dunning - were so well-written that I could feel them come to life (which actually can be a scary statement when the world of sai King is concerned). The story, despite its sizable length, was flowing along and never lost my attention. And his slow build-up of the sense of suspense and doom - think The Yellow Card Man (*) and jimla and the 'harmonizing past' - was just enough to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout the book.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Pardon me for using this moth-eaten cliche, but Stephen King is like good wine - his writing gets better and better as he ages. Some may consider The Stand his masterpiece (to his dismay - who wants to think he's already reached the peak of his writing career three decades ago???), but I think this book may be it. "Is there any phrase more ominous than you need to see exactly what you’ve done? I couldn’t think of one offhand."-----------------------------5 stars without hesitation for this excellent impossible-to-put-down book. Sai King, I will continue to be your Constant Reader for hopefully many more years to come, Capital-L Literature or not. "If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples."

  • Jeanette
    2018-11-26 11:07

    Thank you, Steve. You were wrong all those years ago when you said you weren't very good at writing about love and intimacy. The love story here is full of honesty and tenderness. When I got to the last couple of pages, I was crying so hard I couldn't read.11/22/63 is a supernatural, quasi-historical, philosophical, science-fiction love story. If you're avoiding it because you think Stephen King only writes horror, please reconsider. There's no horror here, aside from a couple of mild gross-out scenes. I know my experience would have been cheapened by knowing too much beforehand, so I'm not going to tell you what it's about in the style of a traditional book review. Be it on someone else's head to spoil your fun. So why should you read it? *There is DANCING! *There is time travel -- Stephen King-style, with some original twists on the old device. *There is a special treat for fans of It, King's novel about Pennywise the Clown.*There is a charming (yet brutally honest) portrayal of American life in the late 50s and early 60s.*There is DANCING!*There is pie-throwing!*There is sweet romance without sappiness.*There is poundcake!*There is derring-do! (With poundcake for afters.) *There is insight into Lee Harvey Oswald and his associates, and their activities prior to 11/22/63.*There is DANCING!*There is a subtle but amazing use of "the past" as a character with an agenda of its own.*There is snappy dialogue laced with humor.*There is high school theater. *And there is DANCING! Because dancing is life. Thanks again, Steve. There's always room for you on my dance card.

  • ★ Jess
    2018-12-11 11:48

    Look at the amount of pages in this book. Look at the amount of pages in Under The Dome. Check the date this book is published. Check the date Under The Dome was published. *eyetwitch*Real. Utterly compelling. King outlines a clear end goal, and the novel benefits enormously as the journey to that destination unfolds. A constant suspense and wonder as the reader considers when- and how- we'll get to that fateful titular date, not to mention what will happen when we get there, and once we leave it behind. Part drama, part historical-fiction, part romance. King has stated the book's idea came to him in 1971, yet at the time didn't have enough confidence in his skill or ability to properly pull something like this off. Well, the wait was worth it. Truly masterful.

  • Emily May
    2018-11-21 12:43

    “We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.”I still fail to understand why Stephen King isn't considered a writer of "respected literature". Because he writes sci-fi and horror? Because his books are so compelling, entertaining and popular? For me, King does what very few authors manage - he turns fast-paced genre fiction into well-written, thought-provoking literature. And 11/22/63 is no exception. I've been putting this book off for the last few years; partly because it's an 800+ page giant, and partly because I studied the hell out of Kennedy and 1950s/60s America back in high school. But I find myself once again in that situation where I read a book I always meant to read and mentally kick myself for not giving in sooner.This book is fantastic. Some of its critics don't like the crossover of many genres, claiming it "wanders from genre to genre". However, I loved how this book was many things. It's an extremely well-researched piece of historical fiction; it's a fascinating look at time travel science fiction (is it possible to change the past? What is the cost of doing so?); it's a small town thriller; and it's a love story.King has this strange way of turning the most fantastical plots into stories about people who feel very real. He writes detailed and honest character portraits, so that these characters become so vivid and realistic, likable and flawed, that we so easily believe in everything that happens to them. If you don't already know, this book is about a man called Jake Epping who - through his friend, Al - discovers a portal that takes him to 1958, where he takes over Al's obsessive mission to prevent the Kennedy assassination. He establishes a new life in the past, in a world filled with big American cars, rock'n'roll, and shameless racism, sexism and homophobia.The amount of research King did is evident. He paints an intricate portrait of this time - simultaneously portraying an exciting, dreamy era full of different fashions, music, and the best root beer ever for 10 cents... and showing the darker side: segregation and the two doors and three signs - "Men" on one door, "Women" on the other door, and "Colored" leading to a plank of wood over a small stream. He makes this era seem like a bright, amazing, creepy nightmare.I thoroughly enjoyed it. Unlike some of King's other works, the 800 pages didn't feel like too much to me and they just seemed to fly by. So glad I finally read it.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  • Jason
    2018-11-20 09:09

    Hi, my name is Jake Epping and I’m a dull high school English teacher who has decided to go back in time to prevent JFK from being assassinated. I’ve decided to do this primarily because a fat man who serves me 53 year-old cheeseburgers (with whom I share only a vague casual acquaintance) has told me that I should. There is no other real reason for me to being doing this. There really isn’t. Once I’m there, I will also risk my life to save a bunch of other people that I barely know because I want to demonstrate how amazingly selfless I am. It is important to me that I am well-liked. I will fuck up several times, but that is no problem because I have no life and therefore I will simply go back in time again and repeat the experience until I get things right. At some point along the way, I will fall in love with an 80 year-old woman. But don’t worry!—when I go back in time, she’s 27. So that’s no problem, either.Anyway, once I (view spoiler)[save JFK and am thanked with a lifetime supply of beer, I will finally return to the present. But oh no!—saving JFK has caused massive earthquakes (WHAAA???) and now the entire country is a complete nuclear wasteland!! And yet even though there is no plausible reason whatsoever for this to be the case (hide spoiler)], I will nonetheless accept it as true and simply go back a-fucking-GAIN just to undo what I spent 800 pages doing.And that is my story.Except actually it isn’t. Now that I’ve returned more or less permanently to the back-to-normal present, I have decided to hunt down my former lover like the psychopath that I am and dance with her one last time. In my head, it’s oh-so-sweet and will bring a tear to your eye. But in your sane reality, it will probably have the effect of making you want to vomit—cuz she’s EIGHTY. It’s like that scene in Ghost where Sam uses Oda Mae’s body to put the moves on Molly. We get that it’s Patrick Swayze in spirit, but somehow we can’t let go of the knowledge that it’s actually Whoopi Goldberg who’s feeling up Demi Moore.

  • Jeffrey Keeten
    2018-12-06 14:52

    You may ask yourself how in the world did a wife beating, mental degenerate, and multiple country defecting (USA, RUSSIA and an attempt at Cuba) little shit like thiskill the charismatic, handsome war hero, and most powerful man in the world.It doesn't make any sense. It never has made any sense. Oswald just does not fit the profile for a guy that could pull off an assassination of this magnitude. He's a semi-educated hillbilly, but he's surprisingly crafty."Kennedy provided a golden opportunity to every disgruntled crazy out there by deciding to ride in an open car through the hostile city of Dallas, Texas. His swoon-inspiring smile, his wavy hair, and his beautiful wife would not win him votes hidden behind bullet proof glass. A tough election was coming up and Texas was again critical for the Kennedy/Johnson ticket. The parade route was even published in the paper. When Lee Harvey Oswald noticed that the route passed right by the Texas School Book Depository, his place of work, he felt the universe was talking to him. A president riding in an open car sounds insane, but the reality is that a president had not been assassinated since McKinley in 1901. I could see how Kennedy, weighing the risk, would have felt reasonably safe. We all know how that turned out.Jake Epping, an unassuming English teacher, is given an opportunity to go back in time. The time portal, located in the back room of a greasy spoon, will take him back to 1958. A year tantalizingly close to one of the most traumatic events in American history. Jake, now George Amberson, just had to lay low and wait for 1963 to roll around and use that time to come up with a plan to stop the before mentioned Lee Harvey Oswald. King explores the well traveled road of the potential devastating effects of changing the past to influence the future. What if Kennedy had not been killed? My liberal leanings would have me believe that the world would be better today. There are piles of documentation showing that Kennedy had no intention of escalating the war in Vietnam. As he proved with The Cuban Missile Crisis, he was a man that understood the bluff without committing the hardware. He was a man that had been to war, and I find it hard to believe he would have committed American kids to die in the jungles of Southeast Asia. One of Stephen King's strengths is that despite the fact that he is wealthy man and one of the most successful writers in the world, he really understands common everyday people. I found myself developing a real fondness for Jake. I winced when he failed. I whooped when things went well. His romance with Sadie is spun out so nicely that the Kennedy assassination almost becomes a back ground plot. King placed a Japanese proverb at the front of the book and also used it so wonderfully in the plot. Every time I read it I find a smile on my face. "If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples."The number on the back page does say 849 pages, but King's writing style makes reading this book effortless. The margins are wide and the print large, so don't let the size of the book keep you from reading this charming book. I'm off to turn my time travel machine, nearly finished, back into something a little less dangerous to the world like a cappuccino machine. See more of my writing at You can like my blog page on Facebook here. JeffreyKeeten Blog page

  • Megs ♥
    2018-11-18 07:58

    I'll be honest here. It's really rare that I get through a book over 500 pages, let alone 700 (Nook pages). It's also true that I have never read a single thing from Mr. King until now. Why? I'm not sure. Maybe his books intimidated me, because when I was younger everyone was always talking to me about how his books were so long, and blah blah. Anyway, I am proud to say that 11/22/63 was my first book read by Stephen King. I hear it's so much different than his other work, but I also haven't met a single person that didn't love it. I read this book because everybody and their brother was recommending it to me as a "must read". I'm also not a big historical fiction fan, and didn't know how much I would enjoy reading about 20 years before my birth. I had nothing to worry about.Here is a book that you never want to end, yet you do want it to end, because you need to know what is going to happen. King introduces us to a man named Jake who insists that he is not emotionless despite the fact that he doesn't cry often. I can relate to him right off the bat. Not a big crier, but I definitely feel emotions on a huge level. Jake is sent back to 1963 with a plan made up by a guy named Al who owns a local diner, and has the "rabbit hole" which is how they travel back in time. At first his mission is just to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating JFK, but then little things pop up here and there making him consider a few new things that need to be changed. I'm not going into any more detail than that, because I don't want to give away one single thing in this brilliant novel. Fans of his story "It" may be excited to know he revisits the town of Derry, Maine, where "It" was located.The excitement and suspense in this book were astonishing. I held my breath in anticipation of certain things Jake had to do, and then some twist would come out of left field, and I would continue reading in awe. There were also several sighs of relief and a couple of cute moments involving Jake's romance that just made me say "aww".I do feel like there were a rough 100ish pages that dragged on somewhere in the middle, and the book may have benefited by taking out a few things, but obviously I'm no expert. That's just my opinion. Again, this may have also been just something I was feeling, because I was very impatient and really wanting to know how this book would end. Some people didn't like the ending, but I loved it!In the afterword King discusses his research a bit. You can most definitely tell that a lot of research and thought went into this novel. The descriptions are vivid and when I say you are really transported back to the 60's I mean it. You will feel it.11/22/63 is a truly memorable, wonderfully written book that I have already recommended to several family members and friends, and I will continue to recommend for years to come. This is another of King's books that I could see as a film, too. If you are wanting to try a Stephen King book, but don't know if you will like all the horror, read this! It is not like that at all.

  • Blythe
    2018-11-16 08:50

    *sigh*... I'm so upset that it's over... You got me at the ending there, Stephen. You really, truly got me. What can I possibly say about this wonderful, beautiful book? That it's wonderful and beautiful? No. That's no where near enough praise. This book made it up to my top 3 favorites list by King (placing at #3) and is probably my favorite book of 2011 (if not tied with Shutter Island). Reading this book, I was so worried about what the ending would be (because, let's be honest here, we know King isn't the best at handling endings... Exhibit A: Under the Dome), and I had a really strong feeling I knew what the ending would be, but that ending was just absolutely amazing... It left everything wrapped up nicely, and was one of his better endings, if not his best (or at least my favorite, even though it's not wrapped up with a pretty bow). The last chapter made me grin ear to ear, but then it left me feeling sad beyond words can describe. To be honest, after I turned the last page (or better yet, clicked, since I own a Kindle), I just sat there and bawled my eyes out, to the point where my husband got worried about me. Yeah... It was that sad. The characters in this book couldn't be better, and I really, truly mean that. I loved every single character (with the exception of Lee Harvey Oswald... Poor Marina...). I loved George/Jake's students, I loved George/Jake, I loved Sadie, I loved Miz Mimi, and much more. I also really liked the purpose of the character the Card Man, even for the very short time he was in the book (I would have liked King to expand a bit more on that, but hey, the book's almost 1000 pages), but the real star in this book was the relationship between George/Jake and Sadie. Their love for each other was undeniable and irrevocable, and just so darn beautiful. Who would have thought that the Stephen King we all know and love (at least I know and love him) could write a beautiful and touching romance alongside a thriller. That was a great shock, and I hope he incorporates this skill of weaving a good relationship into a lot more of his books to come. Being a huge King fan, I couldn't wait for this book to come out. But, in all fairness, I didn't expect to love it. I thought it would be average, maybe even "just okay", but let me tell you... I really, really loved this book. And if you aren't a King fan, please (pretty please) don't let that stop you from reading this book. This book has absolutely no scary parts, for those of you who abstain from reading Stephen King's books because they are classified as horror, and, like I mentioned earlier on in this review, I actually cried at the end of the book (the first time that I've ever cried while reading a King novel). You can tell that Stephen King put a lot of effort into writing 11/22/63, and his details of life in the late 50's and early 60's really made me wish I was alive then. So, please, even if you don't like Stephen King, read this! It's an absolutely beautiful book, and one I wish I can read for the first time all over again. And if you're still not convinced to read this, would it help if I told you that there's.... Poundcake? ;)PS: You will probably want a box of tissues handy towards the end. And if you're listening to the audiobook, maybe two boxes.For those wondering, these are my top 3 favorite King books:#1: It#2: The Shining #3: (this may shock some people...) previously The Stand. Now it's 11/22/63“If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples. I'll love your face no matter what is looks like. Because it's yours”"The past is obdurate for the same reason a turtle's shell is obdurate: because the living flesh inside is tender and defenseless""Home is watching the moon rise over the open, sleeping land and having someone you can call to the window, so you can look together. Home is where you dance with others, and dancing is life."“For a moment everything was clear, and when that happens you see that the world is barely there at all. Don't we all secretly know this? It's a perfectly balanced mechanism of shouts and echoes pretending to be wheels and cogs, a dreamclock chiming beneath a mystery-glass we call life. Behind it? Below it and around it? Chaos, storms. Men with hammers, men with knives, men with guns. Women who twist what they cannot dominate and belittle what they cannot understand. A universe of horror and loss surrounding a single lighted stage where mortals dance in defiance of the dark.”and...To listen to Stephen King read an excerpt from Dr. Sleep, click here.PPS: Dr. Sleep is about Danny Torrance (you know, from The Shining) as an adult, and how he uses his psychic powers to help patients on death row at the hospital where he works, until a gang of vampires kidnap him... Or something like that...

  • Kemper
    2018-12-08 12:46

    Adventures in Time MowingDallas, Texas11/22/63“Hey, you just appeared out of nowhere! How did you do that? And is that a laptop melted onto a lawn mower?”“Yeah. See there was this lightning strike and now I can use my time mower to visit the past and …. Wait a second. If you’re from 1963, how did you know what a laptop is? Oh, shit! You’re a time traveler, too?”“Yes, I am. What year are you from?”“2011. My name’s Kemper.”“No way! I’m from 2011, too. My name is George Amberson. I mean, it’s really Jake Epping. Amberson is the alias I’m using here in the past.”“Nice to meet you, Jake. So I assume you’re here for JFK and the …uh…event.”“Of course. You too?”“Yep. I thought I’d hang out by the grassy knoll, take a few pictures of the fence during the shooting and hopefully put this conspiracy bullshit to bed once and for all.”“You’re just going to watch? I’m here to stop it.”“Stop the JFK assassination? Oh, man. That old chestnut? Really? You‘re buying into that myth?”“What do you mean, Kemper?”“It’s the old baby boomer fantasy. ‘Oh, if only JFK had lived, everything would have been better. He would have gotten us out of Vietnam and the ‘60s wouldn’t have turned ugly and we’d all be living in paradise filled with puppies, unicorns and rainbows.’ Never mind that JFK was the guy who kicked off the really serious troop escalations into Vietnam and gave a wink and a nod to their army for the coup and assassination of the Diem brothers. It’s the Oliver Stone idea where JFK would have saved us from ourselves if only the Vast Conspiracy hadn’t killed him first.”“Oh, well, I guess we did think that saving JFK would make things much better, but we don’t think there’s a big conspiracy. I’m just here to stop Oswald.”“At least we agree on that. But are you sure you should be changing stuff in the past? That seems really dangerous and could cause all kinds of paradoxes. I just wander around and look at stuff, I don’t try to change anything. You don’t want to end up killing your own grandfather, do you? Or worse yet, accidentally become your own grandfather. Yuk!”“It should be fine. We did a few trial runs, and everything seemed OK.”“How did you do trial runs? In fact, how do you time travel? I don’t see a time mower around. And who is this ‘we’ you keep mentioning, Jake?”“I’m a high school English teacher from Maine. I have a friend named Al who found a kind of portal in time. We call it the rabbit hole. Every time you go through it, you wind up at the same day in our home town in 1958. Al went through the rabbit hole over and over for years and discovered that no matter how long you stay, when you go back through the portal, only two minutes have elapsed since you left.”“Didn’t Al end up with a bunch of versions of himself in 1958 then?”“No, because every time you go through the portal, history resets itself like you were never there the first time.”“Let me see if I understand this, Jake. So if your buddy Al went through the portal to 1958 and changed something like saved somebody’s life, and then he went back through to the present, the change would have been made. The person he saved was alive, but if he goes back through the portal to the past again, then everything resets to the original timeline and that person would die, unless Al saved them again, right?”“Exactly. But there’s a few odd things like you could go back and buy something like a hat. You could wear that hat back to the present, and it’d still be there. And you could go back to the past wearing that hat which resets everything, but when you went to the store you bought it from, the same hat would still be on your head and on the shelf at the same time! Isn’t that cool? It’s how Al was able to accumulate money and a few other items and still take them back to the past when he needed.”“That doesn’t sound….right. Jake, are you sure about this? I’m getting very nervous that you’re going to wipe me out of existence or something.”“I told you, Kemper, we did a few trial runs where we saved people from some ugly fates and then went back to the future and everything was fine.”“Still, you’re talking about saving a guy who is going to have a huge impact on history with no idea of how it will play out.”“Don’t worry, Al spent a lot of time thinking about this and doing research. He worked it all out.”“Let me guess. Al is a baby boomer, right?”“Uh…yeah.”“OK, so he talked you into doing this, right? He convinced you that everything would be peaches and gravy if JFK had lived, didn‘t he?”“Uh….kind of.”“Who is Al then? A physicist? A historian?”“Uh…no. He owns the local diner.”“He owns a diner?”“You see, the time portal he found was in his pantry.”“He’s a diner owner with a time portal in his pantry?”“Yes.”“If Al’s so convinced that this is the right thing to do, how come he didn’t do it himself?”“He tried. He came through and lived here several years while he watched Oswald. That‘s why neither of us just killed him. We wanted to be absolutely sure he was acting alone, but then Al got really sick and knew he wouldn’t be able to stop Oswald. So he went back to 2011 and told me about the rabbit hole.”“Oh, hell. I just realized that you had to live here for five years waiting for this moment. Damn, five years in the past must have sucked, Jake.”“Actually, I’ve gotten used to it. It was hard at first because I had to go back through and fix some things we’d done on our trial runs again. You know, because of the reset. I couldn’t stand to let those bad things happen. I had to spend some time in a really nasty town in Maine called Derry.”“Derry? I think I’ve heard of it.”“Really? It was a very ugly place in 1958. They had some child murders.”“Wow, that sounds really familiar for some reason.”“Anyhow, then I spent some time in Florida and then moved to a small town in Texas. I started teaching again and built up a whole life for myself as George Amberson. I really like it here in the past now. I’m thinking about trying to stay forever.”“But what about the segregation and the sexism and the second hand smoke and the lack of high-def television, Jake? Doesn’t that bother you?”“A little. But they have really good root beer in this time. And stuff is really cheap! I can buy a new car for peanuts.”“Nice to see that you don’t let a little thing like institutional racism ruin your appreciation of a good deal. Speaking of which, how did you make money? Just teaching?”“Al gave me some and he had a sheet of sporting events I could bet on to make more. Like I made a pretty penny betting on the Dallas Texans to beat Houston the other night. It was very cool to bet on the Cowboys before they were even the Cowboys.”“Uh…Jake, do you think the Dallas Texans became the Dallas Cowboys?”“Sure.”“That’s not right. The Texans were the AFL team started by Lamar Hunt. The NFL started the Cowboys in Dallas just to screw with him, and he eventually had to move the team to Kansas City and change their name to the Chiefs. The Cowboys were always the Cowboys.”“Really? Are you sure about that, Kemper?”“Yes, I’m goddamn sure about it, I’m from Kansas City. Jesus, you are scaring the shit out of me.”“Why?”“Why? Because you’re back in time screwing around doing stuff like betting football games when you have no idea what the hell you’re even really betting on. I hope to hell you know a lot more about the JFK assassination than you do about pro football.”“Not really.”“What??”“I told you, I was an English teacher, not history. I don’t really know much more than what I remember from my classes in college. I’ve got Al’s notes…”“The research done by the diner owner with the JFK obsession? That’s all you have to go on as you muck around with history, Jake? Did you at least bring some history books with you?”“Uh…”“Oh, you have got to be shitting me.”“We were pressed for time, Kemper!”“Pressed for time?? You said that Al spent years getting ready for this? And each time hop only takes you two minutes, right? You guys couldn’t have found twenty minutes to run into a damn library and check out an American history book?”“Well, in hindsight I guess that would have been a good idea.”“Ya think? I really wish you would have thought this through more than just doing a couple of test runs. You should have done that like twenty times. It would have taken you just forty minutes, right?”“It’s not that simple, Kemper. You see, for one thing, the time we spent in the past is still elapsed time. I started this when I was thirty-five, and if I go back, only two minutes will have passed in 2011, but I’ll still be forty. If something goes wrong now, I’d have to go back and do all of it again from 1958 on. I don’t think I can handle that.”“I hadn’t thought about that. I guess it’s like playing a video game with a really crappy system of save check points. The deeper you get into, the more you have to lose.”“Exactly, but it’s not just that. You see, the past does not want to be changed. If you try to revise something, it fights back. When we did our trial runs, it threw everything it could at us from car trouble to illness, and the bigger the event, the harder it tries to stop you. So doing a bunch of trial runs just isn’t very practical, Kemper.”“Summing up here: You’re an English teacher who was talked into trying to stop the JFK assassination via a time portal. You’ve spent years of your life doing this even though there’s clearly some very wonky elements to the resetting of the past when you go through and time itself seems to be working against you? And this seems like a good idea, Jake?”“Please don’t yell at me, Kemper. I did this with the best of intentions. It’s been very hard living like this, and the past seems to be trying to sabotage my life here now. I’m very tired and scared, and this is all coming to a head, and I’m not sure what’s going to happen …*sob*.”“Don’t cry. I’m sorry. It’s just…. This doesn’t seem like it was thought through very well, Jake. I mean, you seem like a nice guy. I’ll admit that it sounds like you have good intentions, but you know what the road to hell is paved with.”“I know, I know. But I’ve come too far to stop now.”“Yeah, I guess so. Good luck you poor bastard. Try not to break the space/time continuum.”****************************************** Kemper’s Present Day Note About Stephen King and Kansas City Sports Errors (Or Are They?)The error where Jake thinks about the Dallas Texans someday becoming the Dallas Cowboys is actually in the book, but since it’s a first person account and Jake is definitely not a historical expert, it’s possible that King knew this and just meant for it to be Jake’s error.*(*Edit - Actually, I realized later on that even this doesn't make sense since the Cowboys and Texans were both formed in 1960. It was part of the rivalry between the NFL and old AFL. This was a big story in Dallas at the time and both teams did tons of promotions and advertising so it doesn't seem possible that Jake was somehow unaware of the existence of the Cowboys.)However, this isn’t the first time King has caused me to scratch my head with KC sports references. In The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass, there is another oddity when the gunslingers are in an alternate version of Topeka, Kansas, that seems to be the one where King’s The Stand took place. There, they see a car with a bumper sticker that says Kansas City Monarchs instead of Kansas City Royals and this is supposed to be evidence that they’re in an alternate world. But the old Negro Leagues baseball team that had players like Satchel Paige was called the Monarchs, and you can still purchase Monarchs merchandise in KC today. (I’ve got a spiffy Monarchs hat I got at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.)These wouldn’t bother me so much if I thought for sure that they were just errors, but the fact that they’ve both involved a possibly unreliable narrator or hopping to alternate worlds leaves King some wiggle room that bugs me for some reason. Are they mistakes or is King just being cute? I. DON’T. KNOW. And that makes me nuts.Kemper’s Spoilerific Present Day Note About the Ending of 11/22/63(view spoiler)[ You can tell from my little flight of fancy above that I’m not a big believer of the notion that JFK was some kind of awesome president who would have saved the country from Vietnam and the chaos of the ‘60s. When I heard the concept of this book, I worried that King was succumbing to a bad case of baby boomer JFKitis, and the early parts of the book seem to have confirmed this. Also, while I enjoyed the rabbit hole and reset the timeline rules, I thought the idea that you could bring objects back but they’d still exist in the reset past as a cheat and the kind of internal inconsistency that King allows in his work whenever it’s convenient to the story.I was greatly relieved that by the end of this book, King seemed to have set aside the rose colored JFK glasses and made that oddity about the objects part of a paradox instead of just a plot contrivance. (hide spoiler)]

  • Frances
    2018-12-08 07:50

    Jake Epping, a high school English teacher living in Lisbon Falls, Maine, seems to enjoy his vocation along with the very cheap burgers at Al’s Diner made fresh daily by owner Al Templeton. Meeting up with Al one evening, Jake is stunned by the astonishing secret Al has kept for several years. As Jake listens closely he is extremely skeptical and shocked about Al’s request; he wants him to go on a journey. Not any ordinary journey, but an extraordinary and quite unique mission that he needs to take at once. 11/22/63 is guaranteed to capture readers and draw them into a time period that many will recall and reminisce with pleasure about the good old days. For the most part the story moves along at a gentle speed, no rushing, no fast action, just an easy going way of telling a profound heartfelt tale. However, when you least expect it the story line takes an abrupt turn with nail biting, breath-taking moments. Stephen King is a master at his craft and 11/22/63 is a dazzling, outstanding achievement. Highly recommended to all readers.

  • K. A. O'Neil
    2018-11-25 14:39

    I'm a reluctant fan of Stephen King. But this book was terrible.The main guy is a teacher. EVERY POSSIBLE CLICHE ABOUT TEACHERS is in this book. As in:1. Meticulously correcting oral grammar2. Catching some kids drinking at the sock hop, but letting them off easy after a heartfelt talk about actions and consequences3. Directing a play and thereby enabling the town's best football player to realize his intellectual strengthsand on and on.There are also a series of contrived plot twists. For example:1. A crazed ex-husband shows up out of nowhere to kill the female lead for no reason and with no explanation.2. AMNESIA. There's actually a case of amnesia in this story. Sure does throw a wrench into things!And then, there's the love story. Here are the problems:1. In my opinion, one or both of the characters has to be/do something cute or sexy or funny or interesting to merit falling in love. It can't just be like, "I realized she had a vagina and that I could potentially get all up in it. How I loved her."2. Stephen King writes about sex as though he's never had sex. I've said this about him before. You know that scene in 40 Year Old Virgin where he's talking about how boobs feel like bags of sand, and everyone's like, ".....?" That's what reading Stephen King's sex scenes is like. One could make the case that, because Stephen King is a dude, it's impossible for him to know what first-time sex is like for a woman, but you don't have to be exposed to too many books or movies or TV shows to know that it fucking sucks. There's no "OhmygodYES" the first time you have sex as a woman. There's crying.3. The reason why the woman is a virgin is that her husband of some years didn't want to put his dick in her "germy woman-hole." Really??????? That's not a thing that happens.And all of this is to say nothing of the super-ridiculous time travel rules. Like I know it's sci-fi and that he writes a novel every twelve days and all, but let's put in some effort, here.Skip this one and re-read Salem's Lot.The rest of this post has spoilers in it so stop now if you haven't already read it.So the guy changes the past and then comes back to find SWASTIKAS on everything, and encounters some teens on their way to a "Hate Meeting." Not extremely subtle or realistic, ya know?

  • Sarah
    2018-11-17 14:06

    Real spoilers are inside "spoiler" tags. Things that tell a little about the content that I would have appreciated hearing before committing to this behemoth are not. You've been warned.This is my first Stephen King read. I'm not a horror fan, but I love a good alternate history, and I figured that a story of a man who goes back in time to stop Kennedy's assassination could be one of those. It isn't. Not the biggest hurdle, because this could still have been an enjoyable read if it had been about a man who travels back to live in a different time and gives insightful commentary on the similarities and differences between these cultures. This book wasn't that, either. It was exactly what I had (naively) been trying not to read: a horror. Your basic stabby horror, with a slight twist. In this book, the immutability of the past, its obduracy to cling to what has already been, is the thing with teeth. I know that doesn't sound traditionally horrific, but its manifestation is that when the main character is trying to do something that would result in immediately changing the outcome of a big event--such as an event in which someone originally got killed--this aspect of the past intervenes repeatedly and violently to keep him from doing it. (view spoiler)[The past sends cars hurtling toward him through red lights, or it gives him an intense migraine headache, or it sends someone after him with a gun. Or all of those, and others. So the "dramatic" parts of the story involve our hero attempting to get to his destination and, for example, having to stop for green lights while traffic barrels through in the other direction, then having to go deal with his overwhelming diarrhea, then having to talk some completely random guy out of shooting him for a nonsense reason. Then he has to deal with a topiary.Seriously.A major part of the climax of the novel involves him trying to run up six flights of stairs having just broken a few ribs in a car crash, while also being a few weeks out of a coma. (hide spoiler)]Since the part where he tries to stop Kennedy's assassination doesn't happen until about 750 pages into the book, King compensates by having other characters behave in very violent ways. There's a killing of a family by sledgehammer-wielding maniac described in detail multiple times in the first 300 pages. Later on, a woman gets her cheek ripped open by a knife-wielding maniac. Multiple people kill themselves in front of our hero by slitting their throats.The structure of the novel is as follows: guy finds out he can easily go back in time to 1958, to the same minute of the same day each time he goes. He becomes part of his friend's plot to keep Kennedy from being killed. Except the guy doesn't quite believe this whole time travel thing, so he goes back to 1958, spends about 2 months hanging out and making observations about what various companies' slogans are (always reproduced in all caps, so that it feels like they're being yelled from the page), stops a violent crime from happening close to home, and zips back to 2011 to confirm that, yes, he did change the past. He returns to 1958, re-stops that crime, and then spends the better part of five years waiting for Kennedy's assassination attempt. That's the middle of the book: him sitting around in the early 1960s, in a holding pattern, scoping out downtown Dallas and following Lee Harvey Oswald from a distance so he can convince himself that he really doesn't like this guy. It takes at least 600 pages for 1963 to arrive.The decision of what to do to Oswald is presented as simple and binary, in a way that bugged me throughout the book. If our hero finds out that Oswald is the lone person behind the assassination, then the only course of action considered is for our guy to kill him. There's some momentary advance remorse about that, but not much, because Oswald is known to have killed Kennedy in the real timeline. The thing I still don't get is, in the real timeline, Oswald died as a direct result of having been arrested for Kennedy's murder. Which means that a person who simply kept Oswald from being present on the parade route that day (by any means necessary, gory ones included--slit the guy's arm open with a knife, for example) would save both Kennedy's life and Oswald's. No murder necessary. King doesn't even give this idea lip service--killing is presented as the only possible plan in order to get the assassination stopped.Back to our hero. After he changes history, (view spoiler)[he finds out that human events are so important that if they get changed as significantly has he has altered them, the entire earth reacts. Human events cause geological events. By stopping Kennedy's assassination, he initiates massive earthquakes, leading to lots of deaths and eventually to nuclear meltdowns years later. All of which means that instead of King doing the thing that people tend to find intriguing when reading alternate histories--giving his answer to "what really would have happened with Vietnam and Civil Rights and all that if Kennedy hadn't been shot?"--he's got a few alternate leaders in power, sure, but he makes them deal with lots of random catastrophes in the physical world, and resulting catastrophes among populations, that didn't happen in the real timeline (hide spoiler)]. So you spend 800 pages wondering what King thinks this history would have looked like with more Kennedy in it, don't get your answer.King's writing itself is very workmanlike. He is rarely poetic or descriptive in ways that give any deeper meaning or even paint a vivid picture. This would be fine (or something on the yawn-inducing side of fine) if this were a fast, plot-driven book, but it's not. The engine of the book is the main character's time travel journey back from 2011 to 1958 and the years immediately following, but nothing that he ever says makes this feel like reality. The narrator is supposed to be 35 in 2011, which places him in my own age cohort--but I think even someone 10 or 20 years older than I am, given the time-travel option, would have a lot of strong visceral reactions to the way the world was back then. King has him comment on the fact that root beer tastes "fuller" from a 1958 soda fountain than it does in the present--but frankly, that doesn't give me much to go on, and he uses that same descriptor every time he references the root beer (an awful lot) without adding to the picture. And that's it: he does nothing else to show how the experience of drinking at a 1958 soda fountain would be different from the experience that someone born in the late 1970s would be used to at a diner in the 21st century. It's like this with so many things: either our hero doesn't seem to notice all the little differences in daily life, or he treats these with a nostalgia borrowed from the author.The representation of his age is wrong on other levels, too--the guy says he had never used a rotary phone before traveling to 1958, even though many people from older generations (like my grandparents and anyone else who could remember the Depression) held on to their rotary phones until almost the 1990s; and yet this same guy has a thorough and in-depth understanding of how to mess with records and record players to slow down playback. His first time in 1958, our hero buys what is apparently a cool 1950s car and instantly falls in love with driving it, to the extent that he detests his Toyota Corolla with a passion when he gets back to 2011. The shift in his loyalties is instantaneous and unequivocal--no disorientation about the lack of seat belts or other now-familiar features in an older car, just a seamless love for all things vintage that feels too uncomplicated to be on-target. The cigarette smoke is another of this kind of example: our hero comments that smoke and smokers are everywhere, but then just seems able to ignore it. It rings false that a 2011 non-smoker who finds himself in a place where every restaurant and bank has people smoking in it, and where every hotel room, used car, and cab reeks of cigarettes, wouldn't have a lot more adjusting to do than just the casual shrug that the guy gives when he mentions it.It may sound weird that, given a book that's far too long, I'd be complaining about a lack of words, but it's more that the things King chooses to say often don't contribute to the storytelling (or plotting or character development or setting) and instead are meaningless, repetitive, and make the lack of significant detail all the more conspicuous by its absence. While I was reading this book, my commuting audiobook was TC Boyle's Drop City, which is set in a hippie commune in 1970. The contrast between how Boyle gives a sense of 1970 and how King gives a sense of 1960 is vertiginous.Now for the -isms. After about 250 pages of 1958, it struck me that King was painting an idealistic, whitewashed picture of what was a turbulent and violent time with regard to civil rights. And right then, our hero said exactly the same thing in the narrative: "in case this seems like an overly happy picture, let me tell you about this 'colored' restroom I saw outdoors in North Carolina." (I'm paraphrasing, but not by much.) He goes on to describe a rest stop in which the regular bathroom is labeled for use by whites only and the signs to the 'colored' restroom lead to something awful. Completely reasonable and valid point made right there...except that it's the only place where he describes that kind of treatment. Anytime else in the book when he wants to talk about Civil Rights or unequal treatment or any of that, he references the bathroom in North Carolina. It doesn't seem to matter that the character drives from Florida to Texas across all of the most virulently racist states in the South during a time when race-related violence was peaking, then lives in Texas for another few years. In all that time, he runs across a white man who says racist things and consequently decides he doesn't like the guy...and that's about it. This 2011 character is walking around in the South living in segregated neighborhoods, eating at segregated lunch counters (at which he always comments that the food is both good and cheap), drinking from segregated water fountains, riding buses where he gets to sit down when others have to stand in back because of their difference in skin color--and barely notices all of the casual racism entrenched in this world. I found it unreasonable that after a lifetime spent having at least some African-American friends/classmates/teachers/co-workers (yes, even in Maine), a lifetime that almost definitely included watching The Cosby Show and Men in Black and very definitely included years of having an African-American president in the White House, our hero would be able to ignore the treatment of others around him almost every moment of every day. The fact that not only doesn't he notice this around him, but also that he has to reach way back to that one restroom in North Carolina whenever he needs to talk about discrimination, comes across as casually racist.Anti-Semitism: there are four characters in the book who are described explicitly as Jewish. One of them is Jack Ruby, a real person who apparently owned a strip club (King makes sure to point out) and who was the guy who shot Oswald in the real timeline after he was in custody. The other three are fictional, all bookies. They run pawn shops and have Mob ties and all make their money explicitly from the suffering of others. (I could mention the two female family members we are introduced to as well, but they aren't characters--the narrative states explicitly at one point that they are interchangeable. They also work in the family money businesses.) I'd like to thank Stephen King personally for perpetuating stereotypes that just need to freaking die already.While we're at it, sexism: our hero is a guy who starts dating a woman in about 1961, and he also spends a number of years teaching high school (don't get me started on that--an English teacher from 2011 travels back 50 years and starts teaching adolescents seamlessly, without having any trouble adjusting to the loss of the most recent five decades of writing to teach from? The loss of recognized diversity in curricula? How limited a teacher is he?), and yet he never sees anything to complain about with regard to the way women are treated in that time. He comments that they're expected to wear girdles sometimes, but he compares that to guys having to wear condoms and says that guys have it worse. Otherwise, he conveys no sense in the least that girls or women might have an easier time of things in 2011 than they do in 1961.I could say more about my dislike of this book. I could mention my frustration with the way that King writes as though he knows nothing about what the Butterfly Effect actually references for the first 800 pages--so that when he reveals that he mostly gets it, it's too little, too late. I could rant about many other aspects of the novel. Instead, I'll end by saying that there are books out there that accomplish what King is trying to do, using well-chosen words (and fewer of them), thoughtful plots, and skilled character development. For true alternate history, try Lion's Blood: A Novel of Slavery and Freedom in an Alternate America, by Steven Barnes. For a time-travel study in contrasts, try Kindred, by Octavia Butler. For an experience of recent history that feels immersive and real (1970, complete with sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll), try Drop City, by TC Boyle.

  • Sarah
    2018-11-28 09:49

    This book is one of the best I have read in awhile for its length. It's pure genius. Who hasn't wanted do-overs in their life ? I would probably go back to when I started high school and make wiser decisions.I would have loved to have heard the conversations between Stephen King, his wife and their son, Author Joe Hill. His wife still stands with the theories that Oswald didn't act alone, and Joe Hill thought of another way to end the book. The way King describes the characters in this makes them very believable and ones you become attached to. The lead character is complex and often alone. I was often thinking to myself, "no, don't do that, do this." He is also the narrator of the story. Jake/George is told about a time travel mechanism by a friend where he can possibly save JFK from assassination and change the future. To reveal more would require spoilers.The strength of the story actually lies with the characters, and the bonds that they form. I felt their emotions just like I was there. I could taste the root beer in the frosted mug at the soda fountain counter.I think if people try to argue the "what ifs" and the politics of this book, you are missing the point. The book is long by some peoples standards but I thoroughly enjoyed every page. It was interesting the way King wrote fiction/non fiction/science fiction/love story all together in one book and it flowed without any effort. It keeps you guessing a lot of the time which I liked.Overall, this book is phenomenal. I can tell King did a lot of research on this book, but now I want to know more. This is a fast for the length of the book and I highly recommend it

  • Norma
    2018-11-17 11:08

    Traveling Sister Reads Review by NORMA, LINDSAY and BRENDA!!3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars for the book5+++++++ stars for the reading experience for all of us participating in this ‘Traveling Sister Reads’!! So much fun!!!Steven King has a lot going on here in 11/22/63 as we have some time-traveling, political history, and also a little bit of romance in this Historical Fiction Thriller novel that had us all engaged, interested, and rooting for a positive outcome but we must admit that we found ourselves a little bored at times. Although fictional, King skillfully weaves together fact and fiction and he did an incredible amount of research as explained in his Afterword and much of this story is based on fact. We were all a little ashamed to admit that we didn’t know much about the Kennedy Assassination prior to reading this and we all were happy to have learned a lot while reading this story. It sparked an interest for Lindsay that will surely lead her to read other books on this topic.We found that the action picks up right away as we quickly learn the details of the time traveling aspect of this novel and how most of the time traveling worked. The time traveling was kept fairly simple and understandable. The story takes on a human side of it through the romance and the lives of the characters which takes up a lot of the middle of the book. Showing us a pleasant, ordinary, and somewhat boring life for a bit of the story. We loved the romance that transpired within this story as it was a pleasant distraction from some of the political history, especially the Russian political history, that we all struggled with.We like how King gave a story to angry, violent, and disturbed Lee Oswald giving us some interesting insight into his and his family's lives.The story sagged and really dragged for us at times and we felt that a lot of unnecessary details could've been sliced and diced a bit and still tell a strong story. Unfortunately, this did take a bit away from the story and was a bit discouraging. The chapters being broken done in sections did help getting through the length of this weight lifting book. We thoroughly enjoyed the story being told from the perspective of Jake Epping/George Amberson, who we all absolutely loved as a main character. Jake’s personality and inner thoughts had us all giggling to ourselves at times. Jake was a very anchored character to reality and loved his desire and determination to change the future not only for his world but for all of mankind.We LOVED good hearted and wounded Jake and Sadie and their tender relationship that had us rooting for them throughout the entire book. We were completely caught off guard that this turned out to be somewhat of a love story – not what we were expecting at all and we absolutely loved that part of the novel.Toward the end, we all kept looking for a twist that never came and felt that while we enjoyed the story, the book didn't quite live up to the hype we had expected.All of our Traveling Sister Reads Reviews can be found on our blog:http://www.twogirlslostinacouleereadi...

  • Carol
    2018-11-23 09:54

    WOW! What a great read! UNPUTDOWNABLE! My favorite book of the year thus far. Highly recommend!Occam's Razor - the simplest explanation is usually the right one.Update: February 15, 2016 - Watched the first episode on HULU.......Yikes! Get ready for some action-packed scenes that "jump" out at you and some super scary dudes from hell! Can't wait to get back to it, but want to stretch out the series to last!Update: June 4, 2016 - Wow! Oh! Wow! Excellent!Enjoyed a marathon day of all 8 episodes of Season 1.Intense.....Powerful.....Action Packed!Don't Miss It!

  • Paul Bryant
    2018-12-04 11:54

    I had just sat down to begin this review on my laptop when the doorbell went. I wasn't expecting anyone. It was probably going to be one of those pitiful door to door salesmen trying to get me to buy a dishcloth for a fiver. They make me feel so bad. But it wasn't. I opened the door and looked at myself. It was me."Huh, what? " I said. "You're… you're…""Yeah, that's right. I'm you. Sorry about that. Like looking in a mirror, isn't it? But worse!""Uh… what's goin' on ?" This was bad, I was quoting Marvin Gaye album titles now."May I come in?" I said"Well, I suppose so," I said. So I went inside. I made myself a cup of tea and one for me too. We sat down at the table and regarded each other with frank horror. "I don't really look like that, do I?" I was looking kind of rough. "What's this all about? Are you a clone?""No, I'm the one and only you, that's to say I'm me all right. I'm from the future. 26th of November 2012 to be precise.""Oh you think I'm going to believe that?" I raised my eyebrows in a hauty sceptical manner. "I just read a book about time travel. It's that one there – " I gestured to the fat wedge on the table between us. "In fact I was just about to review it.""Stephen King's 11.22.63 – yes, that's the reason I'm here.""Huh?" "I'll come to the point, PB. " My eyes narrowed almost to the point where I couldn't see out of them. "You can't write that review. The one you were going to. You have to change it.""What do you mean, change it? How do you know what I was going to write, anyway, I haven't written it yet?""Because I wrote it, remember? I'm you. Come on, the guy in this book is a lot quicker on the uptake than this. I haven't got all day." I could be a bit snappy sometimes. "You were all set to launch into one of your famous diatribes weren't you? You'd already worked up a few choice phrases, along the lines ofSo he goes back in time to 1958 and he's living through these years waiting to get to the assassination bit and that's where the story becomes this I-Love-The-Late-50s-Stroke-Early-Sixties loveletter from Stephen King to his own childhood. The boring teacher gets to meet a girl and fall in lurve, sweet sweet lurve. That's not a spoiler, it's in the blurb, sweet sweet blurb. He gets to live in The perfect Small Town. He gets to Affect Kids' Lives. He gets to Feel Alive For The First Time and swear he's never going back to the Future again! He gets to blurt out anachronistic slang and have people look at him funny! He gets to wince at casual racism! It's all good. But not for me. I wanted to get back to Oswald. I paid my damn ticket, and I wanted to see some Oswald. The ticket did not say GREASE IS THE WORD on it. But for 200 pages it may as well have. But Oswald's the one that I want. Oooh ooh ooh. I was amazed – that was exactly what I was going to write."So as usual you were going to be so mean. You can't deny it. I know you were because you did it, that's to say I did it, and I'm here now to stop myself from doing it.""Okay so let me get this straight, you came from the future – howja do that anyway?""There's a portal in next-door's garden shed. I got the idea of looking for a portal when I read this book.""Oh – anyway, you came from the very near future and you decided the most important thing to do was to stop me writing one particular review on Goodreads of one dubious Stephen King novel? Why didn't you do something more useful than that? ""Well, I did," I whined. "I already prevented Kate Middleton from falling downstairs at Buckingham Palace – that was tough, you know the past doesn't want to be changed. And I found somebody's lost cat for them. And now you – you're the last on my list.""So what's the big deal about my review of 11.22.63?""Well, you read the thing, so you know about the Butterfly effect, right?""Er, yes. Stephen King goes on and on and on about it.""Well, there you are. Because of that.""I don't get it.""Well, like that song You can't move forward without movin back""I've never heard of that.""Oh of course – that's from three weeks in the future. Sorry about that, I gave myself away there.""No you didn't, you already told me you're from the future.""Oh yes, so I did. It can be confusing getting all this straight in your head when you're from the future. Got any aspirin? Anyway, your nasty review gets to be unaccountably popular on Goodreads.""Oh yeah, it does? As popular as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle? ""More than that.""Great!""No, not great.""But I need another hit. I've been getting kind of middling results for months. You're only as good as your last review, you know. It's a vicious world. No compassion. "I was quoting old Talking Heads song titles, but this was a once in a lifetime thing that was happening. So that made it okay."Yeah well, that's the problem. After your review things… happen. If your review persuades just one single person not to buy the book, then that's probably why in three weeks' time Japan splits in half and most people have got acne in the world of three weeks from now. The future is important, it must be preserved. Hosts of butterflies are always in the air, waiting to fly around like crazy ass future-changing bastards.""That's ridiculous."Suddenly we heard the front door opening. "That'll be Helen, she's usually back from work at this time.""Ah, I'd forgotten. This will be awkward. Isn't there any place for me to hide? ""Er, no – this is just a normal living room, as you know, since it's yours. You could try to hide behind the settee but you'll have to shove it out from the wall, and she'll notice I think."It was too late. She came into the room and surveyed the both of us."This is a bit weird. He's me but he's from the future."She didn't miss a beat. "Oh well, you've just come in time. I need you to pick up Georgia from school, she had a rehearsal for the play so I couldn't do it, and can you (pointing at the future me) nip to Sainsbury's and get me a few things? I need you to be quick, I'm in a mad rush. I've got that thing tonight, remember?" And she gave me a shopping list.I looked at me. "Is this kind of thing allowed? Now we're doing Multiplicity.""Oh yes, that old film with Michael Keaton. That was quite good. Yes, well, I suppose this once. But look – you have to give 11.22.63 three stars. Remember Japan and acne.""Okay, I promise."That's the last I saw of me until I got curious about whether there really was a portal in the neighbour's garden shed.

  • Mohammed Arabey
    2018-11-25 10:54

    كم مرة فكرت في السفر عبر الزمن للماضيربما لعيش حياة أهدأ، أرخص، طبيعية وغنية اكثرربما لتصحيح خطأ ما..أو لتوقف حادثا ذو أثرا مروعا في تاريخ العالملكن نبش الماضي له ثمن..ثمن له قسوة الزمن ذاته“نصحت نفسي بينما أمضي: لا تنظر خلفك، لا تنظر خلفك أبدا. كم مرة يقولها الناس لأنفسهم بعد تجربة جيدة بشكل استثنائي (أو سيئة استثنائيا)؟كثيرا أعتقد. وعادة ما تذهب النصيحة أدراج الريح. تكون البشر لينظروا خلفهم؛ لذا لدينا مفصل دوار في أعناقنا”تلك الرواية الضخمة المتقنة، ”جحر الأرنب“، ستنقلك عبر الزمنوكما هي عادة روايات ستيفين كينج، هي وجبة أمريكية دسمة.. يقدمها مع أحداث سياسية تاريخية في أطار دراما حياتية .. قصة حب رقيقة ومواقف أنسانية كثيرة...بعضها للأسف قاس ومرعب*** القصة ***جاك مدرس اللغة الإنجليزية يقع تحت يده مقال مؤثر عن هاري، "فراش" المدرسة، وهو ايضا يدرس بها كطالب متأخر مسنفي المقال يحكي فيه يوم غير حياته. يوم قتل ابيه امه واخوته جميعا ونجا هاري بأعجوبة -وبعاهة مستديمة في قدمه- منهلكن الأهم ان جاك ايضا يتعرف من السيد إل صاحب مطعم برجر رخيص علي شئ سيغير حياته.. ثغرة عجيبة في مخزن المطعم تؤدي إلي صيف 1958كل مرة تدخل الثغرة تذهب الي نفس الزمن وكأنها أول مرةيمكنك أن تعيش بها لأي فترة من الزمن، وعندما تعود ستجد ان الزمن الحالي قد مر منه دقيقتان فقط..أيا كانت المدةالأهم ان يظل المطعم في مكانه بالحاضر إن حدث تغيير في الماضيوتبدأ قصتنا عندما يطلب آل صاحب المطعم من جاك طلب تاريخييعيش في الماضي 5 سنوات.حتي نوفمبر 1963..ووقف أغتيال كينيديجاك ستروقه الفكرة نفسها، زيارة الماضي..لكنه يخشي عواقب تغيير الماضي بالطبع..تأثير الفراشةلذا سيجرب أولا وقف أغتيال من نوع اخر..ليس لسبب تاريخي لكنه إنسانيا. ..أغتيال والد هاري لعائلتهماذا قد يحدث للحاضر/المستقبل لو نجح جاك في انقاذ حياة عائلة هاري؟وهل سينجح ام ان الزمن "العنيد" سيقف له بالمرصادوما قد يدفعه للموافقة للعودة للماضي وإنقاذ كينيدي؟...وهل سينجح؟وماذا لو نجح؟أو ماذا لو وقع في الحب، سيرجع للحاضر أم يستكمل العيش في الماضي؟ ماذا لو حدث حادث لحبيبته؟إستحالة تلخيص قصة الرواية والأفكار العديدة لذا سنضع التقييم والمراجعة في الاجزاء الستة المكونة للرواية ككل** الجزء الاول ***** الزمن والنوستاليجا ***أتقن ستيفين كينج قواعد تلك الثغرة العجيبة التي تنقلك للماضي بشكل مشوق يجعلك تتمني ان تسافر بنفسك مكان البطلمن خلال الأحداث ستفهم كل شئ تقريبا عن قواعد تلك الثغرة "جحر الارنب" للسفر عبر الماضي ، كل هذا وسط الأحداث و دون تعقيدات او لحظة ملل في الجزء الاول من الكتابقليل من الاسئلة ستراود البطل حول الثغرة ولكن بالتأكيد ستجد باقي الاجابات في النهاية ك"مورال" او رسالة الحكاية العجيبة تلكقدم كينج هنا "عصارة" تجارب مختلفة من روايات الخيال العلمي المختلفة حول السفر عبر الزمن وتأثير الفراشة لتعتبر من وجهة نظري من أفضل ما قرأت في روايات خيال السفر عبر الزمنتجربة لا تنسي وبإتقان شديد يتلافي أي ثغرات تقريبا في القصةأما وصفه للستينات فقد كان غنيا ، يجعلك تشعر بأنك لتشتاق حتي للثمانينات، حيث كان مازال بكل شئ "بركة" كما يقالبمجرد ما يصل جاك للستينات، ويتذوق طعم البيرة او مخفوق الحليب الغني ويقارنه بمثيله الآن ستشعر فعلا بما فعله المصنعات بأطعمتنا وشرابناوقدم كينج هذا كالعادة بشئ من حس الدعابة ايضا“قدمت النادلة طبق الاستاكوزا بكيني. الطبق ملئ بما يشبه حيوان صريع بالطريق، لكن رائحته ذكية وطعمه اروع. ربما مليار جرام من الكوليسترول في كل قضمة، لكن في 1958، لا احد يقلق بشأن هذا، وهذا مريح”** الجزء الثاني ***** الحبكة المقنعة ***كيف ستسير الأحداث؟ كيف سيغير جاك الماضي ولماذا في المقام الاول سيوافق علي إنقاذ كينيدي؟فجاك، بطل الأحداث، مجرد مدرس لغة أنجليزية، ليس بطلا...فما هو دافعه ليفعل ذلك؟سيقدم كينج تسلسل الأحداث بشكل مقنعا ودوافع البطل أيضا، حتي الإجابة مثلا عن لم لا يقوم جاك بالتبليغ عن تلك الثغرة للسفر عبر الزمن لاحد العلماء الحكوميين مثلا؟“وحتي لو ، فالاشخاص الذين اعطونا أشياءا مرحة كالاسلحة البيولوجية والقنابل الذكية المبرمجة ألكترونيا هم أخر أشخاص أود ذهابهم بأجنداتهم الخاصة للتاريخ الحي الغير محصن”لذا قدم ستيفين كينج قبل هذا الجزء مساحة للتعريف بشخصية جاك بشكل أفضل، وحادث قريب تأثر به كثيرا -المقال الذي كتبه الطالب الإعرج المسن- ليكون دافعه وليجرب به في البداية تغيير الماضي وكيف سيكون التأثير علي الحاضرهذا الجزء أقرب لنوعية ادب الجريمة النفسية، من خلال معايشة جاك في مدينة بشعة، "ديري" بولاية ماينديري هي مدينة خيالية أبتكرها ستيفين كينج وظهرت في كثير من أعماله..أهم ظهورها أنها كانت الموقع الرئيسي لأحداث روايته المرعبة ومهرجه الاكثر بشاعة "الشيئ" في رواية بنفس الاسمهنا ستجد وصف مقيت كئيب لها ولأغلب سكانها من الكبار تعيدك لأجواء رواية "الشئ"-او الفيلم المقتبس عنها“وسط المدينة ب'ديري' أكثر جاذبية بالكاد من عاهرة ميتة في مقعد بالكنيسة”هنا، و في 1958، سيحاول جاك إيقاف جريمة لا يعرف أفرادها إلا طفلا واحدا...وبعد سنة من أحداث مهرج قاتل يخطف الاطفال، تخيل وضع شخص غريب، ومن المستقبل، بهذه البلدة الصغيرة..الحقيرة، يحاول البحث عن هاري الذي مازال وقتها طفلا** الجزء الثالث ***** الدراما الحياتية ***لأول مرة أعلم ان ستيفين كينج كان مدرس لغة أنجليزية قبل أن يبدأ الكتابة ، -بل وقد شرع في كتابة تلك الرواية في السبعينات وقتما كان لايزال مدرسا ، لكنه توقف عنها لإنها كانت بحاجة لكثير من الأبحاث- هنا أيضا بطل الرواية مدرس أنجليزيبل ويحاول التأليف في وقت فراغه في ال5 سنوات بين وصوله للماضي في 58 وحتي عام اغتيال كينيدي في 63ولكن التأليف وحده لا يكفي لذا سيبدأ في العمل بشكل مؤقت كمدرس كمهنته في الحاضرحياة المدرس غنية ، من علاقته مع زملائه، الطلبة ، حفلات الرقص والنشاط المدرسي والمسرح...إلخكل هذا سيعيشه جاك في الماضي من خلال دراما هادئة نوعا ما ..فقط يتخللها شئ من الرومانسية و الإضطراب النفسي ولكن هذا في الجزء التالي** الجزء الرابع ***** الرومانسية، الرقص ...و العقد النفسية ***هذا الجزء هو الأطول ، منقسما لجزئين ...جزء يقع فيه جاك بالحب من أمرأة جميلة تدعي ساديوجزء يراقب فيه جاك شخصية لي هارفي أوزوالد ، من قام بأغتيال كينيدي قصة الحب رقيقة لكن قاسية بنقس الوقت، وبالرغم من أني شعرت انها أخلت قليلا من واقع الاحداث المتسارعة وأحتلت جزءا كبيرا من الأحداث، إلا أن دورها تقريبا هو الأهم فعلا بالقصة...بالاخص عندما يتضح كل شئ ستجد انها دافع ممتاز لأستمرار الأحداث والخطة المرسومة من البدايةفربما لولا وجود سادي لما استكمل جاك مهمته“أكنت اعرف لكني هنا معتمدا تماما علي صديق عرف ذلك من الإنترنت”“ماذا في العالم يعني هذا؟”“خيال علمي. مثل راي برادبري”أما شخصية لي أوزوالد فلن تتخيل كم هي ثرية إلا عندما تقرأها بعين جاك/كينج ..ستتعرف بالبداية علي بعض الامور السياسية الحقيقية عنه “'أوسولد حاول اغتيال أحد ما قبل كينيدي؟' هذا جديد بالنسبة لي، لكن عاما معظم علوماتي عن أغتيال كينيدي جائت من أفلام أوليفر ستون”ثم تطرق أكثر لحالته النفسية وشئ من جذورها...فستتعرف علي علاقته المعقدة مع أمه ، زوجته الروسية وبلده وأنتماءه السياسي المضطرب بين الشيوعية التي يؤمن بها وما وجده بروسياوقد استخدم كينج الكثير من الوقائع الحقيقية والتي بعضها أدي لاحقا لظهور بعض نظريات المؤامرة مثل علاقته ببعض القادة المناهضين لكينيدي ... او كيف أنه لا يبدو عليه انه قادرا علي فعل شيئا كهذا في المقام الأول“أسمعني، هو ليس في غرفة الاستراحة. هو في الدور السادس الآن. أعتقد انه يقصد أن يغتال الرئيس كينيدي”ضحك الحارس الضخم بمرح. اسقط سيجارته علي الأرض وسحقها بحذاء العمل“هذا الفسل لا يملك حتي الشجاعة ليغرق قطيطة وليدة في شوال. كل ما يفعله هو الجلوس بركن ويقرأ كتب”لذا كان يجب مراقبته...والتأكد من هل انه سيقوم فعلا بعملية الإغتيال بنفسه..ام ان هناك ايد خفية اخري** الجزء الخامس ***** التاريخ المرعب ***في الستينات كان هناك هلع حقيقي من الحرب الباردة التي كادت أن تشتعل حربا نووية...ولكن من وجهة نظر جاك من المستقبل قدم هذا الجزء بشكل ممتع...وايضا كيف بذكاء جون كيندي تفادي حربا نووية في الستيناتربما من أكثر ما ستتلمسه من معايشة الماضي مع جاك هو أن التنظيمات الفردية التي تهدف العنف والاغتيالات -والتفجيرات والإرهاب- وجنون العقود الثلاث الأخيرة كلها أمور كانت نادرة وقتهاالأمان كان اكثر...رغم بعض الاستثناءاتلكن في كل زمان هناك بعض النفوس المريضة ، ولكل من هذه النفوس سبب ؛ الشرب.. الوسواس القهري.. البارانويا وجنون الارتياب.. تسلط الأم.. الاهمال الزوجي...وغيرها ستتعرف عليه من شخصيات ظهرت خلال الاحداثقدم ستيفين كينج تناغم ممتاز والذي أطلق عليه تناغم الزمن او الماضي(كالتشابه بين ديري -مدينة كينج الخيالية المقيتة- ودالاس التي حدث بها الاغتيال / أو التشابهات بين الأحداث التي يقوم جاك بتغييرها في الماضي)والأهم هنا هو التشابه في الشخصيات المريضة تلك ... من والد هاري القاتل، زوج سادي المهووس، وبالطبع لي أوزوالدوالعجيب انه اتقن الكتابة عن هذا الرجل "اوزوالد" والبحث التفصيلي عن أطوار إضطرابه النفسي لدرجة انك لبعض اللحظات قد تشعر بشئ من الشفقة تجاههولكن...ما الذي حدث بالفعل وأدي لأغتيال كينيدي؟المشكلة التي ستواجه جاك هو أن هناك أنقسام بين بعض القيادات الحكومية حول أداء كينيدي، وحتي بعض افراد الشعب مما يزيد الكثير من التكهنات...بالإضافة لمكان الحادث نفسه المفتوحلا أنكر انني في بداية العام عندما قرأت رواية "حافة الأبدية" الجزء الثالث من ثلاثية القرن لكين فوليت شعرت بوجود الكثير من التوترات في علاقة كينيدي وهوفر مثلا... بل حتي وعد ترامب بان ينشر كل الوثائق السرية حول اغتيال كينيدي منذ أيام قليلة قبل ان ابدأ قراءة الرواية لم يوف بعد حتي بعد ان أنهيتها بأسبوعينمن الوثائق التي قام بتسريبها والتي لفتت نظري هو وصول مكالمة تحذر الشرطة من اغتيال كينيدي قبل الحادث ولم يلق لها بالا... والظريف ان الرواية نفسها حدث بها الموقف نفسه ولكن بشكل المسافر عبر الزمنكل هذا سيعرقل الكثير من مهمة جاك...وسيجعل الجزء الأخير الاكثر اثارة وحبسا للانفاس، حيث المواجهة الاخيرة بين جاك والماضي العنيد الذي لا يريد ان يتغير** الجزء السادس ***** هل يمكننا تغيير الماضي؟ ***إلي هنا إن لم ترغب في شئ من حرق الاحداث يفضل أن تتوقف عن القراءةيوجد حرق بسيط للأحداثستيفين كينج قبل ان يكون كاتبا رهيبا كان قارئا أخطر … ستجده يذكر لك هنا من خلال الاحداث الكثير من الروايات، اغلبها روايات الخيال العلمي، أو الروايات الممنوعة في الستينات من المدارس، أو تشابه دور جاك بدور الفضائي من رواية 'يوم وقفت الأرض عن الدوران'، أو تشبيه ديري بمدن الروائي بول باولز الشبيهة بالكوابيس، أو روايات السفر عبر الزمن نفسه مثلThe Lincoln Hunter, Time and Again.والاخيرة لجاك فيني وصفها كينج في الخاتمة بأنها افضل روايات السفر عبر الزمن من وجهة نظرهولكن هنا ليجيب عن سؤال "ماذا سيحدث لو نجا كينيدي من حادث الاغتيال؟" في الجزء الاخير من الرواية قام بمزيج عجيب من V For Vendetta , 1984 , 451 Fahrenheit..etcديستوبيا بشعة في فصلا عجيبا من الحاضر بعد تأثيرات الفراشة الذي قام به جاكوسيقدم لك الاجابات عن عواقب التلاعب بالزمن من خلال هذا الفصل الاخير من خلال الرجل الذي يحمل كارت أصفر...والذي منذ بداية الأحداث يثير التساؤلات حول طبيعة وجوده في الماضيستشعر كأنه نوعا من "حاملي السلاح" بسلسلته الشهيرة "برج الظلام".. وخاصة ان ملابس الرجل ذو الكارت قريبة من ملابس حاملي السلاحومن خلال شرح الرجل الذي يحمل الكارت سيتضح مورال ورسالة تلك القصة التي تصارع الزمن بشكل مرعب*** النهاية ***المشكلة هنا كما قلت في البداية، ان الإنسان دوما ينظر للوراءإذا ما ملكت القدرة لتغيير شئ ما في الماضي ستجد نفسك تريد تغيير هذا وذاك وذاك …ستعود مرارا وتكرارا من أجل بطولة ، صداقة، تعاطف، تصحيح خطأ...أو من أجل الحبستعود دوما للوراء لتغيره فستجد تناغم الزمن يثور ويدمر عليك مستقبلكقصة عجيبة ، كما هي حالات روايات كينج الصخمة هي ملحمة ...احتوت علي الدراما والرعب والسياسة والتاريخ والرقص ...والسفر عبر الزمنوالحب...قاهر الزمن~~~~~~~~~~~~~~☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆~~~~~~~~~~~~~~A Brief English ReviewPlaying with Time is a tricky business, playing in the Past is even trickier.I believe this line sum up the whole story and the message “moral” of it..“Giving myself the old advice as I went: don’t look back, never look back. How often do people tell themselves that after an experience that is exceptionally good (or exceptionally bad)? Often, I suppose. And the advice usually goes unheeded. Humans were built to look back; that’s why we have that swivel joint in our necks.”We always look back…For old time sakes and nostalgia, for love, to a mistake that has been done, to stop an accident or...a terrible assassination..And as much as this novel will make you nostalgic to live in the beautiful peaceful much will tell you to just ; Don't Look Back..It's only King that can bend a A+ Psychological Drama, Sci-Fi, Romance, Horror and Politics in one Huge Novel..I loved how well structured the theory of the Time Travel through his “Rabbit Hole” at the first part… how Jack get motivated to carry on with the Quest of stopping the 11/22/63 assassination.. Also loved how realistic he made of the story of the assassin, Oswald.. his rooted troubles.. it's far from the usual Conspiracy was much real..Well, I start it cause few weeks ago I've read that ;"Trump promises to release all JFK files"And thought, isn't that the perfect time to start reading this Sci-fi novel?And seriously went into a hell of rabbit hole, a black hole that sucked me back to the 60s in a very thrilling well crafted novel.. reliving the real life Horror of Fri. 11/22/63, in a view point of...a Time traveller..I've read Edge of Eternity earlier this year, which have bits of Kennedy's life and how sad, sudden and mysterious his assassination was...But here you'll know more about the man who did the tragic horrible deed..And for the love story , I may felt that it was like forced by the middle, or lowed the pace...but then I find how it triggered the motivation even more after 5 years of living in the past...and how really it is the most important thing..And how everything is in Harmony with each other as the Past pleased to make.It's, as any King Epic of multiple layers..Mohammed ArabeyFrom 11.11.17To 11.23.17

  • Nandakishore Varma
    2018-11-20 10:53

    Stephen King is not a literary writer. In fact, in literary circles, I am afraid that he may not be considered even a good writer. I am almost certain that he is not going to win the Nobel Prize for literature; even the Booker and Pulitzer also seems unlikely to come to him.Who cares? Because King is the last of that dying breed: the storyteller. The spirit that moves in him is the same which animated the stone-age shaman as he narrated fascinating, fantastic, bloodcurdling, raunchy and sentimental stories to the group of bug-eyed listeners sitting around the campfire. Thus were myth, art, literature and drama born. This is the root, the fountainhead of everything connected with the human spirit.”It is the tale, not he who tells it.” - Stephen KingIndeed, the tale is everything…In 11.22.63, King moves away from his usual area of interest, and produces a time travel story which only he can deliver. This is not the first time he has dabbled in the subject: the concept of changing the past and multiple time-streams are found in The Dark Tower series (albeit in a less earth-shaking manner), and the relativity of time is dealt with to devastating effect in the brilliant short story The Jaunt. But this is the first time King has dealt with time travel itself as the subject of a full-length novel.Jake Epping, a schoolteacher recovering from the trauma of a divorce from his alcoholic wife, is given a strange commission by his friend Al Templeton, the proprietor of Al’s Diner. There is a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum in Al’s pantry: stepping through it, one can reach the past at September 9, 1958 – 11:58 in the morning. However much time you spend in the past, when you reach back, exactly 2 minutes would have elapsed in the current continuum.You can change the past, but each time you go back through “the rabbit hole”, it gets reset to whatever sequence of events is present in the current continuum. And the past is stubborn. It does not like changes, and it will resist them: the more momentous the change, the greater the resistance.Al has realised that he has found a window into an America where President John F. Kennedy is still alive. With the benefit of hindsight, a determined person could stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing the president. Al is convinced that keeping JFK alive would open up the wondrous vista of a timeline without Vietnam, escalation of cold the war and all the subsequent mess the world has got into. He is so obsessed about it that he takes a trip down the rabbit hole with the sole intention of saving the president. The trouble is, the past doesn’t like to be changed – so in the five years which he has to wait, Al Templeton is struck down with lung cancer, and the awareness sinks in that he may not be able to do the job himself and a deputy would be needed. Which is where Jake Epping steps in.Initially, the sceptical Jake has his own reasons for going into the past – Harry Dunning, the crippled janitor of his school, whose mother and siblings were killed by his drunken and murderous father. If he can stop this from happening, he can alter Harry's life forever. his effort proves successful, and once he understands that he can really alter the past, Jake gets caught up in Al’s idea. And Al’s suicide and the realisation that the rabbit hole may disappear at any moment harden his resolution.However, what Jake didn’t expect was the Sunday punch the past had in store for him.Love… ***What I loved most about the book is the way Stephen King avoids the standard time travel clichés and paradoxes, and concentrates on the human aspects – and the nature of evil.Evil in small-town America is a pet theme of King’s: we have seen it surface again and again, as vampires, rabid dogs, insane murderers and even as clowns. So also are human monsters, sometimes much more frightening than the supernatural ones (Greg Stillson and Frank Dodd of The Dead Zone, Norman Daniels of Rose Madder etc.). Here, Lee Harvey Oswald, wife-abuser and murderer, is such a monster – but King does not concentrate much on him, probably because he has been written about ad nauseum. Instead, the human monsters of this story are Frank Dunning and Johnny Clayton, and they are part of the strangely menacing past which does not want to be changed.Frank Dunning and his family are residents of Derry, Maine – the same Derry where Pennywise the Clown went on a rampage in It - and as is usual with King’s fictional universe, the stories overlap and Jake makes the acquaintance of two of It’s protagonists, Beverly Marsh and Rich Tozier, in the interlude between the clown’s first visit and the second. Derry is the quintessential creepy town that Stephen King has introduced us to (and taught us to fear) under different names. There is “something wrong, something bad”. Consider the following passage: Do any of these things bear on the story I am telling? The story of the janitor’s father, and of Lee Harvey Oswald (he of the smirky little I-know-a-secret smile and gray eyes that would never quite meet yours)? I don’t know for sure, but I can tell you one more thing: there was something inside the fallen chimney at the Kitchener Ironworks. I don’t know what and I don’twant to know, but at the mouth of the thing I saw a heap of gnawed bones and a tiny chewed collar with a bell on it. A collar that had surely belonged to some child’s beloved kitten. And from inside the pipe – deep in that oversized bore – something moved and shuffled.Come in and see, that something seemed to whisper in my head. Never mind all the rest of it, Jake – come in and see. Come in and visit. Time doesn’t matter in here; in here, time just floats away. You know you want to, you know you’re curious. Maybe it’s even another rabbit-hole, another portal.Maybe it was, but I don’t think so. I think it was Derry in there – everything that was wrong with it, everything that was askew, hiding in that pipe. Hibernating. Letting people believe the bad times were over, waiting for them to relax and forget there ever had been bad times at all. This fallen chimney is similar the concrete tunnel in the hotel playground in The Shining, where something asks Danny Torrance to come in and play with it “forever forever forever” or the Oatley Tunnel which Jack Sawyer must brave in The Talisman; the frightening yet strangely fascinating maw of a dimension where only timeless evil exists. This is the origin of the Frank Dunnings and the Frank Dodds, from where the canker that affects America seeps out. One almost wonders how many time Steve has gazed at that hole, fighting the temptation to go in, at the same time drawing the stories out.However, the aim of the author in this novel is not to creep the reader out, even though all the usual elements are there. The aim here is to explore the strands of time, and how the weaving together of the same creates a particular tapestry. If one could change just one strand, the whole picture will change creating an entirely new pattern: totally random and not repeatable, like the patterns created by the glass pieces in a kaleidoscope.Jake, though he knows in advance what will happen to Harry Dunning and President Kennedy and can theoretically stop it from happening – provided the obstinate past doesn’t stop him first – does not have the same power over other events which he knows nothing about. Every small change he makes has an impact on the past and its inhabitants. This is especially true in the case of Sadie Clayton, whom he has come to love.The doomed love affair between Jake and Sadie is, in one sense, the central thread of the novel – a love affair that is inseparably entwined with the motif of dancing. A set of moves between partners which is predetermined but created afresh every time on the stage: paralleling a past in which lives keep on intersecting and moving away, creating patterns which are reset every time someone enters the rabbit hole. As the author says on the cover page, “dancing is life”.It is this celebration of life with a sense of menace in the background – a sense that any time, things can go wrong – that is the highlight of the story: a sense of living in the moment, forgetting the dead past and the unborn future, which is the only protection we puny humans have against the juggernaut of chance. Listen to how Jake describes it: Here’s home: the smell of the sage and the way the hills flush orange with Indian blanket in the summer. The faint taste of tobacco on Sadie’s tongue and the squeak of the oiled wood floorboards in my homeroom……Other things, too. People saying howdy on the street, people giving me a wave from their cars, Al Stevens taking Sadie and me to the table at the back that he had started calling ‘our table’, playing cribbage on Friday afternoons in the teacher’s room with Danny Laverty for a penny a point, arguing with elderly miss Mayer about who gave the better newscast, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, or Walter Cronkite. My street, my shotgun house, getting used to using a typewriter again. Having a best girl and getting S&H Green Stamps with my groceries and real butter on my movie popcorn.Home is watching the moon rise over the open, sleeping land and having someone you can call to the window, so you can look together. Home is where you dance with others, and dancing is life. But unfortunately, most human beings cannot live in the moment permanently, least of all Jake, a man with a mission. And the story grows progressively darker as 11.22.63 draws nearer, and the past which does not want to be changed closes in on Jake… and Sadie, because of her association with him: (view spoiler)[resulting in permanent disfigurement for her and a near crippling beating for him. (hide spoiler)]. The climax, when it comes, however, is rather tame and predictable: so is the aftermath, as Jake learns that it is better to let time flow its own way and not to try and change its course. We feel that Stephen King has let us down with a thud: until the final part of the novel turns the whole story on its head, tying up all the loose ends (The identity of the Yellow/ Orange/ Green Card Man, the terrifying entity Jimla which terrorises Jake in his dreams) and answering all the questions. The novel, fittingly, ends with a dance, between lovers who belong to different time streams. (view spoiler)[Kennedy has not been saved and Vietnam War not averted, however, the world moves on in its perfectly imperfect way all the same. As Jake twirls the octogenarian Sadie around the dance floor, she asks: “Who are you, George?” and he replies: “Someone you knew in another life, honey.” Trite words, but here, loaded with meaning, which only Jake Epping and his readers can understand. Perfect.(hide spoiler)]Dancing, indeed, is life.***In conclusion, I would like to quote a conversation between Sadie and Jake, after she has understood that he is from the future.”Jake? Tell me one good thing about the future.”“I’ll give you two for the price of one. The cold war is over and the president is a black man.”Her mouth dropped open. “Are you telling me there’s a Negro in the White House?”Yes, a lot has happened in fifty short years. Maybe King is right – this particular strand of the time stream that we are cruising on currently is the best of all possible worlds.Highly recommended.

  • Lisa
    2018-11-19 06:45

    What did I think? I think I lost a weekend and there is no way to go back in time to get it because I don't know where the rabbit hole is! But would I? Would I change having read this book? No way!I was a huge Stephen King fan in high school and gobbled up all of his books. Until ... they went from cool weird to over-the-top weird. Suddenly coke machines were your worst enemy and there seemed to be a less emotional element mixed with the macabre (think Pet Cematary) and it was just a bunch of words filling up pages talking about near nonsense. I stopped following King. Plain and simple. But over the years I have meandered up his path from time to time ... and found The Dome was along those lines of his original work. But this? This was FANTABULOUS! Right from the get-go the premise draws you in. Who wouldn't want to know what the world would be like if John F. Kennedy hadn't been shot? But this is Stephen King, and he's not taking you to bed for good without a boatload of foreplay. I was snagged from page one, and I too was greatly concerned about what happens to the future if you mess up the past! I guess it couldn't end any other way ... and I was a little confused as to the events that supposedly would take place if Kennedy hadn't died ... but I don't want to say anymore. You must read this book and you must understand you will have no other desire to do anything else until it is finished!!

  • Dan Schwent
    2018-11-25 15:03

    When a dying friend shows him a portal to 1958 in the back of his diner, Jake Epping finds himself venturing in the past with one goal in mind: Stopping Lee Harvey Oswald! But did Oswald do it? And can Jake stop him even if he did fire the shot that killed JFK?Once I got over Stephen King's throbbing erection for the late 1950's/early 1960's, I enjoyed this book immensely. Here's how it all went down.Jake's friend, an old diner owner, shows him a portal back to 1958. Each trip is like the first trip, meaning Al has been buying the same 12 pounds of ground beef at 1958 prices for years. Al wants Jake to stop the Kennedy assassination, something Al had been planning on doing until cancer laid him low. Jake gets railroaded into doing it and finds himself blundering around after Lee Harvey Oswald until 1963. Yeah, it didn't sound that exciting to me either at first but I was hooked right away. Stephen King is criminally underrated as a writer, mostly because he writes mammoth best sellers more often than I clean my downstairs bathroom. Frequency aside, he can write the shit out of things. I had no trouble buying Jake's romance with Sadie, nor his reluctance to kill Oswald without being sure he was guilty, nor the idea that the past doesn't want to be changed. When the big moment came, I felt like the entire universe was at jeopardy, much like I did in The Dark Tower.Speaking of The Dark Tower, there are Stephen King Easter eggs in abundance, like Jake meeting a certain two children in Derry, to the Takura Spirit he sees by the road late in the tale. Remembered a day after reviewing: There's also a Jim Thompson reference in that there's a sign outside Jodie reading Pop. 1280. I even wrote that on a post-it but forgot about it during the intitial review writing process.I like the way King handled time travel, especially this exchange between Jake and Al, which I'm paraphrasing:"What if you went back in time and killed your own grandfather?""Why the fuck would you do that?"Another time travel bit I really liked was Jake had to take era-appropriate money with him. A lot of time travel stories neglect that.While I was reading this, my girlfriend, who forcibly recommended the book to me, asked what I would do with a time portal that functioned like this one, returning two minutes after you left no matter how much time you spent in the past. I told her I'd sneak away and take long naps or go on reading vacations for a week or two of subjective time. That's one way to get some serious reading done. I did have a few complaints, though. Jake does some awfully conspicuous things in the past for a guy who's trying to fly under the radar. Also, the aforementioned boner for JFK and his era. I have to think King was looking at the 50's and 60's through rose colored glasses. Food and drink tasting better in the past? Sounds like nostalgia to me.All in all, this was the shortest 900 page book I've ever read and one hell of a read. 4 stars, leaning heavily toward five. I do not envy whichever book I read after this one.

  • Lindsay
    2018-11-20 15:06

    I had the pleasure of being able to read this lengthy book along with my favourite Goodreads sisters, Brenda and Norma. It was an honour to be included in one of their 'sister reads'! Our rating/review is as follows:3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars for the book5+++++++ stars for the reading experience for all of us participating in this ‘Traveling Sister Read’!! So much fun!!!To see our full review, please visit Norma and Brenda's book blog at https://twogirlslostinacouleereading....

  • Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
    2018-12-05 14:42

    **********SOME SPOILERS**********Here is another book I wasn't sure I would like as I don't care for time travel books. BUT.. once again I was wrong and this time travel book was AWESOME!Jake Epping is having a normal day when his friend Al, who owns a diner, lets him in on a big secret. Al's little diner has a portal that leads back to the 1950's - 60's! And Al wants Jake to go back and try to save Kennedy to see if the world would be a better place. Al has been trying for awhile but now he's going to die of cancer and he can't do it any more. But if Jake goes into that time and comes back to 2011 and has to go back then it resets. More slowly than ever, I said: "Every . . . time . . . is . . . the . . . first time."Al has this whole thing set up with money from that time, instructions on Oswald's movements, what to buy, what to do.. it's been a long time in the making for Al so he's prepared and gets Jake ready as much as he can for the journey. Jake heads over a few times in the book just to get the feel of what he's trying to do. He wants to help save a persons family that he knows from this time. Anyhoo, while he's over there he gets himself a 1954 Ford Ragtop Sunliner to cruise around in and it's cherry red. Oh and cheap, back in the day and all! At one point poor ole Jake thinks he's done cracked his nut, and who wouldn't?I'm crazy, I thought. Crazy and having a terribly involved hallucination in a mental hospital somewhere. Perhaps some doctor will write me up for a psychiatric journal. Instead of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, I'll be The Man Who Thought He Was in 1958When Jake goes to help his friend Henry's family, he has to go to Derry, Maine and spend some time there. He feels like the place is not right.... well, all Stephen King fans know who or what is in Derry :-) This is actually one of my favorite, if not favorite parts of the book because not only does he go through some crazy stuff to help his friend... he talks to some of the kids from the book "IT" !!!! I was so crazy reading this part. Some of the towns people also talk about some of the stuff that happened when you know who was around. And don't mention clowns in the town! It was just bittersweet to me because I could picture some of the things from the other book with the descriptions in this book. So Jake gets what he wants done in Derry after two attempts of resetting and then he's off to do the main deed. But, first he gets some jobs as a substitute teacher etc. (He's a teacher in 2011) And he falls in love. Yep, can't do nothing without falling in love! And the lovely lady would be Sadie Dunhill. At first I was a little irritated that we had to go off track and fall in love. I wanted to continue on and not get into the drama that came with Sadie but it all worked out in the end. Sadie was a sweet person and I can't really say anything else without major spoilers. Either way, I loved the stories and I loved the characters! If you haven't looked at the end of the book there are some lovely things added. Obviously you have the Afterword, You have questions for discussion for your book group, A conversation with Stephen King, Playlist from the book, Menu from the book which I am excited over as I'm going to make some of the food :-) Another winner in my book, Mr. King! Pun intended! I have yet to see the mini series but it comes out on blu-ray in August so I'm hoping I can get it and see if it's good too! MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  • Lou
    2018-12-11 15:07

    Listen to an excerpt from Stephen King's 11/22/63 audiobook, narrated by Craig Wasson.A grandmaster of storytelling, the Dickens of modern times is back with another top read.He's back with no Here's Johnny! but certainly here's Lee Oswald! a brutal husband and a father.The stage is set the focal time 22nd November 1963, enter the main protagonist Jake Epping soon to be known as George Amberson down the Alice in Wonderland Rabbit Hole, the mission to rewrite history. What Jake undertakes has deeper impact on himself than he could wish. You get the feel from this novel that the 1960's was a lovely era, it had a feel of innocence in the air, boys with flattop crew cuts, girls with ponytails and shin length poodle skirts. Jitterbugging and lindyhopping. There is fully flavored Root beer and Catcher in The Rye was banned from school libraries.Jack travels to 1958 and starts his new life with taking up the position of an English teacher in a school that he finds he really loves teaching at and meets people that are to change his future. For a man who has in the past hardly shed a tear he is to learn many new emotions and he can't quite understand how to deal with those responsible for them. In the course of preventing the Kennedy assassination he finds himself with a few obstacles. He also tries to undo another history of a friend from his present, one of the murderous kind. Feel immersed and enjoy a heart warming story of humanness.The beauty and skill of Stephen King's writing is he brings to the table ordinary individuals and pitches them against adversity, some are triumphant others not. The age old battle of good versus evil he does so well, the master conjurer of nightmares, the writer of redemption and darkness of the heart. He writes the character driven story well and don't think he's lost his swagger as he has plenty of steam in his tank and proves it year by year. This is not a king novel in the way as The Shining was a horror novel but is a King novel in that he writes so well with the darkness of heart as a key player. He keeps turning out good stories. Its a hard market the short story category but King always seems to revive the art of Short story telling. Full Dark No Stars by King done so well in 2010 and this year I am sure 11.22.63 as a novel is to lead as the best of 2011."If you ever wanted to change the world, this is your chance. Save Kennedy, save his brother. Save Martin Luther King. Stop the race riots. Stop Vietnam, maybe' he leaned forward. 'Get rid of one wretched waif, buddy and you could save millions of lives.""Money comes back. It stays no matter how many times you use the rabbit-hole.""life turns on a dime, and when it does, it turns fast.""The Cullums were at one end of the seesaw; the Oswalds were at the other. And Jake Epping, also known as George Amberson? He was the tipping point.""There's an old saying: peek not through a knothole, lest ye be vexed. Was there ever a bigger knothole in human history than the Internet?"

  • Ginger
    2018-12-08 14:49

    Review now up!I went into this book knowing three things:1. It was HUGE2. I’m not a big JFK assignation conspiracy fan. I didn’t know if this whole plot would work for me or not.3. I know Stephen King can get wordy, so I was hoping that this book wouldn’t lag or get off point.First, I can safely say that yes, the book is huge, but the story is so captivating that I didn’t notice.Secondly, I now want to go to Dallas and the Texas School Book Depository to see where Oswald did the deed. What a bastard. Not only with killing Kennedy but in his marriage as well.I’m NOW totally fascinated by the assignation and might be wearing a tinfoil hat soon.And lastly, Stephen King did get wordy, but I loved all the characters so much that I didn’t mind. The characters in Jodie, Texas made this book for me. He gave the teenagers heart along with the teachers and the whole community. I loved every bit of it.Stephen King really nailed the baby-boom area. I could see it in my mind as I was listening to this audio book.Yes, I did the audio book for this and I don’t regret it. At the beginning, the narrator Craig Wasson would change voices to fit the character. I found it a bit odd when he would do a woman’s voice in the beginning of the book but by the end, I loved every minute of it. He did it all from Texas and Russian accents, along with the annoying old woman. Well done sir! HahahaI loved Jake Epping. He was a complex and well-loved hero. He made this book for me.I’m not sure if I would have faced some of the morality choices with the same type of grace. I would have been greedy, and gambling much more than he did in the book! Ha!! I also would have been a bit more bloodthirsty. Hey, I'm not going to lie.I highly recommend this book. Seriously, you won't regret reading this. The story along with the characters will make you love, laugh and hate with a vengeance. I was crying at the end and the tension had me on the edge of my seat.THIS is great writing and storytelling. Well done King!Oh yeah, one last thing. If I never hear the word OBDURATE again, it will be too soon. This damn word drove me nuts by the end. Use syllables next time King!

  • Helene Jeppesen
    2018-11-17 12:49

    Wow, this book was amazing in many different ways! First of all, it's one of those stories that puzzles with your mind and makes you think: What if? What if you could go back in time and change the future? How would it work out? Stephen King gives us his version of this in this novel, and it is highly entertaining! Secondly, this is one of King's novels that is NOT horror but more of a thriller, and I loved this shift in genre. I've previously claimed that King is a great story-teller but not necessarily the best writer, but I take that back! This book has so many interesting details and observations to it which I loved, and everything wrapped up beautifully! This 700-page-story does have its slow parts which never became dull, but still you had to be patient while getting through them. However, all of a sudden things became very heated and tense and I was on the edge of my seat. Everything kept coming to you in waves and I was enthralled! AND for those of you who are still a bit skeptical, this book has a beautiful romance story. It's not too much; it's just the perfect amount. The novel contains some beautiful scenes which I did not see coming from Stephen King, and I was pleasantly surprised.Read it! It will fly by despite its many pages, and it will puzzle with your mind and make you think differently on the past and the future.

  • Navidad Thelamour
    2018-11-28 13:02

    Stephen King’s 11/22/63 was a behemoth of a work with more layers than a Chicagoan in December. The premise in itself was exhilarating, and the execution was near flawless. Another chef-d'oeuvre from Ole’ Uncle Stevie. This one was a novel that absolutely could not have been tackled by just anyone and may have fallen flat on its face if handled by a less experienced craftsman. The worlds on both sides of the time-travel line were utterly realistic, but where King really showed his masterful hand was with the threads throughout the novel that wove it all together, from the Yellow Card Man to the janitor’s father to JFK and Lee Harvey Oswald themselves. No character was superfluous, and despite the massive word count on this one, there wasn’t a single phrase that was either. Even characters who were fleeting left their mark, shocking me, tickling me, and provoking thought along the way. The jargon that King used to color the various neighborhoods and scenes from Maine to Florida to Texas was deliciously realistic—he has a knack for that, and it was on full display here—and I felt that I was fully immersed in the world that he painted. This one gave me goosebumps in more than one place and food for thought in several others. And, refreshingly, King resisted painting the 50s as a happy-go-lucky time of just sock-hops and poodle skirts and gave the 60s the gritty air that it deserved. He infused this glimpse at this time period with realistic strokes of segregation and poverty in his portrayal—truly showing us the world through King-colored glasses. 11/22/63 shifted voices between characters in an effortless way that’s hard to execute. From backwoods Maine lingo to deep Southern vernacular, the voices were masterfully done and the characters were all fully realized. There are biblical references and historical facts—and distortions of them that allowed for his own creative riff on the past—Gothic elements galore and grit. True, unflinching blood-and-dirt-in-your-nails grit. This one came full circle in various parts of the novel, not just in the end in that formulaic way that we are all oh-so-familiar with, showing how all of the pieces connected hand-in-hand to tell one larger story. Quite the narrative tool for building suspense and tension. I’ll admit that there were times when the full-circle aspect of this one hit me too squarely on the head, when it was too dead on, towards the end, and that pulled me out of the world briefly while I wrestled with my annoyance at being dowsed with that unnecessary, cold splash of water. But the sheer gravity of this novel and unimpeachable hand that resonated through to the very last page overrode those small annoyances. I resist giving this one 4 ½ stars to pay for that annoyance that I experienced, because the rest of the work was so phenomenally done that it would honestly border on being petty. JIMLA! 5 stars *****

  • Richard Derus
    2018-11-28 14:05

    This review, along with many of my others, can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud.Wrist-spraining goodness. Just about as good as it gets. The fiftieth anniversary of the assassination is this week. It's a good time to think about the might-have-beens of history.

  • Gatorman
    2018-11-16 12:42

    Wow. This book is a mess on so many levels I'm not sure where to even begin. First, it's a damn shame that King chose to take what could have been an interesting story centered around the Kennedy assassination and turn it into nothing more than a liberal lovefest worshipping all that is Kennedy and a political diatribe against all that is Republican, conservative and/or religious. I was well aware of King's political views when I read this book, as well as every other King book I've read, but never have his politics so thoroughly suffocated a book as they did here. What's worse is that the book was marketed as a time-traveling thriller when in fact it was just an opportunity for King to trash his political foes and blame them for all that is wrong in the world while at the same time completely ignore historical fact to idolize and worship Kennedy as some kind of peacenik when, in fact, he was not. It's clear that King has absolutely no respect for his conservative readership and doesn't mind crapping all over them when it suits his purpose. Disgraceful.Putting aside the political issues, the book is, structurally, a disaster. Had King bothered to try to tell a cohesive story with compelling characters, he may have been able to overcome the political bias and permitted us to enjoy the story. Alas, no. The characters are flat, one-dimensional and lacking any compelling characteristics (How can you write an 840-page book and have zero character development???) The love story between George/Jake and Sadie is so overwrought with every silly cliche imaginable that you just don't give a damn what happens to either of them in the end. The scenes with George following Oswald drag on and on interminably to the point where I found myself reading quickly just to get past them. The story contains plot twists that are so manufactured and forced that I didn't buy them for a second. And the climax is so rushed, and the ending so schmaltzy and convoluted, that I honestly couldn't wait for it to end. I find it shocking that the same man who wrote The Stand, It, Pet Sematary and other classics penned this disaster. Maybe if King had spent less time focusing on his political views and more time on the execution of the story, we would have had something worthwhile here. Unfortunately, the book reads like a lame, cardboard-cutout "thriller" in the vein of hacks like Dan Brown. This is, by far, the worst book Stephen King has ever written, and I've read all but two of them. What a major, major disappointment. Read it at your own risk.

  • Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
    2018-11-24 12:45

    Stephen King's time travel tale, about a man who uses a time portal, which always takes him back to the same exact time and place in 1958, to try to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, is mostly a science fictional tale, but--being King--I suppose he couldn't resist adding an element of horror and surrealism. Jake Epping, a Maine high school teacher, is told about this mysterious portal by Al, the owner of the diner that contains the portal. Al has been using the portal, living much of his life in the past. Each time he returns through the portal, only two minutes have elapsed in our world. Also, each time someone goes into the portal, it completely resets the past back to the original way things happened, so whatever you did in the past the last time to change the world is cancelled out. Now Al is dying of cancer and wants Jake to take over his mission to save JFK. He warns Jake that there's some mysterious power that resists major changes to the past (boy, does it ever!). There's also a strange wino who hangs out on the other side of the portal, with a yellow card in his hat (cue ominous music). But Jake is determined to improve the world by saving JFK's life, and settles down to live life in the past until the right time arrives to take action against Lee Harvey Oswald.11/22/63 is a chunkster of a novel, with some wonderful moments, but perhaps I might admit that I personally found it a bit overlong. The plot was great; I just don't know that it justifies 850 pages. I could've lived with about half that. I got a tiny bit (well, maybe more than a tiny bit) bored with how slowly the story was moving along and the massive amount of details and minutiae. So, true confessions time: I got impatient and at about the 60% mark I jumped to around 100 pages from the end and read the ending. As usual, I was fully intending to go back and read the part I skipped, and, as usual, I lost interest in doing that as soon as I knew how the book ended.The book is still on my shelf, and I still like to think that sometime I'll go back and read the whole thing, because King's a good writer and did such a vast amount of research. I just wish it hadn't been quite so vast.

  • Maxwell
    2018-11-19 11:42

    I should never have doubted that this would be amazing. Stephen King is a master storyteller, and this is one heck of a story. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this, especially the parts of everyday life when the MC is in Texas. I expected to care most about his mission, but in the end I most enjoyed when King mused on normal life and what's at the heart of every human being--love, friendship, and purpose.