11/22/63

11/22/63

A Novel

Book - 2011
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ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY 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.

ISBN: 9781451660807
1451660804
9781501120602
Characteristics: ix, 849 pages :,illustrations ;,25 cm.
Alternative Title: Eleven twenty-two sixty-three

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RyMac92
Feb 14, 2018

One of King's better books in recent years. Has all the good and bad qualities of a Stephen King story: Captivating concept, tons of well-realized characters, needlessly long, and an ending that completely comes undone and makes the first 900 pages of the book nearly mute.

He does an impressive job transporting the reader back in time as well as capturing a beautiful love story in the process.

m
MaxCW26
Feb 12, 2018

Great book. Really outstanding time travel tale that left me wanting more.

s
StarGladiator
Oct 04, 2017

// On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas . . .\\
WRONG! ! ! King has done a pathetic lack of research on a most important and epochal subject [the murders of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., completely altered the progressive arc this country was on] and it blatantly shows throughout this poorly written fiction based upon fiction.
21 days . . . After October 11, 1963, when President Kennedy signed NSAM 263, allowing for the withdrawal of US military advisors from Vietnam, President Diem of Vietnam would be overthrown in a military coup and he and his brother would be most horrifically murdered [too gruesome for the details here] - - 21 days after that, President Kennedy would be killed in Dallas, TX, in another staged coup. And 21 days prior, during that coup in Saigon, fired CIA director, Allen Dulles, and CIA station chief in Italy, William Harvey, would meet in Dallas, TX, to set the stage for 21 days later on Nov. 22, 1963.
If only King could have written a fictionalized account based upon the truth . . .
[And for the record, far more than three shots rang out, but since those 3 or 4 Mannlicher-Carcano rifles were fired almost simultaneously, witnesses correctly identified 3 different points of origin, depending upon where they were situated, and the Secret Service agents correctly described a crossfire that day.]

w
WhidbeyIslander
Aug 23, 2017

Well written and interesting although if you think about it too closely it all falls apart. Plus, as usual, King pads the story with tons of extraneous crap that doesn't move the story along. Probably more interesting if you are old enough to have experienced 11/22/63 itself.

i
iancmac
Aug 09, 2017

This is not simply a great time-traveler's story, it is a great book and I highly recommend it. The story was extremely engaging, as was the unexpected comfort I found in Stephen King's vision of the past, and the town of Jodie in particular. I will miss spending my time with Jake, Sadie, Deke, and Miz Mimi.

d
dionyzus
Jun 26, 2017

Fantastic book! The premise pulls you right in.. what if an ordinary man could change history through time travel? And once the premise is set, King displays his gift for developing a rich cast of characters. You feel for the protagonist and also feel like you're part of the action, like watching a movie. (Speaking of which, the Hulu miniseries done in 2016 is very good too!) And as it turns out, you'll find that King has done his homework on the Kennedy assassination, and gets a lot of details right on the actual events as they happened leading up to the fateful day in 1963. This novel, which stands on its own outside of his legendary body of work, just confirms that King is one of the great storytellers of our time.

s
sandra80
Jun 08, 2017

Next to The Stand, my favorite King novel. Unlike many of Mr. King's books, this one had a great ending. Loved it start to finish.

m
magyarian94
Jun 07, 2017

Very rich in worldbuilding and a great mix of both speculative and historical fiction. There's even a return to Derry! If there's one knock it's that it drags on too long in the middle.

t
tnscott
Mar 08, 2017

In true Stephen King fashion, you get a nice healthy portion. Excellent book with rich characters. Well worth the read.

l
loudem
Feb 06, 2017

Not much to say about this very long book. One thing's for sure, King is one hell of a story teller. Did it need to have so many pages to get his message through? Were all the descriptions and situations essential? I'm not sure, maybe. Is the fact that it's long makes it better, or clearer? I'm not convinced. But this is Stephen King, the unstoppable scribbler. And we love him just the way he is. It's just that sometime when he finishes another epic, the size of it is somewhat daunting to face. Also it's pretty heavy inside my backpack.

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