Thursday, December 29, 2011

11/22/63 by Stephen King

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King's heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination, a thousand-page tour de force. Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment a real life moment when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.  Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane and insanely possible mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.  A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best. (synopsis from Goodreads)

I received 11/22/63 from Klout as a perk. As a life long fan of Stephen King, I was delighted. I have read all of King’s work and can honestly say I have enjoyed them all. Some of my favorites were the Talisman written with Peter Straub, Lawnmower Man, It, the Gunslinger and my personal favorite the Stand.  11/22/63 is a breathtaking glimpse at one of the most talked about events in US History and the era in which it occurred.  King’s research on the subject is evident, as he accurately details the past. Being a fan of sci-fi and Dr. Who, I found the subject of time travel and its effects fascinating.

I love the way King draws you into a story and doesn’t let you go until the end. Despite that fact that his novels are long, I continually find myself sadden at how quickly they come to an end.  The protagonist Jake Epping is a likable English teacher, who cares about his students and friends. He is drawn into time travel by a dying friend.  I absolutely loved the way King explained the trips back, the effects and the characters he created there. The transformation from Jake to George Amberson was incredible. The character growth and personality changes were very believable. King's ability to take us into the psyche of his characters never ceases to amaze me.   

When Jake went back in time, I went with him. I slipped into an era of simpler times and yet an era filled with segregation, fear and prejudice.  With a stroke of a pen, King paints a vivid picture. He takes us back to Derry in the years after IT. I totally loved the references to his prior novels. It's so typical of the King to add these little treats for fans. As Jake alters events from the past, strange things begin happening.You begin to feel uneasy as the timeline tries to prevent Jake from changing it. I loved the people in the town of Jodie Texas, and would have enjoyed living there. The romance between Jake and Sadie, was romantic and genuine. I shed tears for them both. My only complaint was the sappy ending. I am not sure why King felt the need to wrap it up in a cute little bow. 

Classifying this book was difficult, its historical fiction, a romance and a science fiction/fantasy. While it’s not a true horror story, it has elements of horror and parts of it scared me.  I have been walking around repeating creepy phrases and quoting lines from the book.  I highly recommend this to any reader; as it has elements that will please everyone. 11/22/63 is available in paper, audio and eBook formats.
I gave this book 4 coffee cups out of 5.              Kimba

Author's website:Stephen King
Buy it at B&N here:

Or at Amazon here:

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At December 29, 2011 at 1:44 PM , Blogger Christa @ Hooked on Books said...

I've got this sitting on my Kobo and I'm dying to dive into it! It's size is a little daunting but it just sounds so good. Might be a good way to start 2012!

At December 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM , Blogger Christy (Love of Books) said...

Omg.. another one I'm dying to read. I mean, King and time travel? C'mon, that's AWESOME! I'm glad you liked it!

"I have been walking around repeating creepy phrases and quoting lines from the book."

lol... that's funny.

At December 29, 2011 at 8:15 PM , Blogger Luvdaylilies said...

Okay, you've convinced me to add this to my wishlist=) I also LOVED The Stand!
Lethea B

At December 30, 2011 at 6:37 PM , Blogger Meg @ A Bookish Affair said...

I'm definitely intrigued!

At January 2, 2012 at 4:33 PM , Blogger anaavu said...

Mmm I want to read this soo bad!

At May 11, 2012 at 4:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have had the book for about two months now and keep putting off starting if for the exact reason you write about. I get caught in his world and can't get out until I am finished. I am just too busy right now. I get sad, too. That is so funny. The last one I read was Under the Dome - brilliant and I still think to myself, He could have written one more chapter. Talisman and Black House are two of my favorites.


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