Rating: **** 1/2
It was May 1981. School had been out only a couple of days, but I had already left for the bustling metropolis of Hydro, Oklahoma, population a smidge under 1000 or about the size of the Psychology 1103 class I had just finished in Norman. My roommate that summer was Debra, an old schoolmate who had let me bunk at her house the summer before while we both worked at the local bank presidented by a mutual family friend and who had agreed to the same arrangements this particular summer.
The first summer we were together we shared a teeny-tiny house in Weatherford, but only a few weeks before I moved back to town, Debra had purchased a new mobile home right off the I-40 in Hydro and life was going to be good. We each had our own bedroom, a spacious living room, and a full kitchen. The week that I moved in, however, Debra was on vacation, so she left me a key, instructions about which bedroom was mine, and word that she would be back in a week.
The house was so new that she was still furnishing it and while it had a great couch and a working fridge, there was no TV yet, so I had to find something to entertain myself each evening after work. I decided, of course, to read. And my book of choice that week was The Shining by Stephen King. It was one of the stupidist things I ever decided to do. Each night I would read a few chapters, then lay the book on my chest for 30 minutes while I got up the nerve to turn off the reading lamp, get up off the couch, and make the ten-step beeline in the dark to my bedroom door. I was so petrified that I haven't read Stephen King since.
I decided to give 11/22/63 a shot because it was getting really good press over on Audible.com, and I'm glad I did. 11/22/63 is definitely a page-turner--scratch that--a drive-maker, because I would find myself taking the long way home just so I could listen a little longer. Stephen King writes stories that sound good out loud.
In the novel protaganist Jake Epping is introduced to a wormhole through time by Al Templeton, the owner of a local diner. The wormhole takes anyone who goes through it to Sept 9, 1958 and no matter how long they stay there, when they come back only 2 minutes have passed. Al convinces Jake that he should go through the wormhole and stay until 11/22/63 and prevent the Kennedy assassination. Al tells Jake that he tried to do it himself, but now has cancer and knew he would die before being able to complete the task, and so now he's asking Jake to take over.
Jake reluctantly agrees to do it after realizing that he might be able to change not only Kennedy's fate, but also that of others he knows who suffered tragedy during that same time, and so off he goes for a 5-year stint in the past.
But the past doesn't want to be changed.
This was a long book, and most of the sub-plots could have been novellas of their own, but the story kept my attention throughout and as I said above I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next or how King was going to bring all the time-travelling threads together in the end.
Kudos also to Craig Wasson, the narrator, whose myriad voices kept the audio entertaining and easy to follow. Ironically, I thought he sounded too old to be Jake, but all the other voices were spot on--even the Bill Clinton and Jimmy Stewart sound-alikes.
I'm taking away a half star for the length which I think could have been pared down a bit with no real impact to the story, but this is a rip-roaring yarn that left me in tears at the end. Highly recommended!
“As you know, madness is like gravity...all it takes is a little push.” The Joker
Stephen king is as great as always in creating a detailed colorful world to suck you in , but he used his craft in a bit unsuitable direction. Romance is not really what he masters, whenever the details get dragged for long around Sadie and Jake love story I got bored.
Also, the narration of Sadie's character is not helpful.
This book is a must read for anyone who enjoys time travel, history, and Stephen King. It is jam packed with things that keep you thinking from begining to end.
Jake is an awesome character that is built from so many different layers.
One of my favorite scenes is with the yellow card man. I cant say what he does because it would spoil it for you but it mad me laugh till I cried.
Save the President or Save the Girl
I would listen to it again as I beleive King drew so many themes and details throughout the story, I would discover things I missed the first time around. I enjoyed the book.
Amberson. I was not a fan of his female characters. They were distractingly bad.
This was a good book, maybe a bit long but worth a listen
yes, yes, especially one who remembers that time. the reconstruction of the times was detailed and broad in scope, and made me feel young again....took me back to "those" sweet times, before so much tragedy unfolded and before life became SO dangerous and complicated.
oh, my....can't narrow it down....all were so well-drawn, even the villains.
his inflection and dramatizations were additive to the story, which was compelling enough already. his narration rendered the compelling story (stories, actually) even more compelling than if i'd read the print version.
too many to mention, although the climax was ... well ... was climactic.
i wish it had lasted forever....found myself listening slower and slower as i moved through the book, knowing i advance that i would be very sad and lonely for it when it ended.
Fantastic book. Stephen King is quite a story teller and does not disappoint, but this book was beyond any other book he has written. I loved the story concept. Where does he get his great imagination! Yes, I would read this book again in a few years. This story really made me think about "time" and the illusion of "the past" and "future".
First, the narrator was superb. His performance was spectacular and his emotions seemed so real as he brought this story to life. I loved listening to this book. It is one of the most imaginative books I've read in a very long time. I am a JFK buff, and usually read anything related to him and/or that era. While the assassination is a thread that runs throughout, all around it is woven a host of interesting, likable characters, thrilling twists and turns, even that theme which knows no time or place - love.
If you are a King fan, you will notice his usual flair for details which paint detailed images for some but possibly bore others. I personally loved every little detail. King's exhaustive research was evident and brought to life the era, mores, hopes and fears of a generation. It is his refreshing conglomeration of history and fiction with a twist of that wild imagination that make this book a total home run with me.
Excellent narration, it really helps you think about the implications of everything we do.
Harry, he had a positive attitude even through intense struggles.
I enjoyed the different voices he did to really make it come alive.
You can tell that Steven King has been doing this a while. He's managed acheive being both prolific and consistently excellent.
I picked this up thinking that I might like it. Might pass the time. I mean, it's an old story.
JFK - Heard it. Time Travel - Heard it.
But if you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back and live in a different time, this book scratches that itch. The main character is very easy to embody. You can really understand what it would be like to be this guy. So you get to have this experience. King predicts with great accuracy the questions that you might have if you were on this journey and takes care to address as many as possible in the narrative.
It's a great ride filled with realistic imagery, moral exploration and fascinating discovery.
havent read it but i do enjoy audio more it seems go figure right? np