My favorite King works have always been his stories more about people than about Horror.
This is my favorite Stephen King book of all.
Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.
I don't want to be a Stephen King fan. Nevertheless, he knows how to tell a story! I have really liked some of his books in the past, and I really loved this book. It gave me so much to think about. I'm afraid I will have to read a few more King novels in the future. Darn it!
I was a kid when Kennedy was shot, and no explanation yet satisfies me as to what really happened. I didn't find an answer here either, but it was nostalgic to go back and revisit the scenes of that awful day. Everyone wishes it would never have taken place, but what if someone had stopped it? How different would things really be now? King stretches the imagination to the max, which is what he does best.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
This book has an interesting premise. You can read about that in any number of the kazillion reviews that have been written. But the execution of it? Not so interesting. If this is a five-star listen, we need more stars to give out to really fabulous books.
The biggest question this book raised for me is this: at what point does an author have the right to dismiss all editors? I felt like this was a perfect example of a book that really would have gained from a big fat red pen. Truly, at least 100 pages could easily have been cut. That only would have removed the repetition. My guess is that at some point in time after you've made millions and millions for your publisher, no one will suggest editing. I think of the conversation going more like this: "Fabulous book. Wouldn't change a word. Here's your check. When can we get another?"
Many people have loved this book so take my review of it with a grain of salt. I did get sucked into the story - though continually commented on the need for editing. I thought it could have been much shorter and still had impact. It also could have gained from more lively narration.
Stephen King has written some great books and he has written some that fell way short. This book fell way way short. To King’s credit, considering the incredible amount of work he has produced, it stands to reason that he can’t always bring up a full bucket every time he goes to the well.
11-22-63 started off with an intriguing story line but quickly became a ridiculous love story. The love interest, Sadie, is the most annoying character I have ever encountered in any book. I was soon hoping she would fall off a cliff or get hit by a truck and put me out of my misery. Her character was whiney, insecure, and generally one dimensional. King tries to make her come across as loving and desirable but only succeeds in adding a dog in heat trait to her already obnoxious character. The narrator compounded this by giving her a voice that I suppose was an attempt at sultry and endearing, but he only succeeded in making her sound raspy, masculine, and whiney.
The narrator, at times, did a decent job with the various character voices but at other times he went so far out in left field he was out of the ball park. His voice for a minor character, an FBI agent, was simply atrocious. The voice changed throughout but was always a varying blend of John Wayne, W.C. Fields, and Foghorn Leghorn.
I finished the book only in hopes of King getting the story back on track but that never happened. I do not recommend wasting a credit on this particular Stephen King book.
This is my first Stephen King book and probably my last. Romance is not his oeuvre. The book would have been much better if the protagonist had arrived in 1962 rather than 1958 and gone directly from Derry to Dallas. The whole interlude with Sadie Dunhill in fictional Jodie, Texas, bogged down the story. I think King was exercising his romantic writing skills rather than advancing the plot. I kept pressing skip during the sojourn in Jodie. Once Jake/George arrives back in Dallas in 1963, the story picks up again. A good editor would have trimmed the Jodie section of the book and created a more fast-paced, compelling story.
I’m a fan of narrator Craig Wasson and have followed his movies since “Go Tell the Spartans” and “The Boys in Company C.” Wasson does a journeyman’s job of narrating this book and was enjoyable, except when voicing Sadie Dunhill. I did not like the syrupy faux-southern accent he gave that character. Wasson employed a technique I have not heard from other narrators. He used voice impressions of well-known actors for some of the characters. For example, Al Templeton sounds like George C. Scott, Chaz and Frank Frati sound like Burt Lancaster, Billy James Hargis sounds like Bill Clinton, George de Mohrenschildt sounds like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mr. Kenopensky sounds like John Wayne, and James Hosty sounds like Jimmy Stewart. These impressions, especially Jimmy Stewart, made the narration sound cartoonish. Not a technique I enjoyed.
Having lived in central Texas for a number of years, I think King may be guilty of shrinking the state. The area inhabited by his characters runs roughly from Dallas in the north to San Angelo in the west and down to San Antonio in the south, an area considerably larger than the entire state of Maine. Characters routinely drive over to Fort Worth or down to Killeen or up to Dallas to run errands or take-in a movie. Drive time for some of these jaunts would be four hours one-way. These factual errors would have been obviated had the Jodie portion of the book been eliminated.
Finally, King missed a golden opportunity by clinging to the “lone nut” theory. He could have crafted a far more interesting story by exploring some of the conspiracy theories and introducing various conspirators (real or imagined) into the plot. Perhaps he was trying to avoid imitating Oliver Stone. King’s interpretation of George de Mohrenschildt completely misses the mark and fails to attribute any motivation to the character. After questioning him at gunpoint, Jake/George somehow concludes that de Mohrenschildt is not involved in the assassination plot but does not fully explain his reasons for this conclusion to readers. As a result, de Mohrenschildt emerges from the story as a bigger nut case than Oswald.
I found the book unsatisfying. It adopts mainstream media views of the era and the assassination without exploring other possibilities. No interesting or unusual discoveries by the time traveler here. King seems far too focused on the romantic interplay between Jake/George and Sadie rather than the time-travel/assassination-conspiracy storyline, which drew me to the book initially. Unless you like romance novels, I’d give this one a pass. Better choices in the time-travel genre include “From Time to Time” and “Time and Again” by Jack Finney, and “Replay” by Ken Grimwood.
Avid listener on my daily commute!
This was my first Stephen King, and I only embarked upon the project (and a book this long IS a real project) as a joint reading comprehension exercise with a highly intelligent aphasia patient with a strong interest in American history. Wow, am I ever glad I did! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes science fiction/time travel, history (the book is VERY well researched), or American literature and drama (the main character, a high school English teacher by trade, also serves as high school drama coach/director). While the Kennedy assassination is a particular focus, this book will make you think differently about ALL human watershed moments, both large/collective and small/individual. You will find yourself wondering about how the Butterfly Effect might have caused your own present to be different, if certain key events had not occurred in your past. You'll laugh out loud MANY times, cry at the wonderful ending, and marvel at the "alternative" United States of a very changed 2011 if JFK had survived Lee Harvey Oswald's bullet. A must-read! Now I need only figure out what my NEXT Stephen King should be!
I stopped reading Stephen King a while back because he got just too odd for my taste, but this is right up there with my favorites like The Stand, The Shining, and IT. I love time travel stories and this is really one of the best. Well thought through and just all around an excellent story.
The narration was excellent and the ending was so perfect. I can't recommend this one enough!
As far as Stephen King goes. this isn't one of his best works, but it isn't awful. It seems to be more of an excuse for aging Mr. King to wax nostalgic. The story is somewhat compelling, though there are far better time travel books out there is the wide world of Sci-Fi.
With that said, let's discuss the narrator. As a blind guy, I have the utmost respect for audiobook narrators, butt I can't figure out why they selected Craig Wasson for this one. One thing that really gets to me in an audiobook is when the narrator tries to steal the show. I don't need fake crying and laughing as I'm trying to delve into the story. Please, leave that for the listeners.
I have enjoyed Stephen King stories before but wouldn't call myself a huge fan - until now. This book was fascinating, entertaining, smart, has a great ending ... and even choked me up. The author and the narrator get the highest score I can give out.
I remember seeing a literary review for this book that indicated this man is not one of the giants of literature but is a good storyteller. Anyone that can connect with me like Stephen has done with this story in my opinion is of the same stature as anyone that literary reviewer would applaud as a giant of literature.
I can enjoy a pop song and I can get goosebumps from a more complex song like Thelonious Monk would write. This isn't a hard science fiction book, but there is enough complexity with relationships, research and possibilities that it played like a Monk Bemsha Swing for me.
Naval Air Corps - (DC3, C118, P2V Neptune) 1965 - 1970
Normally, I am not a fanatical fan of all Stephen Kings works because I don't enjoy dark and scary. However, this story drew me in, held me and delivered me right to the front door of WOW. It was interesting to Google Map the many addresses mentioned in the story while listening. I am ex-military and an old crusty kind of guy. I wan't exactly "crying" at the ending of the story; its closer to say my eyes were "glistening" while wearing a happy smile.