Reading, PA | Member Since 2006
Jack Finney was one of the great popular writers of the 50s through 70s, with a couple of his books rising above their sci-fi/horror genres. "The Body Snatchers" (its original published name) and "Time and Again" are both mini-classics. This one is very different from most of the 5 (!) movies based upon it, with a breezy, swingin' 50s feel to the narrative in spite of the horrifying subject manner. The story is superb (sure, it couldn't REALLY have happened this way from a scientific standpoint, but who cares?), the writing simple and direct, and the main character flawed-but-heroic, just as we like 'em. George Wilson's performance hits that perfect cheesy 50s vibe. Listened to this during a cross country trip with my 18 year-old daughter, and we both were hooked by the second chapter.
As with just about all Stephen King novels, this one has a great story, well–researched, with a few twists and turns that actually make sense, and a very satisfying ending. However, two issues; one with the book itself, and one with the audio presentation.
First: Stephen King is justly praised for his attention to detail; however, in this book (as in a few others) the details bog down the middle. There is a love interest in this book which is nicely done, but takes far too long to develop and come to its eventual conclusion. Cut 250 pages out of the middle third of this book, and I think you have a five-star novel here. (Also, King portrays most of the Texas conservatives in his book as hate-filled loons, but that political slant will not surprise his regular readers much.)
Second: The narrator makes this a 30 hour-plus book when it really should have been about 25 hours given the length of the material. He is a bit over-emphatic, and takes his time, sometimes to a ridiculous extent, voicing elements of the plot, and some of the dialogue. The sample above will give you a sense of this. I found myself irritated at times as he plodded along during even some of the more thrilling parts of the novel.
Overall, a solid read, and I greatly applaud King's research into 1960s Dallas and the assassination itself.
FACTOID: In the very interesting afterword, Stephen King offers his own conclusion as to the JFK assassination: "98% chance that Oswald acted alone."
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