I generally do not write reviews of other author???s works unless they rise to the level of exceptional or are so horrible that I feel compelled to save a potential reader/buyer both time and money. In the case of this story, I feel that it hits somewhere in the middle, with needle leaning north of mediocre.
First off, the storyline is well thought out, plotted and executed. The premise is both current and gripping. The story-telling is good and aside from very short chapters (I suspect an editor???s influence in that), the story and plotlines weave and progress smoothly. Technically, the story is well done, and the prose is very good and visual. I do feel that the author needs to research (and get into the regional minds) his characters better.
I was taught as a young writer that an author has an obligation to both entertain and inform the reader. Storytelling is an entertainment medium and within the story, information (hopefully something new or enlightening) is imparted to the reader/listener. However, when an author uses the storytelling medium to impart or promote an agenda, or relates his/her personal bias, then the medium of storytelling is perverted into a tool for propaganda and as such is more likely to offend than entertain. Storytelling is also a deliberate art. The author either deliberately seeks to entertain or he seeks to deliberately offend. It seems to me that this author has sought to squeeze both into this debut novel.
Simply from reading this story, it is obvious that the author holds the following ???personal??? views:
1. Christianity in particular and religion in general, is mere myth, and all sincerely faithful people are narrow-minded and myopic; and science is the only answer to man???s quest for truth.
2. Israel is evil, and the Palestinian cause is just. I won???t begin to discuss the author???s apparent view of America or ???The American Dream.???
3. All conservatives are evil, with evil motives in all they do.
Now, I merely point this out because I feel that the mark of a really good author is the ability to tell a good story from any POV without allowing his/her ???personal??? views to interfere with the story, let alone be evident. This story could have been extremely good had the author kept his personal views in his pocket and simply related the story from the character???s POV and not force his characters to tell the story from his. (If I were one of his characters, I???d sue him for wrongful intellectual imprisonment.) As it is, if you hold ANY religious values as dear, you WILL be sorely offended as you progress through this story. Likewise, if you are Jewish or an Israeli, you too will find reason to be offended here as the author has failed to relate a good story that is free from the author???s personal bias.
On the other hand, if you are purely secular, and agree with current pop-political analysis, you should find this story just fine.
I???m not a huge monster fan. I don???t dig too many Vampire, Werewolf, or Frankenstein stories; and cannot stand (nor do I get) Zombies. But this story is worth the read/listen. I listened to this while working my night schedule in my service business and the atmosphere of the story had me glancing occasionally at the moon and wondering, ???What if?????? That is the mark of a good author.
The author has written a story populated by rich and believable characters, set in a period of history that continues to fascinate us and allows the story to remain relatively timeless, regardless of when it???s read.
The writing is tight with a solid plot twist that is very well executed at just the right time in the story. Well done!
Ever been nostalgic for another period in time? Ever had fond memories of a long lost lover or a love long lost? Ever wanted to visit another place in time, or re-live, or do-over a piece of time? After you read this book you may not be so anxious to hop in the old time machine and experience that ???blast from the past.??? Memories are best viewed in hindsight, not foresight.
Stephen King is, as nearly every connoisseur and consumer of horror fiction knows, a master story weaver. With ???11-22-63: A Novel,??? King has weaved yet another haunting masterpiece; but not JUST another masterpiece. This may end up being THE definitive classic masterpiece in a long line of King???s classics.
In this tale, I found myself literally transported back in time to a critical period in American history, and not only read/listened to what it was like, I felt and tasted it. I was born in 1962 and as such, never consciously ???experienced??? those days; however when this story ended, I was feeling a strong sense that I had. It was one of the most sublime literary experiences I???ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
You will NOT regret downloading this book. DO NOT download the abridged version either. You will kick yourself if you do. I am going to pick up the hardback version for my collection.
~L.Fleming, Tyler Texas
If you love ghost stories in the gothic/vitorian vein, then this is a tale well worth reading and listening to. I believe that this "chilling" tale will become a classic. The narration is spot on and the writing is tight and well developed.
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