On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back?
In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.
It begins with Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away: a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life - like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963 - turning on a dime.
Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession - to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world - of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading, eventually of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful - and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
©2011 Stephen King. All Rights Reserved. (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc
As a long time Stephen King fan it is always disheartening to read a novel that you feel is not up to his abilities as a master storyteller. This was NOT one of those! I have always believed that even though King is known as a horror writer his best stories (in my opinion) were those that were least horror like (The Stand, Deadzone, Green Mile, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption etc). 11/22/63 fits very nicely in this category, more science fiction than horror, with characters that were very real, making a great story that was difficult to put down.
There are always two ways to tell if a story is above average. First you feel rather sad as you near the end and you realize that all these characters that have entered your life are about to leave it, almost as if they were moving away and were never going to return. Second, you know that you will be picking up this story and reading (or listen to it) again some day in the future. 11/22/63 falls into both of these.
One of the first stories I read as a youngster was a time travel story (Robert A. Heinlein’s ‘By His Bootstraps’). It was so good that I spent much of my youth reading both science fiction and time travel before I expanded my tastes into reading other genres. Time travel and the time paradoxes are still one of my favorite reads. King did not disappoint and has done a truly marvelous job of handling a major historical event and the “what if” circumstances of time travel. The ending was well thought out, logical, surprising and poignant.
In reading some of the other reviews I noticed that some complained about how the story seemed to slow down in the middle around the Oswald details. I disagree; I felt this was necessary for the fleshing out of the characters, and one of the many reasons why these characters become so realistic.
Craig Wasson is an excellent narrator. It was enjoyable listening to him read this novel. His ability to perform both genders, a huge range of accents and impersonate several historical people was truly remarkable.
Thank you Stephen King for adding more hours of enjoyment to a life.
After reading so many positive reviews on Audible and Amazon I really wanted to love this book. (I listened and read the book.) The premise is exciting, different, and starts out so well I couldn't stop listening or put it down. But there is a certain point when the book just sidetracks to a storyline that doesn't feel integral to the time travel and Kennedy plot. It was deadly for me and I found myself wanting to skip chapters because it was just agonizing to get through. I stuck it out until the end - which was interesting - but all in all King could have shaved at least 300 pages off the middle of the book and had a real winner in my opinion! Wasson is good at times but overacts to the point of distraction at others. I also had a very tough time focusing on the characters as his voice sound exactly like the actor Luke Wilson. Can't say I would recommend this book to others - just too tough to slog through that center portion.
I enjoy reading many books genres. But I love listening to fantasy books.
This is definitely one of Stephen King's masterpieces. There are few authors who can make me believe the book actually happened, but King is one of them - when he is on his game. Listening to this book, I kept imagining how this could really happen. I am not crazy - I know it can't. But the characters are so real. The narrator is fantastic too. My husband loved this book as well.
Avid Audible Listener
Imagining the implications of time travel
George and Sadie dancing the Lindy.
This was by far my favorite Stephen King book to date. My son and I have read many of Kings works, and until this book, my favorites were Doloris Claiborne, Carrie, IT, and Needful Things. This one had all of those beat, which I didn't think would have been possible. To me, 11-22-63 was intriguing from the first paragraph, and kept my attention throughout. The narrator, Craig Wasson, brought the characters to life brilliantly, and for once, I didn't have to write down all the characters and how they tie in to each other so I could keep up with everything going on. In my opinion, King has a bad habit of writing too many characters that weave in and out in all sorts of different directions, but he refrained from doing that with this project. I enjoyed every part of this book ... Bravo Mr. King!!!
This book is in my top ten list.
I liked going back in time and hearing about the late 1950's. King's description of the cars, the clothes, the food, and also the dirty air were a realistic trip down memory lane.
Wasson's voice conveyed the pain, struggle and love Jake/George felt for the other characters and for his mission.
I listened to this over the course of a month. It is a long story, but it held my interest to the very end.
Great job Stephen King! Thanks.
I have always been a reader, until my 3-hr a day round trip commute. Now, I am a listener - and I am hooked on audio books!
Yes, because the story was so compelling, and at times so filled with tension, that I might have turned pages faster than I was actually able to absorb the words. The audible version, which was perfectly narrated by Craig Wasson, allowed me to recieve the full effect of the work.
I can't even say the most memorable moment, because that would be a spoiler for anyone who hasn't yet had the pleasure of reading this book.
In particular, I felt he conveyed crucial emotions - you could hear happiness, horror, sadness - he made an amazing story even better.
I laughed during this book, I shamelessly admit to crying at the end - it moved me and it was JUST THAT GOOD!
The way SK avoided common time-travel pitfalls was satisfying. The way he dealt with the whole alternate reality issue was (dare I say it?) - actually plausible! This man could tell a story about eating cornflakes and it would be interesting - with this wealth of story, reasearch and possiblity, combined with his trademark (and effortless) weaving of other stories into his works, makes this truly one of, if not THE, best book I have ever had the pleasure to read. Technically listen to, but there you have it. I would recommed this for absolutely anyone - it's not horror, it's simply amazing!
Craig Wasson's narration adds a dimension to this book that the print version can never match. His range of voices really draws you into the characters and gives them a dimension the written word alone cannot really achieve. He becomes the main character and he gives depth and personality to so many of the others. You feel like Jake is there telling you his amazing story.
The combination of King's story itself and Wasson's narration add up to an engrossing audio experience. At one point I listened to this for 10 hours straight while taking a long drive. I was taken to a level of immersion that I had heretofore never experienced. And after having finished this delicious tome, I started over and listened to it again. Even though I now knew the outcome, it was just as enjoyable the second time around, if not even more. I know I will listen to this again.
This is the first time I have listen to a book narrated by Craig Wasson. I will seek out more of his work, for sure.
This book took my on the proverbial emotional roller coaster. You are there. You feel it, see it, smell it. I listen to many audio books, all fiction, and have never reacted to or melded with a book like I did with this one.
If you enjoy audio books, do NOT pass this one by. Remember, the past is obdurate.
I am a huge fan of Stephen King but have to admit his last few books have not been that good. This one is excellent, the story line, the history & the characters are all great. I love Craig Wasson as the narrator. A very good read.
on the top
personalities of the characters. Brought to life
Yes, but I shouldn't go into it..Might ruin the part for some
Before 11-22-63, Duma Key was at the top of my list, now replaced by another Steven King! I travel a great deal with my job and all I listen to in my car is books. I must say Steven King is not my first choice in authors, however the reviews were so good on this book I decided to give it a try. After purchase of this title it sat in my iphone for a couple of months, until this week. I became so engrossed in this novel I experienced a couple of what I now refer to as Steven King moments. The first, as I pulled into the motel of choice for the night, I sat in the parking lot before checking in trying to get to a point where I could stop the book, I watched the last room being let for the night from my car. No big deal, but the second SKM, was at the end where the action is building,,,,I ran out of gas...5:00 pm, Dallas,Tx on the biggest traffic jam highway in the city, (The Linden Banes Johnson loop 635 LBJ). I am 58 and I have never run out of gas, anywhere. As my daughter would say OMG! This ended up turing out ok but like George in the book, be looking for the unexpected to happen when you listen to 11-22-63. It's not just good, it's truly GREAT!
The most memorable moment, I don't really know there were quite a few, but if I have to pick one it would be when George finally makes it to the 6th floor.
I have listened to Craig Wasson before and like before he is truly a master reader. I believe he can make any book better.
Once again there were many moving moments, but just one, It again is the 6th floor with George and Sadie in the aftermath. I don't want to say more! Listen, you'll know when I mean.
The only additional comment, If you like audio books 11-22-63 is not a must get, it's like knowing the outcome of a future bet, You Can't Lose!
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