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11-22-63 Audiobook

11-22-63: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - 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 his critically-acclaimed epic, 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. Named Audible’s Best Book of 2011, 11-22-63 easily holds its own among King’s earlier classics, and Craig Wasson, handpicked by King to narrate, is nothing short of amazing: he has a fine actor's gift for performing the novel's wide range of characters, emotions, and action with great authenticity. — Chris

Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (36567 )
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Performance
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  •  
    MeliDe Atlanta, GA 05-10-12
    MeliDe Atlanta, GA 05-10-12 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shall we ... listen to a departure from reality?"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    I would listen to 11-22-63 again, especially the ending, because it's so beautiful and I got so engrossed in the story.


    What other book might you compare 11-22-63 to and why?

    I have nothing to compare this book to, unless it's Ray Bradbury's "Somewhere a Band is Playing", but that doesn't even come close.


    What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

    Craig Wasson sounded so similar to King and yet he could change voices on a dime--that was really cool.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending is very gripping, engrossing, sad, yet beautiful.


    Any additional comments?

    Can't wait for the movie!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    angela Lisbon Falls, ME, United States 05-10-12
    angela Lisbon Falls, ME, United States 05-10-12
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    "AMAZING!! One of my favorites!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 11-22-63 to be better than the print version?

    It's better for the only reason that I can drive and "read" at the same time!


    What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

    All of it! He was great. Using the perfect amount of inflection in his voice and changing it up for the characters. Wonderful!


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Absolutely! There were many times I spoke outloud as a reaction to something in the book, just to have my children look at me like I'm crazy.


    Any additional comments?

    Living in Lisbon Falls, Maine has made the experience of this book even more exhilarating!
    We have recommended it to all our friends and family. The story grips you and we become very disappointed when the end of our drive has come and we have to pause it. (My husband and I listen on our way to work in the morning.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel Broken Arrow, OK, United States 05-10-12
    Joel Broken Arrow, OK, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2005
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    "Wow!!!"
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    I am not a big Stephen King fan, so I was pleasantly surprised that I was enjoying this one so much. It kept going all the way through the end. Too often, good books keep you interested until the last and leave you unsatisfied with the ending. Not this one. The ending was as good as the ramp up.
    Also, note that this is not a horror or even a science fiction book. It is a great story set against one of the tragedys of the last century.

    It is one of the best "listens" I have had in my 10+ years as an Audible member.


    Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to one of Craig's performances before, but it is a very good one. He delivers, without distraction, a performance that follows the classic presentation of the material, itself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joel WZ Broken Arrow, OK, USA 05-10-12
    Joel WZ Broken Arrow, OK, USA 05-10-12

    Joel WZ

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!!!"
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    I am not a big Stephen King fan, so I was pleasantly surprised that I was enjoying this one so much. It kept going all the way through the end. Too often, good books keep you interested until the last and leave you unsatisfied with the ending. Not this one. The ending was as good as the ramp up.
    Also, note that this is not a horror or even a science fiction book. It is a great story set against one of the tragedys of the last century.

    It is one of the best "listens" I have had in my 10+ years as an Audible member.


    Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to one of Craig's performances before, but it is a very good one. He delivers, without distraction, a performance that follows the classic presentation of the material, itself.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Byron Tallahassee, FL, United States 05-10-12
    Byron Tallahassee, FL, United States 05-10-12 Member Since 2015
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    "If you return to 1958, what would you change?"

    In the early chapters of this book, I had to overcome a mental and emotional negative reaction to the concept of someone trying to go back in time to change an event so monumental as the assassination of JFK. Sure, I wish it had not happened, but anybody knows that if that event had not happened, many, many, many lives would have gone differently, and as a result, people would have married differently and many of those under the age of 48 may well have never been born.

    But this book did not go there, and once a friend reminded me that it was "just a story", I was able to overcome my negative reaction, and push on through the book. And I was rewarded by an engaging, though at times a bit too fanciful, story.

    I think that one of Stephen King's motives in writing this book was to meet some kind of benchmark standard for the use of the term "obdurate." I do not remember using that word myself on any occasion, but I suspect that he has succeeded in injecting into my consciousness to such an extent that it will be used the next time I encounter a stubborn boss or colleague. In the book, the past is what is considered "obdurate", and I found this theme unifying to the book, but somewhat annoying as well.

    In summary, this book takes the public fascination with Kennedy and his assassination, and blends a fictionalized story about that with time travel and romance into a very enjoyable read. Although little of King's other work has interested me, this book shares the same magical quality that I found in The Green Mile, where he takes familiar concepts and things from our culture, and injects a bit of the supernatural, and writes a hell of a story. 11-22-63 is a good read, if you can overcome whatever mental or emotional reactions you might have to the premises of the book.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Bradenton, FL, United States 05-09-12
    Tim Bradenton, FL, United States 05-09-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Must Listen!"

    Here's one of those books you must read/listen to. Stephen King takes an idea an runs with it all the way to the end. I liked it so much that I tell everyone about this book.

    Imagine finding a portal which takes you back in time to the same exact date and time...every time you go through it! Then stay in the past for as long as you want and return back through the portal only 3 minutes later in your own time. Would you try stopping Oswald? How much did a pound of ground beef cost in 1958? You'll find out in the book because that's where the restaurant owner buys the meat for his burgers. Can you imagine buying the exact same ground beef, bringing it to the future, and selling it many times over?

    This book kept me glued to my seat. So why did I give it only 4 stars? For a very brief part of the book, King adds his Kingly touch of wierdness which I thought was unnecessary. Don't get me wrong. I really enjoy his many books. I just didn't think it was needed.

    With that said, here's a book I promise you will enjoy! I'm betting this one will make the big screen in the not so distant future. Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina A. Emory 05-09-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is AWESOME! I highly recommend it to anyone! I am not a fan of horror, so some of King's books are not my cup of tea. One of my favorite King books to date was "Hearts in Atlantis". This book has surpassed that one as my favorite. It is everything I had hoped it would be, and more. It keeps you captivated, intrigued, on the edge of your seat, and the ending does not disappoint.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love "time travel" stories. This is one with a very interesting twist.


    What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

    He was EXCELLENT! He brought the characters to life. His pacing was excellent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I can't tell you because it would give away too much of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    LISTEN TO THIS BOOK!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua S Colorado, USA 05-09-12
    Joshua S Colorado, USA 05-09-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Absolute Classic! Brilliant non-horror King!"

    This book was amazing, great concept, great execution! I was enthralled with this book all the way through. I found myself pushing to listen even a few minutes at a time all day!

    A Sci-Fi influence was more pronounced in this story than most King books and this worked well. The story revolves around a known King theme of movement between "worlds". Unlike many SF novels the movement seems fluid and easily approachable even for those who may not be attracted to this genre.

    The characters are classic King, well developed and all with their own motivations. The interactions and descriptions give the reader the feeling of sitting at a table in the conversation instead of a 3rd person voyeur.

    There is a lot of plot and story but the payoff is amazing. The research on this tale is amazing. Even if you are not familiar with the setting you feel as thought you can walk the streets without asking for directions.

    If you have ever dabbled in the politics of the early 60's you should read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mugirl113 New Bern, NC 05-08-12
    mugirl113 New Bern, NC 05-08-12
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    "Not your typical King novel, but even better!"
    Where does 11-22-63 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's by far the best Audibook I've listened too. It's the only one I've wanted to listen to again, which I will after I finish my current book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 11-22-63?

    The interactions with Ozwald stand out to me as some of the more memorable moments. I felt like I was getting to know one of the most infamous people in American history.


    Which character – as performed by Craig Wasson – was your favorite?

    George Amberson was a great character for me. He was so believable and it was a joy seeing his journey from the guy teaching GED classes for extra money to the guy trying to save one of the most loved presidents in our nation's history.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book will you make you feel many emotions. The whole "what if" scenario this book creates keeps your mind wondering the whole time where King is going to take this. I really didn't want this book to end.


    Any additional comments?

    Hands down a great book. Even if your aren't a fan of King's past work this book is worth a try. This isn't your typical King book filled with horror. This book almost fills like a stroll though history than a typical King book. You get to know the characters so well that you are saddened when anything negative happens to them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Circe 05-08-12
    Circe 05-08-12 Member Since 2010

    I spend three hours in the car each day. I would have died of boredom months ago if not for audiobooks. I especially love a good series!

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    "Best book I've listened to this year!"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    Yes! I really loved this book. The story was wonderful, and the characters had great depth. I found myself missing the characters after I finished the book. I will listen to this again in the future, I have no doubt!


    What did you like best about this story?

    I am a Stephen King fan, but I know there are many who don't care for his writing. I understand their criticisms, but I feel even those who are not normally King fans would find they enjoy this book. The characters are fully developed and the story line is not a simple good vs. evil plot. It is easy to develop an emotional attachment to these characters and their situation, which I normally do not find in King stories. I highly recommend this book.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES! It was hard to stop listening to this book during the day.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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