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11-22-63: A Novel | [Stephen King]

11-22-63: A Novel

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.
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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

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  •  
    Matthew United States 12-29-11
    Matthew United States 12-29-11
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    "11-22-63: Amazing"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    I spent the last few days deciding between 4 and 5 stars for 11/22/63. In the end, though, I had no choice but to give it 5. Wonderful, wonderful book. So wonderful that I am shocked that I haven't heard more buzz about this book. I just happened upon it...it seems like one I should have been recommended by everyone I know. It was that good.I have to wonder if it's hefty size might be to blame. 859 pages is not something one picks up without a good reason, lol. I happened to read/listen to this as an audio book - my first fiction audio book ever. It was downloaded in 4 parts and was just under 31 hours in all. I decided to listen to it because I had quite a few Christmas projects to finish up, and I thought it might be nice to listen to something other than music while working.I couldn't get enough of it. I ended up listening not only while I was sewing or painting, but while cooking, cleaning, driving, putting my makeup on, doing my hair...you get it. I couldn't put it down. Reader Craig Wasson was wonderful - his voices were fun to listen to, and he did a much better job on the pronunciation of many names than I would have. I really enjoyed the Authors Note. I loved hearing the history of this novel - Kings earlier attempt to write it and his research into the events. Another unexpected bonus to listening to this as an audio book was hearing Kings voice. Of course I've heard him speak before, but this time his Maine accent was much more pronounced - probably a result of my hearing it in the reading of the book. I loved the authenticity that added.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Jakes trip(s) to the past are surreal in the best way, because King writes it just as the reader would experience it. His wonder over the attitudes of the people, the cleanliness of the streets, the purity and flavor of the food and drink and (most of all) the PRICES of everything. It's all as unbelievable to Jake as it would be to me - and so I feel as if I, too, have stumbled down an invisible staircase into 1958. And I love it. Before we come to the real meat of the book - the prevention of JFK's assassination - there are side stories. Calling these plot lines side stories, however, is akin to calling quiche


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

    NA


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

    Finally, at the very end I found myself sobbing out loud, tears running down my face. King is undoubtedly a master of horror and suspense - but I found him a master of romance and emotion in this book, as well.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd recomend this to anyone and everyone. I think it's a wonderful read for fans of any genre.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cliff LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 12-29-11
    cliff LAS VEGAS, NV, United States 12-29-11 Member Since 2013
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    "long road to nowhere"
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    not sure, sci fi folks i guess.


    Has 11-22-63 turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes. guess il stick to non-fiction.


    What about Craig Wasson???s performance did you like?

    hot and cold.. great all around, with the exception of Oswald's mother. I was to the point of quiting the whole book, just had had enough.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    hard to say. seemed like the writer was having a great time.


    Any additional comments?

    I was enjoying the book, then one incident changed everything. On Jakes first solo trip he brought a few things with him.. from then on i felt that the reader was suppose to descend into the land of stupid- and just accept it. Before that time, the book flowed nicely.
    Also the ending was one to forget- as quickly as possible.
    The book left me feeling like a victim of a pick-pocket.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    naruto fan 12-28-11
    naruto fan 12-28-11 Member Since 2009
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    "One of my all time favorites"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    Yes - I have already listened to this book twice!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was intriguing and well paced.


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

    This is the best performance by Craig Wasson, I have listened to several others and enjoyed them as well. But this is by far the best.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 12-28-11
    kellee las vegas, NV, United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wow!"

    This book is incredible. I would highly recommend it. It actually changed the way I have been thinking about things lately. Just... wow! I did some research and learned that King did extensive research for this book and its historical accuracy. That's helpful. More than any other book I have ever read I recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary west orange, NJ, United States 12-28-11
    Gary west orange, NJ, United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Another great SK book"

    Wel written and enjoyable. I liked the historical view of the novel. The end let me down a bit. But overall I enjoyed it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Minnetonka, MN, United States 12-28-11
    Kathy Minnetonka, MN, United States 12-28-11 Member Since 2010

    Avid Audiobook listener. Mostly like historical fiction or contemporary mystery/suspense.

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    "Not so Simpler Times"

    LOVED this book! Never read a Stephen King book before but have found out how amazing of a story teller he is. The narrator is near perfect (only complaint when he does the voice of Saddie sounds a little like Winnie The Pooh). I didn't want the story to end and it was fun to think of what I would do if I could go back to 1958.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tawnya 12-28-11
    Tawnya 12-28-11
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    "Just didn't like it..."

    The first 8 or so hours were so captivating that I couldn't stop listening. Then came the love story. I felt like I picked up a different book. The great part was that the narrator was incredible, but I wanted historical fiction not a love story. The characters were interesting and endearing, but I did not like the endless love story contained within the story of the title 11/22/63. The JFK portion of the book seemed like filler material. I just wish SK would have stuck with the time travel story and skipped the love story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stella o fallon, MO, United States 12-27-11
    Stella o fallon, MO, United States 12-27-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Bravo! Best read since 'The Help'"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    Amazing story from start to finish. King did his homework.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Characters projected their own unique flavor in a way that you would only find in a Stephen King novel.


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

    Harry Dunning


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

    Shocking.


    Any additional comments?

    Bravo Mr. King. If Marilyn Monroe were alive today, she'd probably sing 'Happy Birthday' to you at her first opportunity.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tami Port Allegany, PA, United States 12-27-11
    Tami Port Allegany, PA, United States 12-27-11 Member Since 2014

    I discovered the joy of audiobooks several years ago when I got a job which is a 45 min drive one way. It continued to keep me mostly sane.

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    "The best stories make you forget where you are"

    And this would be one of those. Stephen King is better at that than any author I've ever read. That being said, I haven't read anything new of his in quite a few years. Not sure what it was, but this, his best epic since The Stand, has brought me back to the fold.

    All of the characters, no matter how minor, are compelling and three dimensional. You find yourself caring about and responding to them all. I agree with another reviewer that time itself is the protagonist, which is one of King's most omnipotent opponents ever!

    What I enjoyed most was the authenticity of Ago, King's world of 1958-1963. I wa s born in 1961 and don't really remember that decade, but somehow, eerily...I felt sense memory in hearing his descriptions of that time. I LOVED revisiting Derry. (If you haven't read IT, do yourself a favor and read it before reading this)

    Craig Wasson did a masterful job narrating this gargantuan novel. I loved his interpretation of Jake, Al and Sadie. My only complaint was his penchant for pulling in classic Hollywood actors impersonations, and then only because it distracted from the story.

    11-22-63 was a very enjoyable,thrilling and thought provoking story and listening experience. It is worth every bit of the credit you'll use on it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben Sierra Vista, AZ, United States 12-27-11
    Ben Sierra Vista, AZ, United States 12-27-11
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    437
    3
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    "if we only could travel back in time"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    A fine story written by the master.


    What did you like best about this story?

    A


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

    This is a hard choice to make because he performed all the characters so well.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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