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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 (34368 )
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  •  
    Kathy KINGSPORT, TN, United States 04-02-12
    Kathy KINGSPORT, TN, United States 04-02-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Stephen King is back in form."

    I haven't read a Stephen King novel in years. Guess I just burnt myself out. When I heard the premise of this novel I was intrigued and had to get it. My husband and I listen to books on our trips south a ten and half hour drive. I thought "perfect, I only need to buy one book." Once the story started we were immediately hooked. The trip flew by and we even listened one day for 4 hours while at the house when it was raining. It was so easy to suspend disbelief of the idea of time travel and everything was so believable. The research must of been exhausting for this book. It took me back to my "growing up" years and reminded me of what it was like. Things I had forgotten about completely were brought vividly back to life. I enjoyed this book more than anything I have read or listened to in years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    George SPRING, TX, United States 04-02-12
    George SPRING, TX, United States 04-02-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Best Work Ever by Stephen King"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 11-22-63 to be better than the print version?

    The voice performance was fantastic. Craig hit the ball out of the park!


    What did you like best about this story?

    History/Suspense


    What does Craig Wasson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His emotion and tonal changes, make the story come alive.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 04-01-12
    Amazon Customer United States 04-01-12 Listener Since 2009

    Lawyer practicing corporate and family law

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    "Wonderful from beginning to end."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely and have already recommended this to all my reader friends.


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

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I had not read Stephen King in a long time, remembering him as just a writer of horror stories, which got a little too upsetting, gory, etc. for my taste. But this book shows Mr. King is a master storyteller. It was a wonderful story from beginning to end. I couldn't stop listening to it, couldn't wait to get in my car for my long commutes to work and back, which is exactly what I require in an audible. I am definitely a Stephen King fan again. Those who haven't read him since the Pet Cemetary days should definitely read this book.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert pittsburgh, pa, United States 04-01-12
    Robert pittsburgh, pa, United States 04-01-12 Member Since 2009
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    "A King book that makes you ask-what would I change"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    I have always been a Stephen King fan. His books are always great but some of his works seem to flop at the end. This is not one of them. King's books that don't have monsters are my favorites (Misery and Dolores Claiborne to name a few). I enjoyed this book from beginning to end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    What I enjoyed best was the endless possibilities it caused me too think about. How many times have you wished you could undo an event. But what would that change undo in the present. I know the book is fiction, but this book makes you rethink fate and cause-effect.


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

    This is my first Craig Wasson audio, but I am a fan of his movies. He has the perfect voice for audio.


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

    The whole concept of this book sucked me in pretty much from the beginning. The temptation to change events is a fantasy almost everyone has entertained.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer ROSCOE, IL, United States 03-31-12
    Jennifer ROSCOE, IL, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Great story, awesome narration!"

    I was sucked in to this book pretty quickly and I was sad when it was over. The story was very engaging and the characters were well developed. The narrator made me forget I was listening to an audio book...I felt like he was telling me his own story. I plan on listening to this book again.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew Lawrenceville, GA, United States 03-31-12
    Matthew Lawrenceville, GA, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2015
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    "So unexpectedly awesome!"

    I am a big fan of Stephen King's but I think sometimes he needs an editor who will stand up to him and tell him a book needs to be shorter, or turned into a short story, or perhaps just not written at all. He is very inconsistent and over time has written some of my favorite and least favorite books. The Stand was always my favorite of his because he did such a great job of telling a story and making you relate to each of the characters who were struggling to survive. No more! 11-22-63 is now my favorite SK book, and this might be one of my top five or ten books ever.

    This book was so unexpected and so UN-Stephen King-like, it surprised me. It was not a horror or even a suspense book. The supernatural aspects were somewhat there, but this wasn't about time travel and despite the whole book moving towards the prevention of the assassination of JFK, it is merely a backdrop to a beautiful character-driven story about one man trying to understand the universe and his place in it.

    Although we are dealing with time travel if you remove that aspect, his views on the past harmonizing could also serve as Kings own observations on how deja vu happens in our ordinary lives. In fact I thought the beauty of this book was surrounded not by time travel but the author entering in the last quarter of his life and fighting to understand the purpose of life, how do you find happiness in any time, how we view nostalgia and wish for a time when things were simpler and ultimately does the good of mankind weigh greater than the weight of an individual and their own personal happiness.

    I thought the time travel aspect would be a device for him to cheat, you could just have made it a book that happened in the past otherwise. But as tempting as it would be for him to cheat, he stayed honest and did not take any short cuts as far as his storytelling went. And actually I thought he went out of his way to say you CAN'T cheat. Not just with the "butterfly effect" but in general, if you went back in time with cheating devices like using sports betting or the stock market or whatever, the biggest problem is not the butterfly effect but that there are ACTUAL consequences to these cheats. If you cheat too often, someone might try and hurt you or worse, past or present!

    The reader did an outstanding job of getting all the different accents mostly correct, and he had lots of contrasting and extreme characters, Maine, Texas, Georgia, Boston, German, Russian, Spanish, etc and most were pretty good and not overdone. When the story started, I did not think he had the right sound, but he definitely fit the main characters "average guy" persona and then wove in all the historic characters. The wrong reader would have been distracting, and in a book over 30 hours, you don't need that! By the end, I thought he was the perfect reader to a great story.

    My only complaint is his use of Glenn Miller's "In the Mood." It is by itself a cliche for an era and for swing dancing so the fact that he kept going back to it throughout the book was silly and thus turned the scenes into cliches themselves. I liked the individual scenes but had he chosen other music, it wouldn't have seemed cheesy.

    I still am surprised this book didn't drag out or get slow, being more a character-driven love story than a thriller. But I thought it was a sweet story about a nice average guy finding his way and trying to fit in somewhere. I have recommended it to several others and they all have enjoyed it. If you are thinking about reading it, I strongly recommend it but don't expect to find a typical King thriller here! Prepare to be surprised and entertained!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deborah 03-31-12
    Deborah 03-31-12
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    "Thoroughly engrossing!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I love time travel stories and this was a very tightly woven tale.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of them.


    What does Craig Wasson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great narration that made the characters pop out of the book right into life.


    Any additional comments?

    As usual, Stephen King, spins a tale that keeps you interested from beginning to end.
    His characters become real, and even years later they are remembered. That's quite an accomplishment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yates Acworth, GA, United States 03-31-12
    A. Yates Acworth, GA, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2016

    TrompetVrouw

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    "FANTASTIC story"
    Where does 11-22-63 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The best audio book I have experienced to date. I didn't want it to end. It is definitely a virtual page turner.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    All of them.


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

    All executed wonderfully. Fantastic narration.


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

    The twist toward the end. Honestly, I don't want to spoil anything.


    Any additional comments?

    Extremely engaging, well-written and well done. HIGHLY recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan San Francisco, CA, United States 03-31-12
    Jan San Francisco, CA, United States 03-31-12 Member Since 2009

    bookdiva

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    "I haven't read Stephen King since high school..."

    I have always recognized that King was an excellent writer even though I grew out his horror novels. I heard that he had written this one so took a chance; I was enthralled. It's a long novel and I was very sorry to hear it end.

    The tool is time-travel which never interests me but this is done in such a believable manner that the listener is riveted. There are lots of stories within the main plot which has to do with JFK assassignation.

    The narration is TERRIFIC - the reader does every voice in the book - a wide range - he does great accents - women, you name it. I recognize the voice but I am going to remember his name and actually look for his books now.

    It also brought back many of the facts I had forgotten or never knew about the assassination - I was a little girl at the time, so returning to that time was interesting.
    Highly recommend this novel.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Anderson 03-30-12

    CW Anderson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unique view into a time that was"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    The whole concept and and production were first rate.


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

    Talking about how ice cream shakes used to be made and even more about how great root beer floats were back then.

    But also, about how unfair society was to so many groups of the disenfranchised - women, blacks, etc.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Probably the best scene was when his heart was tearing in the knowledge that his love and reason for being had died a horrid death because and despite the hero's deed.


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

    The entire book's premise moved me.


    Any additional comments?

    A must listen. This is King at his best and it is a very different book from his others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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