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11-22-63 Audiobook

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

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  •  
    Charles USA 10-25-14
    Charles USA 10-25-14 Member Since 2015

    Lawyer. Musician. Geek.

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    "Great"

    This was a truly engrossing listen. From start to finish... it just reached out of my speakers and grabbed me. Spectacular concept which was pretty much flawlessly delivered. And I'm not a King fanboy- I have read a lot of his stuff and have given them varying reviews.

    Wasson did a tremendous job with the narration- there were a number of moments in the listen where I was on the edge of my seat or had massive welling of emotion. Just a brilliant performance.

    Worth a credit and 30 hours of your life.

    30 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D corona, ca United States 01-03-12
    D corona, ca United States 01-03-12 Member Since 2015

    I read, I write; I listen

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    "King of R/D"

    What I like about a Stephen King book is he does his research, (as mentioned at the end of the book.) A story that centers on such a widely discussed, and written, event in history as the Kennedy assassination would have been boring had he not used many little known historical facts (little known except probably to those conspiracy theorists that are consumed by 11-22-63) and made a plausible story line in the midst of an impossible premise; in this case time travel.
    I feel I got to know Lee Harvey Oswald. I got to know his family and even though it was pure conjecture; I got to know the reason he pulled the trigger on that fateful day in November of ???63.
    The other part of the book centers on the premise of time travel. Can a man go back in time and change history and it he could how would that effect the future? This premise has also been discussed, and written about often but Mr. King uses, in my opinion a clever mechanism in which time is reset every time someone travels back through ???The rabbit hole??? again. In the beginning of his book the owner of a a local diner, Al Templeton, travels back to 1958 and purchases the same beef (at 1958 prices) over and over again which he sells to his customers in 2011.
    The part of the book I found somewhat nauseating was the relationship between the main character, Jake Epping, and a woman he meets when he travels back to the past. The use of ???Pound Cake??? to describe their desire for each other makes me not want to eat it ever again; although their relationship is an integral part of the story.
    The narrator, Craig Wasson, does an adequate job although at times he sounds like a bad Jimmie Stewart impression.
    I???ve read almost all of Stephen King???s books and I think this is one of his best.

    29 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas Kalamazoo, MI, United States 11-09-11
    Douglas Kalamazoo, MI, United States 11-09-11 Member Since 2012

    Full time in the Arts Industry Addicted to Audiobooks of all kinds...

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    "Grabs you and keeps you till the end!"

    The story was incredible and full. Another Great read/Listen.
    No matter what Genre you seek this one has something for everyone.
    Though I miss Frank Muller Narrating Stephens work I found Craig Wasson a great Narrator. Listened all day and half the night.

    62 of 78 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mel USA 11-20-11
    Mel USA 11-20-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "'Who's the Lovin' Daddy'...Cue the Band!"

    You'd think after 50 novels even a distinguished author would be creatively wrung out, cranking out literary Pablum, possibly living comfortably off the body of works from "Ago", but no no no...King has somehow evolved--(indentured soul to the devil in trade??). Not only is his writing still inventive and original, it is insightful, intelligent, and intimate, and as is true with the best of the best of them, it reflects true dedication and respect to the art of writing, it is masterful.

    King's trend away from boogey men (never "boogie" men--SK likes his tunes) toward the monsters within, is obvious with 11-22-63, and should once and for all show how adeptly King can stand proudly among giants, both literary main stream genre giants and the one-eyed-one-horned slimy kind. Surprisingly, the story is not as focused on the alternate history as it is on an alternate universe, and about what King does best, the story of people in extraordinary circumstances--missed opportunities, what-if's, hopes, dreams, good guys and very bad guys. It's familiar in many ways, even comfortable, loaded with heart and soul, maybe a little sap, and just when you reach for the tissue--out pops evil incarnate (ala Hitchcock-- via Derry, Pennywise, Christine, Lee Harvey, etc.) just to remind you...it is, after all, King, Stephen King. And, if familiar with King, you know it's long (let's not hear anymore about editing), you know it's entertaining, but you may be surprised by the polish and maturity. I've read some critiques that say this is "the book King was born to write." Personally, I wouldn't limit such a talented and prolific writer with that kind of statement!

    Highly recommend; big claps for the meticulous research; kudos for time traveling with flair-not cheese. The narration is outstanding, absolutely equal to the work it performs and should be considered the high mark in audio performance. Could not get better.

    * If you've read the book or the reviews, how's this for an eerie "harmonious" coincidence?: I just happened to also be reading Chris Matthew's Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero, (which I also highly recommend) *shiver moment* and find the research in both books praiseworthy.

    30 of 38 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Atlanta, GA, United States 11-08-11
    Josh Atlanta, GA, United States 11-08-11

    Studying to be a Mechanical Engineer at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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    "Craig Wasson!"

    He was awesome in Full Dark No Stars, and it's a pleasure to listen to him again!

    And Stephen King is just as magnificent as usual!

    48 of 63 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wil Kenner, LA, United States 04-22-12
    Wil Kenner, LA, United States 04-22-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Should have been shorter"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    It is unlikely i I would listen to this book again. However, that is only because I rarely have the desire to go through any book a second time. Unless a new book in a series is coming out and I want to re-acquaint myself with the back story, I find there are too many unread books out there that i would prefer to spend my time on. On occasion I run across an exceptional book that I will listen to again, but 11-22-63 is probably not one of them. I enjoyed most of the book and would call it very good, but not exceptional.
    -


    What did you like best about this story?

    King had an imaginative take on the whole time travel concept that I enjoyed very much. I particularly liked it when he talked about all the ramifications and side effects one single altered event could produce.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    For the most part the narrator did an excellent job telling the story. There were several times in the middle of the book though that the narration didn't match. I felt as though these lines were added in after most of the book had been completed and they were either in a different studio or used different recording equipment. There weren't too many times this happened, but it did throw me off a bit when it did happen.


    Any additional comments?

    At first I was happy this book was so long because i I like to really sink into a long story that builds well. i I also like to know i'm getting value for my money. Unfortunately, I felt the book needed more editing. I was riveted for the the first 8 hours and the last 8 hours. But, for much of the middle i found myself wishing it could just move on already. Also, i I agree with another reviewer that I grew very weary of hearing the phrase "the past is obdurate". It may just be that I read that review before listening to the book and that brought it to my attention, but he did say it a lot!

    This is my 1st audible review and I feel as though I'm sounding harsh on the book. I did enjoy the book very much and hope I didn't convey otherwise. I would still recommend it to others. Because, as I said, this is my 1st review (although I have probably listened to hundreds of audiobooks over the last 15 years through library rentals and friends) I just wanted to give as accurate and honest assessment as I could.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary H. Molinaro Lexington KY 03-07-12
    Mary H. Molinaro Lexington KY 03-07-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great story and great performance"

    I love time travel stories and this was a great one by a great storyteller, Stephen King. There was a great sense of place and the story was compelling . The characters were well defined and were completely believable. No one dimensional characters in the book. I had not listened to any other of Craig Wasson's performances, but he made this book come to life. His accents were believable and enhanced the story. I will look for other books that he read because he did an awesome job on this one.

    The book was long but I could have listened to more. Really, really good!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 11-29-11
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 11-29-11 Member Since 2013

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

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    "Murder, the Past, Romance, Friendship, Time Travel"

    Mr. King does it again, another long book that holds the reader's interest throughout. The narrator did a fine job with this delightful story. The likable main character and his group of "besties" all live in the past and engage either knowingly or not in a plot to change the world as we now know it.
    Jake/George, is a lovable all around good guy. The reader is taken in as we follow him and his special friend Sadie, who is as clumsy as she is beautiful.
    The times seem quaint to us now, yet I remember this vibe having grown up in the 60's myself.
    So enjoy and be prepared to either reminisce or be intrigued with the setting and the story.
    I feel as though this author never disappoints.

    26 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carla 12-12-11
    Carla 12-12-11
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    "This needed a serious editing"

    I'm obviously the odd person out, but I truly can't see what others saw in this. I don't mind long books -- love them, in fact -- and I like Stephen King and time travel and the era of late 50s to early 60s in the U.S...what could go wrong? Well, to me, this book was bloated. The story underneath all the over-explaining is pretty good, so it was shame to handicap it with such heft. And the repetition! Goodness, at one point I considered starting a tally of the number of times I heard, "the past is obdurate." I get it! I get it!

    This one was a miss for me.

    49 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Flower Mound, TX, United States 11-09-11
    Sue Flower Mound, TX, United States 11-09-11 Member Since 2016
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    "LOVE it!!!."

    Only a couple hours in and I am dreading it being over. LOL. The narrator is awesome and doing a job above and beyond. The storyline is excellent and I have no clue where it is going to go so that makes it even more exciting. I highly recommend this book....especially if you have a credit.

    35 of 48 people found this review helpful

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