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
Live near Yosemite National Park. Listen to Audible books while hiking.
An amusing story if one suspends belief about its premise. Important sci-fi ideas, like the "guardians" of the time holes are never explained, like who put them there or why. This book is not really much of a sc-fi novel, but is rather more a magical fantasy written as a nostalgia vehicle. For example, the author has many in the late 50s and early 60s talking in clich??s: few say ???good-by???; they say ???see ya later alligator???. And so on. One can???t help wonder why King sells when there are so many better authors. Maybe digital publishing will help.
He also unnecessarily injects his personal politics into his story. When the hero first visits Dallas in the early 60s, he sees an ad for a white racist gathering. It is sponsored by the ???Tea Party Foundation??? or some such using the name ???Tea Party???. (No such organization existed in the 60s.)
This is perverse, IMHO, but it does state the author???s intense liberal persuasion. Instead of taking a shot at the Tea Party, the author could have been more historically accurate and had the sign observed by the hero advertise something realistic, like a white, segregated Democrat Party meeting. Today???s Tea Party, as far as I can tell, stands for fiscal probity in government, limits on federal domestic power, and unapologetic U.S. action in foreign affairs. That view obviously offends King who strongly implies the Tea Party is all about racism and nothing more, that is, he portrays it as being just like the Democrat-controlled South really was during the 50s and 60s. My conclusion is that King is engaged in a re-write our true past the way he and most ???progressives??? want us to believe it was. (The government did this is the U.S.S.R., too.) In his Afterward, King states he is avid in favor of gun control and believes Kennedy would probably not have been assassinated had there been strict gun control in Texas in 1963. (No empirical proof of that: The bad guys can ALWAYS get their hands on guns. Only the law abiders are barred from having them and Oswald was no law abider.) King clearly thinks Thomas Jefferson is wrong by saying: ???No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.??? Thus, King reveals himself to be just another PC worshipper at the altar of progressive utopianism, the way he wants things to be and is willing to rewrite history to urge us there.
If this rewrite of real history offends you (and it should), you should read authors like Andrew Klaven (???Empire of Lies???) or Brad Thor (???Full Black???) or sci-fi authors like Vernor Vinge (???The Children of the Sky???) or Delia Sherman (???The Freedom Maze???) or Thomas James and Carl Carlsson (???In The Shadow of Ares???) or Ernest Cline (???Ready Player One???) or Ken MacLeod (???The Restoration Game???) or Terry Pratchett (???Snuff???). These authors??? stories are more satisfying.
This was my first King novel in many years--a fantastic welcome back! The allusions to literature and King's own novels were welcome delights. It is a story that makes you think about actions and reactions.
Personal trainer since 1988. Love a good mystery!
Absolutely. It is unique, engrossing subject matter and great character development along with great characters.
If you're expecting scary you won't get it. At least not in the way of things that go bump in the night. It's about the assassination of John F. Kennedy which is not a topic I'm particularly interested in.Actually it's about what if the assassination never happened.This book is absolutely worth the credit. It's actually worth more than 1. I've been turned off Steven King for a while. I liked The Dome but other than that I haven't really liked much he's written in the last 10 years.This one rivals The Stand in it's memorability, however it's a completely different type of book. Don't miss this one!
His narration was perfect!
Can't say! It would give an important event away.
I used to b e a fan of Stephen King in the early days - read everything (Even "Firestarter") with "The Stand" being one of my favorite all time books. But somewhere after "It" (Another great book) he lost me. I'm sure some of his later books were great but I just lost interest in reading him (Couldn't get through "Under The Dome"). I took another chance based on the great reviews and the novelty of the plot for 11-22-63.
I REALLY LOVED IT.
Great story line, wonderful characters, epic sweep, - held my interest start to finish. Hey, I even cried at the end! He really grabbed me. Very inventive tale, creative plot twists. A wonderful immersion experience in a 'what-if' world. Didn't want it to be over
I must admit that I purchased this book with some trepidation. I thought that the concept of time travel and changing history was a bit strained and the book was likely to be hokey.
I was wrong.
Stephen King has written an engaging novel which, in some ways, is reminiscent of the Dark Tower series (although much shorter). What makes the book, in my opinion, are the wonderful characterizations and level of detail. For example, there is one scene in which the protagonist, Jake Epping, has a migraine headache. Rather than just mentioning it, King weaves the throbbing pain into the narrative in a way that any migraine sufferer will relate to.
The book is well-researched. The novel revolves around events related to the Kennedy assassination and it is clear that the author did his homework. He talks about the research in an afterward.
The ending of the book is satisfying. I often feel that novels end far too abruptly. Not this one. The ending takes a good hour and ties up a lot of loose ends. I thoroughly enjoyed this listen.
I was born after 11/22/63, so I don't have any recollections of the day. But this was a great book, full of suspense, highs and lows, and more suspense. At times I found it hard to believe this was by the author of Carrie, Christine, and all other books of that genre. But this definitely had the suspense of a Stephen King book, without all of the gore.
11-22-63 is a book for the ages! Anyone interested in time travel, history, or just American culture in the 1950s and 60s will LOVE this read.
Mimi - such a Southern belle!
History doesn't like to be changed
I am not a die hard fan of Sci-Fi or Stephen King, but this book did not have the feel of a wild imagination that takes you into a story that does not make sense.. this book was very enjoyable and makes you think about the "what ifs" and the dilemas of the possibilities of going back in time. I like that the story leaves you time and again with the question of "what would you do? "
The Narration by Craig Warsson was brilliant!
Lots of Memories!
This is a must read, especially for anyone that lived through the 1950's and 60's. I have the audiobook and enjoyed listening while I did my spring yard work.
Absolutely! While I am a big SK fan, this may be his best. From the first few pages, I can captured, unable to stop the flow. Since I remember so vividly that day, and since I live in Fort Worth, TX, it struck so close to home.
It was eye-opening to hear streets, businesses, and landmarks I am so familiar with. But just going back thru that history, that time in our country;s past, made this something very special.
The end. I won't spoil it, but it was the ending.
Sadie, I think. But really, all the characters were, well, so real. I know that some were real, of course, we are dealing with real history here. But those who lived in Mr King's mind, they became real, too.
Oh, yes, of course, I wanted to listen to it all in one sitting. But there was no way for me to do that, given the length.
What a wonderful listen!!
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