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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 (34352 )
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Performance
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  •  
    C. L. Turner 03-30-12 Member Since 2011

    Tutivillus

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant Points of Research Then a Supernova"

    Stephen King is a damn brilliant (and prolific) fiction writer. This book is a great research project and much of the book feels just like that. It's good, but it follows the rails of history. In that respect I wish it had been a bit shorter.

    Then King dons the crown and slams into fiction mode...those rails of history become an unstoppable "machine with teeth". The teeth sparkle before they bite (the dances will almost make you weep). When they bite you know the wounds are inevitable and will be terrible, but they bleed so well.

    This isn't my favorite King book, but it's worth the time.

    The performance is brilliant; without it I don't know how this book would have done.

    If you take one thing from this book, just remember the dance...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chana 03-30-12
    Chana 03-30-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful story and performance"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I definitely have recommended to my friends. Makes you think about many things, personal and otherwise as far as life and the passage of time.


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

    It made me laugh out loud in places and actually brought tears to my eyes in others.


    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginger Reading, PA, United States 03-30-12
    Ginger Reading, PA, United States 03-30-12 Member Since 2010

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A very intriguing concept, mesmerizing !"
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    Science-fiction, romance, historical


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

    Reliving the injustices before civil rights were enforced.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The Lindyhop? I never heard of it, but I can picture it by the vivid descriptions!


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

    Yes, & I never wanted it to end!


    Any additional comments?

    Very different from the author's usual novels, I feel.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mrs. T. Fayetteville, AR, United States 03-29-12
    Mrs. T. Fayetteville, AR, United States 03-29-12
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    "Worth the time!"
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    30 well-spent hours!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Green Card Man - he would be a great protagonist for a companion book! I want to know all about him & his function. For whom does he work? Where & how did he get training? How does the green card work? Fascinating!!!


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

    Jake/George. Wasson nailed the ambivalence, the pain and ultimately the bittersweet comprising Jake's/George's essense.


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

    No. It's WAY too long for that.


    Any additional comments?

    At first I was not sure I wanted to invest 30+ hours into a book, but I'm glad I did! The minor quibble I have is the uneven quality of Wasson's voice throughout. You can tell when he is fatiguing and when he picks up again fresh. It can be jarring. Still, he is a great narrator & I will seek out other books he reads.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    drummin2life Chicagoland, USA 03-29-12
    drummin2life Chicagoland, USA 03-29-12 Member Since 2012

    Sev

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stephen King at his best"

    I have friends who have never read a Stephen King book because they think of him as a writer of horror stories. This book shows why they are so wrong.

    There are very few writers that can write with both intelligence and depth, while developing an insightful and inspired story. Stephen King demonstrates why he is among those few with this book.

    Before I read the book, even though I was a fan of King, I was worried that it was about an event I knew too well and that it would therefore be predictable or uninspired. It takes true genius to overcome that. I found this book engrossing. The narrator does an excellent job, but he has a great story, well-told, to work with. I highly recommend the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon Afton, VA, United States 03-28-12
    Sharon Afton, VA, United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2014
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    "A good Stephen King"
    Where does 11-22-63 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks as #3


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

    The ending, what a sweet, sweet ending.......


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

    Nothing


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great book, I'm glad I listened vs. reading. I do find Stephen King to be somewhat long winded in his writing. He has always stated he can't write love stories but I would beg to differ on this. He did a great job with Jake (George) and Sadie, they were very believable and the love that he wrote about cannot be described this well without having felt it yourself.
    The only part that bothered me A SPOILER HERE......
    was upon Jake's return to the future everything in the world was SO VERY different. I found most of the book believable except that part. I find it hard to believe that the death of ONE person could have that much of effect on the world in such a negative way.
    Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven't read Stephen King in a long time but recently went back to audible and listened to Salem's Lot which led me to 11/22/63. It's worth the listen, both of them!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ivonne 03-28-12
    Ivonne 03-28-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is a great "hear"!"
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    Unusual love story.


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

    The actual moments before the assassination are really well crafted so that you feel you're there with the characters.


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

    Wasson does a superb job with the voices. You forget that it's one narrator and the emotion and drama are wonderfully conveyed by his reading.


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

    No, I needed a few weeks to listen because some parts were slower than others to get through.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this audiobook. It's a great departure for King, though it explores many of his main themes, and it showcases his maturity as a writer by breaking from many of his patterns.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bimal San Jose, CA, United States 03-28-12
    Bimal San Jose, CA, United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2011
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    "One of the best audio books ever !"
    If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

    Suspense, Imaginative, Romance


    What did you like best about this story?

    Craig Wasson's narration, romance between lead pair, concept of time travel


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The final dance scene ...


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

    Many ... Many ...


    Any additional comments?

    Craig Wassons narration is unbelievably good...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Halifax, NS, Canada 03-28-12
    Jennifer Halifax, NS, Canada 03-28-12 Member Since 2008
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    "A Masterpiece"

    This is an absolutely brilliant book, and is one of Stephen Kin'g's finest.

    No, it's not a horror novel or a supernatural novel. It's a time-travel novel about a high school English teacher who steps through a portal and goes back in time in an attempt to prevent the shooting of John F. Kennedy.

    The book soars right from the opening. The time travel concepts are handled deftly and with a gentle touch, so there is no pervasive feeling of sci-fi about the book at all. It's about as normal a time-travel book as you could ever hope to find.

    The real joy of the book lies in the depiction of what it's like to go back in time to the period from 1958-1963. Stephen King brings the scents, sounds, and experiences to life as no one else could. He paints a masterpiece with a thousand colours.

    The story itself is straightforward, but has many sub-plots and threads going through. There is a love story, and several other heartbreaking stories which weave their way all the way from the 1950s to the current times.

    For people unfamiliar with the JFK shooting and with the cold war era, a little background reading would probably come in handy, but a lack of familiarity with the topic doesn't hurt particularly. Everything you need to know is laid out gloriously.

    Through the book runs the idea that time and history are resistant to change, and every time there's an attempt to go back to the past to change things, something happens to try to derail the alternate ending.

    The book is funny and sad, frustrating and exhilarating. The narration is superb and fits the story perfectly.

    It's definitely worth the credit, and is the kind of book thatneeds to percolate and then be listened to for a second and third time. At 30 hours, it's long but not overly so. The time passes quickly and without notice.

    This is a fabulous book and is a great slice of Americana. The glimpse into a simpler but equally complext time is brilliantly done. The reader/listener is left both longing for the simpler time and grateful not to be living back then.

    Rush to spend your credit on this one -- you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Jupiter, FL, United States 03-28-12
    Linda Jupiter, FL, United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2009

    Tell us about yourself! Avid reader. My life was complete when my husband gave me "audible" as a Christmas present. BEST GIFT I EVER GOT.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The title IS NOT WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT, so to speak."
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    Yes. I actually wrote a better review than this & somehow lost it. THIS BOOK WAS GREAT. I kept saying to my husband, we'll take this in the RV, you'll love it. Each and every chapter kept calling


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

    The Talisman. A shifting between two


    What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

    I couldn't tell how many of the characters he actually voiced. He was wonderful along with whoever sided the other side of the conversations.


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

    I can tell you when that was...there were quite a few, but then I would spoil the story. There were times I laughed and times I wanted to cry. Not because it was sad, but because I wanted to jump in and help him.


    Any additional comments?

    You will enjoy this. It's lengthy, but not long enough. Maybe there'll be a sequel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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