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
Seems to be written from the point of view of a 'blue blood' New England liberal, who is looking down his nose while he writes about a place he hasn't lived in. Shows a distorted view of Texas (having lived there, I know) , and anything or anyone that is religious is made fun of. You will be much happier purchasing 'JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters' if you are looking for a much more balanced look at the 'big event'.
Mr King's book is more for those looking for a romance novel. A disappointing book and too long for what it is, unless you love very long romance novels.
This book was a combination of a great story and a great reader. I didn't want to stop listening. The entire 30 hour book was engaging, without slow spots or leaps of believability. The reader's use of tone and accents was magical. I kept waiting for that moment when a Stephen King story goes
Fantastic use of tone, accents, and emotion.
Couldn't put it down.
This audio version is performed by Craig Wasson. I enjoyed his reading very much. King creates so many completely human, likable characters and every one of them is voiced believably. Wasson handled regional accents from Maine to Texas realistically without being overly exaggerated. I loved that he added a bit of Burt Lancaster to his pawn broker voice. I liked his Walter Cronkite better than his Chet Huntley impersonation, but both of them added flavor to the story.
The whole stupid premise.
Maybe not necessarily from this genre but from SK.
Over the top incredulity which is what was needed to read this stupid novel.
Yes, don't buy a new novel by SK.
I used to read SK years ago and enjoyed many of his novels. I tried this new one and could not recommend past chapt 2.
I probably would after a while. I knew the ending before I started so that isn't a factor. It is such a gut wrenching story but, because of superb character development - not only people but places and situations - I hated for it to end. I was totally immersed in the story.
The simple moments - aren't those the best in real life? The big events, the reasons for his journey, were amazing but I was so pleasantly touched by the back stories that they became the awe moments!
no but I will be looking for him. I cannot give him enough praise!
Reality sets in, it's far too long, of course, but I listen to books in my car while commuting and I have remained in my car - in the driveway - and I have gone driving over the back roads to get a little more....and a little more...and...
I stopped listening to Stephen King years ago, I just couldn't stand being scared anymore! Because of my age and connection to the 50's-60's and the assassination this book piqued my interest and I put it on my wish list. When a friend gave it a high recommendation I did a bit if research on line and I was sold! I think the number one reason I love this book is the character development; not only the people but the places. I don't recall reading a book where the locations are so vividly and compellingly detailed. And the day to day dealings with the people Jake/George meets are the same way. It has been like I was standing right there beside him while it all happened! What an astonishing experience! And I have felt strongly that it is not only the words of Stephen King that put me there but the superb narration of Craig Wasson, too.
fabulously told tale
King manages to make two plots become one without any confusion. He does this by putting one before the other.
Al sends Jake into the pantry for the first time. And boy is it an experience of a lifetime.
If I could have done it in one sitting, I would have. However, this one is a title to savor. I found myself saving it for later, never wanting it to end. I wanted Jake to have another objective.
Do yourself a favor. Let Craig Wesson read for you. Especially this one. For, his voice never gets old like mine can.
I've been listening to books on tape/cd for going on 20 years now..this is easily one of the top performances. I'm not the huge King fan that many here are but this story has something for everyone...ironically maybe not as much for those that enjoy the horror genre. As someone else mentioned..maybe due to the books length I felt like I've returned from a trip (in time I suppose). I used the android app for the first time and found myself listening not just in the car but walking the dog..kayaking..puttering around the shop. King does allow his political leanings show but not nearly so much as in 'Under the Dome
Excellent book, highly recommended.
King makes time travel seem believable. I'm not a big Steven King fan, but this book is unlike any others of his I have read. The character development is very well done. You really feel part of the story because you understand the characters so well. Like most unabridged books there is a lot of detail that adds little to the story. I guess that's why some people prefer abridged.
The lead character was believable and suitably flawed. Not the super hero type by any means.
Craig Wasson is the best reader I have heard. Dialects, inflection, all perfect. He seems to be telling a story, not reading it. I will buy more books merely because they are performed by him.
I loved listening to this and would consider listening again just to hear the narration again. However, if I revisit this book, it will more likely be the print version so I may experience that format as well.
This is a 40 hour narration that I listened to in one week - and I work full time and have two small kids. I would have listened to it in one sitting if I could have.
I wish I would have skipped the afterword by the author. I wanted to let the ending resonate and King's thoughts brought my thoughts to a screeching halt. If I could do it again, I wouldn't have listened to that immediately after finishing the book.
Pretty far up, and I've listened to quite a few. I'd say in the top 10 of at least 50 that I've heard.
It's comparable to any of King's longer books, in the sense of character development and world-building. The plot, however, isn't terribly similar to anything else I've read.
Wasson is amazing. I first heard him in King's
Life turns on a dime.
I'm not really into historical fiction, but this was great. A little long-winded at times, but King fans will recognize that he's making the listener believe that the characters actually exist through mundane events and extensive detail. This works well, as there were at least two points in the tale that I was genuinely moved, which is exceedingly rare for me. If you've got 30 hours to burn, get this audiobook. You won't be disappointed.
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