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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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (25122 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Scilla Port Orchard, WA, United States 02-25-12
    Scilla Port Orchard, WA, United States 02-25-12 Member Since 2010

    If I'm not reading, I'm listening.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Masterful!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 11-22-63 to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved Jake Epperly. He was a deep and complicated character.


    Any additional comments?

    I had forgotten how patiently and masterfully Stephen King builds characters. You don't just get rushed into a story-Slam! Bam! Thank You Sucker. It's a true character building. There is patience and detail in this book. It builds and builds and you have no idea how it's going to turn out and whether Jake will go through with his mission. Ultimately, you end up not caring whether or not Jake saves JFK. You just want him to be happy, have love, and you want it all to work. PLUS-I love the fact that Stephen King brought back Derry in the Summer of '58, just shortly after the Losers' showdown with IT. As soon as this book was over, I downloaded IT so I could see those landmarks and meet those characters again. The nostalgia just made the book all that much better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim FOREST HILL, MD, United States 02-25-12
    Jim FOREST HILL, MD, United States 02-25-12
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    "Great thought provoking story."
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    The time travel element and the real history combined.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was dying to know what the alternate future was going to be like after Jake made the changes in the past.


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

    When Harry asked Jake (George) if he was the one who killed his father.


    Any additional comments?

    One thing I had a problem with was the fight between Jake and and Frank Dunning. A gun versus a sledge hammer and the hammer wins. Found that part to be a bit unbelievable.


    Also, I was a bit disappointed that Jake (George) never got to tell Sadie much about the the future. I was anxious to hear her reactions to some of the fantastical things he might have told her.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-25-12
    02-25-12 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of King's BEST!!!!"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    Everything!! Enjoyed the narrator, the storyline-EVERYTHING!! Was sheer genius. When I first read that it was about the Kennedy assasination I started to move on. Didn't see HOW he was going to make it interesting and NEW but he DID. JUST GREAT!!!


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

    Can't think of any that does


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

    When Sadie died (opps sorry people). But then did she come back again??? It is about time travel


    Any additional comments?

    Read it

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy Montpelier, VT, United States 02-24-12
    Sandy Montpelier, VT, United States 02-24-12
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    3
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    "Excellent story"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    I couldnt resist listening to this story everywhere i could until it was done! It kept my interest the entire time and like other Steven King stories he has some twisted events.That is what makes them so interesting. You never know what is really going to happen next. A must read for Steven King fans and new listeners alike. Cant wait for the next!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-24-12
    02-24-12 Listener Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tripple 5s for this; King of all time"

    I have to join with all the other 5-star voters on this one. It has all the ingredeients of an all-time-best for King. The JFK assination scenario (and the surrounding controversies) provide a great combination of fiction with underlying factual base, with plot and storyline. The competing "conspiracy theories" are intertwined, with everyone pointing the finger at the others (the Russians, CIA, FBI, Mafia, Cubans, democrats, communists, republicans, racists, John Birchers), but with no "answer" one way or the other (King's own belief is that Oswald acted alone, vs his wife's view of "conspiracy" w/ a "second shooter"). Then immagination and dilemma constantly pull on your emotional and intellectual strings in oposite directions. Kept me on the edge of my seat, could not put this one down. Those from the era of the 50s and 60s will enjoy reliving those times (complete with "sock hops", swing dance, "sparking" at the drive-in, poodle skirts, Annette Funichello and the Mouseketeers, '61 Galaxy Fords and Chevy Impalas). King is a master at this kind of background development. At the same time, this classic King also challanges the imagination: We've all had thoughts of "if only I could do it over again?" Monday morning quarterbacking makes for interesting conversation, but if you really had to do it over again, would you do it any differently? Can you truthfully say that the outcome would be different? Would there be an "offsetting penalty" to pay? Good time-travel book, better King immagination; outstanding storytelling. This one's headed for Hollywood. Watch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelly Newberry, FL, United States 02-24-12
    Kelly Newberry, FL, United States 02-24-12
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    "Not So Gory!"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    As a fan of Stephen King, I've read many of his stories that have been very bloody & gory. Not all his stories are that way. For this story, he has toned it down a lot and is still able to get his point across just fine. No need for excess. As usual, he delivers smooth writing and keeps the story moving along like a well oiled and well tuned favorite car! Thank you Mr. King for another wonderful story and for your bright imagination.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story was very interesting and imaginative.


    What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

    All his performances are very good. I'm a professional listener aka truck driver, so that makes me very picky about the readers of audio books. Craig delivers a very quality piece of work.


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

    I didn't have time to listen in one sitting. It's over 30 hours long! But being a trucker, I did get through it all in about 4 days.


    Any additional comments?

    Ditto all said in the above boxes. Stephen King is a wonderful story teller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina 02-24-12
    Gina 02-24-12

    Gina

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    "Not a typical King Novel"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    It’s been a while since I read a King novel, but I thought I would try it again when I saw the good reviews, I have to tell you that I really enjoyed this book, it’s really one of his best I think. It’s not the typical King Novel, and is not only entertaining, but very insightful. I really loved the historical side.
    I was completely enthralled and intrigued; King weaves the story line so well, that I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.
    I hope his future books are this good.


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

    yes!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth 02-24-12
    Ruth 02-24-12
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    "loved this one, very worth the time"

    I loved this story and the narration that brought it to life. I found myseld frustrated because I kept wanting to talk about it with someone and I didn't know anyone who was reading it! I have since recommended it to several people.

    I will be listening to this one again for sure... it's long but I couldn't wait to get back to it daily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skamagakis Greece 02-23-12
    Skamagakis Greece 02-23-12
    ratings
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    1
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    "Very good"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 11-22-63 to be better than the print version?

    Yes


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Seedy


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

    it was the first it's amaizing


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

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    I wanted more........ I mean that the story was so good that i wonted to last more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scarpenter Woodland, CA, United States 02-23-12
    Scarpenter Woodland, CA, United States 02-23-12 Member Since 2011

    Prize-winning Poet, Composer and Lyricist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Know where you were when Kennedy was shot?"

    The main character knows, and lives, and tells of his very close encounter with ... well, that would give it away wouldn't it? But here, Stephen King has struck out into an area of writing I have not personally experienced with him before. (Since I have NOT read all his books, I do not know for sure if it's a new genre for him or not.) Time travel. Best left to old sci-fi writers and Connie Willis, don't you think? Well, Stephen King is a Master Storyteller, and seems completely unencumbered having his characters travel around in time. The story is long, and extremely suspenseful, intriguing, humorous, sad (sometimes enough to make me cry anyway) and joyful and celebratory. The entire book hangs together just fine, and frankly I still can't believe how many hours it supposedly is. It rushes by and I'm re-listening yet again. It's a beautiful story, full of the "love letter" to the 50's and 60's so well known in Stephen King's work, with a good strong statement about the fact that it wasn't all "Andy and Opie". The characters are so real, I feel like I could meet them accidentally somewhere and recognize them right off.

    The narrator: Craig Wasson astounds me. His voice is gentler than Stephen King's voice, and yet somehow there is a similarity I can't quite put my finger on. However, I would warn, since this is an audio book, that at times the volume of the character's voices as read by Craig Wasson get VERY loud, and one might just make sure the volume button is close at hand. That said, there is good reason for the characters to occasionally get loud. As per most Stephen King books, this is an adult tale, including death, horror, love-making and deep friendship.

    I'm doing my best to write a review of the BOOK not the author, but it is hard. I am not and have never been a die-hard Stephen King fan. I'm very picky with what I read that he writes. I'm not a fan of horror stories at all, yet this one somehow still made it to me. Does it contain horror? Well, yes. And, in light of the date 11-22-63, the day President J.F.K. was assassinated, one would think most folks would know there is going to be at least that horror in the story. But here is much more.

    A 28 year old school teacher who's getting a divorce but is still virginal? A high school Principal who would scare most people off with her stiffened appearance and sarcasm with a heart of gold, an aging old man who runs a diner and has a very big secret in his pantry, and Jake ... Jake, who somehow falls down the proverbial rabbit hole into 1958...once by accident and again with great purpose.

    An intricately woven, many-threaded, fascinating story revolving around the shooting of J.F.K. that all hangs together and delivers on all promises? How can you resist that? I couldn't and I have zero buyer's remorse. This one was definitely worth it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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