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
Sensational, detailed, thought-provoking
I normally prefer audiobooks to print, but for this book, I will have to change that practice. A shame there is this problem, because otherwise, the narrator is exemplary. Regular Audible listeners will agree with me that this is not always the case. BUT although the narrator is great for most of the time, at times he slips into an older man's voice at unexpected and more importantly totally inappropriate points, for no good reason. It sounds like parts of the narrative had a different narrator originally, on top which a second, younger narrator was transposed. I definitely feel thrown off at those points.
30 hours - in a word, not really. You need to take in a lot of details, and while you may do it in, well two sittings, I would think that would be a slap on the face for Mr. King's writing and Mr. Wasson's acting talents. After 9 hours, it just blurs. I had to repeat a lot of sections for that reason.
Mr King outdid himself, that is for sure. What a thrill, indeed. The story certainly keeps you guessing, and the language is 10 stars over 5.
This is my first Stephen King novel. I found it slow going at first, but gradually became involved with the characters and the story. It is, in its way, a morality tale, but not a heavy-handed one. It blends the Platonic idea (did King get it from Plato?) of the harmony of the universe with the drives and desires of individuals, and in doing so is, on one level, a good exploration of the tension between the overarching needs of nature and human drives. It's also a great illustration of the best intentions of the individual being (inevitably) blind to larger consequences. Oh, yeah, and there is a plot, too. A good one. Really recommended.
The nostalgia. I was a teenager at the time of the novel and it brought back so many memories. I had to laugh at so much of it.
Liked so many of them. The jump rope girls really sparked with me.
It made me laugh and cry at the end. Stephen King is a master of narrative.
I will listen again.
The story and premise were great. The narrator was one of the best I've listened to and did an amazing job with accents and capturing the essence of each character. My only complaint with this book was the length. Easily, one-third of the book (or more) could have been left out and it would have been so much better. However, I loved the ending. It was worth the wait.
Fascinating, absorbing, mindbending!
George/Jake - loved him because he was constantly doing mental checks, always thinking outside of the box and trying to see the larger picture.
When George meets the 80 yr old Sadie, still seeing her beauty and feeling pride for all of her lifetime accomplisments
The do over
I found this book utterly fascinating....well done!
Stephen King's 11-22-63 ranks right up with Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone in my Audible Library. Like "Stone", King's time travel odyssey is rendered entirely corporeal through a plain language that is also poetic in it's "harmonic" complexity. The imagery, metaphors, and descriptions used were masterful and understated and made the reading effortless.
After having read King's insightful "On Writing", and then 11-23-63, I found myself wanting to meet Mr. King - just to say "thank you" for the love of writing he generously displays in these two books.
I really settled into Craig Wasson's narration as if it were coming from King himself. His use of dialects and voices fleshed out the story in a satisfying and truthful way.
As a professional writer from of the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, I highly recommend this book - but set any intellectual prerequisites aside so you can really dive into this fulfilling, loving, and fun audio presentation!
I appreciate a variety of adult fiction books, but I still have a particular fondness for YA books.
The narrator did a fantastic job reading and Stephen King is a superior storyteller.
I love how the book really takes you back in time and helps you to remember what life was like back then.
I have recommended this book to 5 friends and their first responses were all...'I don't read Stephen King'. I go on to tell them what its about and what it is like and they all have agreed they probably would like it. Most agreed to try it. Please give it a try!
Exceptionally good. Extraordinarily well drawn characters. Many deeply moving and affecting moments. Narrator is spot on, with a wide range of expression and dialects. For me, there is only one brief period where the story slowed a bit...recovery after a beating. Still, even that sets up contrast with the high drama and pacing of the action that soon follows.
For those who say King has gotten worse with time, this book proves you wrong. As a huge King fan I loved the concept behind this book. For fans of his other works you will particularly love the time he spends in Derry. I also loved just how he spends his time with 5 years to kill. It's so real and all the different places he goes to it's almost several stories rolled into one. The narrator does a great job bringing to life all the characters and Kings research is pretty astounding (googling while listening to the book and coming across real events taking place is awesome). My only complaint is about one of my favorite parts in the end, I loved the world he goes back to after 1963 but I also wished it would have been a little longer than it was. I truly believe it is one of Kings best works, combining his great story telling of character as real as you or I and the amazing fantasy that comes from kings mind.
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