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
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.
The story was very interesting and imaginative.
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.
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.
Ditto all said in the above boxes. Stephen King is a wonderful story teller.
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.
A lover of thrillers and enthralling stories told by dramatic and well read narrators.
I would recommend this book to another person who might be an avid audiobook listener. I say this, because I found at some parts of this story, I was checking to see which part I was on, because the book is just a little too long. However, the performance of the narrator, and the story itself gets you so caught up, that I had a few
I liked the idea of time travel in the story, and some of the ways that it was explained how it worked. Although there are still some big holes in the premise, it was still very entertaining.
He gives the character of Jake Epping/George Amberson a humanity that wouldn't have come right off of the page. Also, Mr. Wasson gives a distinct voice and character to each player in the book.
I did laugh a few times, but when I started part 4 I started to wonder...
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.
it was the first it's amaizing
I wanted more........ I mean that the story was so good that i wonted to last more.
Prize-winning Poet, Composer and Lyricist.
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.
I don't generally re-read or re-listen because of the time element involved but if I did this would be worth listening to again. It's a story beautifully told and I found King's portrayal of the political climate of Texas at that time fascinating. I hadn't been born yet when Kennedy was shot so I only have my impressions from historical accounts and from the generation who did live through the event. I also haven't read any of the conspiracy theories or any books delving into the Kennedy administration and it's detractors - so I found the opposing poltiical views of the time, as presented by King, quite interesting.
I mostly loved the wild ride - watching Jake face all the obstacles that were thrown in his path and the way these obstacles escalated from puzzling to worrisome to life-threatening. I thought the 'obdurate past' was a great boogie-man and I loved the way Jake percieved omens or signs when he began to recognize the past as 'harmonious'. The past was wonderfully personified and a truly scary antagonist. I also loved the unexpected romance between Jake and Sadie. I kept wondering how it would end - or go on - between them as much as I wondered if Jake would succeed in his mission - if he'd survive and, if 2012 would end up being a better place if Kennedy had lived. I was also fascinated by King's portrayal of the political climate in Texas at the time.
I haven't listened to any of Craig Wasson's other performances but I thought that he greatly enhanced an already fantastic story. I would guess that Craig's narration would've been exactly how King wanted Jake to sound. He got that conspiratorial connection with the reader down just right.
I found the romance between Jake and Sadie moving and I cried at their last scene together. I don't want to create a spoiler so I won't say why. I also found Jake's initial quest to save his student's family from a murderous alcholohic father very touching.
I'm a BIG fan of time travel fiction so I had no trouble suspending reality enough to become completely engaged in the adventure into the past, but for a while I had trouble accepting that Jake Epping would want to sacrifice four years of his still youngish life on the chance that he would be able to save President Kennedy and possibly die or go to prison for trying or die for some other reason. King spends a lot of time though, in the first part of the book, keying Jake up towards this objective through the character of Al (who became terminally ill before he could do what he went into the past to do) who desperately wants to pass the 'try-to-save-Kennedy-and-consequently-save-the-world torch onto Jake. I believed Jake's curiosity about the 'rabbit hole' that Al assures him will send him hurtling into 1958 and I think that it wasnt until after Jake became excited about the reality of this discovery and the idea that he really might save the world if he saves Kennedy that I began to buy it.
Rusty Wooden Robot
As this story neared the end, I felt sad that it must. I am a big fan of King's, but this is the first time I have ever enjoyed his work to the point that I wished I could write him directly to thank him for putting the work into this amazing novel. King has mentioned before that reading is a journey, not a destination, and this book scores huge there. But the ending (the destination) could not have been better crafted, either. Very, very satisfying - not only for those who enjoys time travel stories, but for lovers of history and romance as well. Profound, and unique to any other I have read.
Craig Wasson did such an amazing job. The only other narrator that I have enjoyed listening to more is Humphrey Bower's work on Shantaram, by Gregory David Roberts.
This book takes you everywhere.
This brings you back to the classic King stories of his early career. I wasn't surprised to find out that he began writing this story in the early Seventies. All in all, his best book in years!
absolutely I would, in fact, i'm thinking of listening to it again!!
Jake and his alter ego George,he cared enough about his country and his fellow countrymen to give up 5 yrs of his life to change the course of history.
He did a great job of bringing the other characters to life, especially Sadie. He made you feel like you were right there, he did a very good job
the very end when he was dancing with the elderly Sadie,I cried !
I think that anyone who gets this audiobook will be highly entertained. And Stephen King is a master!!
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