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
I decided to try something different, even though I rarely pick up a Stephen King novel. I was so glad I did, 11/22/63 will keep you on the edge of you seat. The plot is very creative and fast-paced. It has drama, action, sci-fi, history and romance nicely integrated. Craig Wasson deserves a lot of credit, I'm going to start tracking him!
Linda in Omaha
Too many words, too long, but impossible to stop listening to. I most enjoyed the trip back to the 50's and 60's. The cars, the clothes, the local soda shop, the music, (and everybody smokes) all bring back so many memories and emotions. The story seems quite plausible as written, even though I have never personally known anyone who has physically gone back in time. The struggle to save JFK and the outcome of these actions are quite interesting.
I'd have to strongly disagree with all the other reviews here. While this story is a good one, Craig Wasson's performance is horrible. He (strongly) emphasizes sentences every third or fourth one - ie, far, far too often, to a point where listening to him is quite tiring to listen to. Additionally, he occasionally breaks into trying to act out - badly - random sentences, be they description or spoken. It all adds up to what might best be described as a bad William Shatner impression, distracting from the story rather than enhancing it.
I got so wrapped up in the story I would sit in my car & listen...finally invested in an iPod so I could take it with me and keep listening! I am amazed how mesmerizing this story was...Mr. King - you made it so real again!
The book had an interesting story and was told well. However I felt the time it took to get to the end was ill spent. Cut 15 hours out of it and sell it for half the cost and it would have been worth it. Much of the book seemed redundant, while adding very little to the overall story.
No. the overly dramatic reading significantly detracted from the book. whatever happened to just reading it out loud?
absolutely not under any circumstances. someone needs to tell him that it is supposed to be about the BOOK---not him.
I do recommend it and I have to friends and family. I like historical thrillers and this one meets all the criteria.
I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the storyline, I looked forward to listening to it everyday right up to the end. The end was a huge disappointment, very dismal and depressing to see what his idea of the future was.
H A T E D IT!!!!! So many other ways he could've gone. It was like watching all those episodes of LOST, and then watching the final episode and they didn't tie up anything. NO, it was worse than that. It seemed very political, I'm not that cynical.
Yes, he was very good.
It would be a great movie, CHANGE THE END!
I joined Audible in order to get 'long' books to listen to on my commute to work, as I was tired of the radio, however, I did not realize how mesmeric this book would be,and how quickly I would get through this 'long' book! The narrator was superb; I was truly caught up in Jake/George's life. As others have said, this is not the usual Stephen King novel, it is more like 'Under the Dome', but I prefer this study in human behavior to Mr. King's horror stories.
So many stories have been written in the time-travel genre, that it's almost impossible to put a new twist on it, but King has done so in masterful fashion. I wondered at the beginning, how he would hold my interest for the length of the book, with just a story of an attempt to travel back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. But this story encompassed so much more than that. It was a portrait of a different time, told through the eyes of someone steeped in the present. It was bittersweet, frightening, humorous and suspenseful, all at the same time. It was well researched and accurate, adding to the ease of suspension of disbelief. The characters are all richly drawn and when the story strays from the main point of the narrative to follow one of them, you don't feel any urgency to get back on the trail, so engaging are all of the sidetracks.
Craig Wasson was the perfect reader for this story. He combined intelligence, naivete and purpose in a balanced combination that kept you rooting for him in all of his endeavors.
I recommend this book highly to any lover of great fiction, not just the King fans.
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