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11-22-63: A Novel | [Stephen King]

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

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  •  
    S. Stambler LOS ANGELES 12-04-11
    S. Stambler LOS ANGELES 12-04-11 Member Since 2013

    A professor at Dodge College, I teach Film Music. I spent 33 years in the movie business before teaching. I LOVE books and my girls. Ta-Da!

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    "Stunningly crafted. Superbly read."

    Apologies for sounding like a book snob, but I was never a big fan of Stephen King... Until now - although I have always envied (ENVIED!) his story-tellng ability. Who is this writer who can spin such compelling stories time and again? Is he from planet earth? Has he made a Faustian deal with the story gods? Probably not. Probably he's honed his craft to what feels to me - the perfect novel, simply titled "11-22-63". When Stephen King writes "Life turns on a dime" he ain't kidding. Suspension of disbelief is a phrase meaning the reader is transported by the power of that story and never questions the reality of its words, compared to the reader's relative position in their own reality. In other words, King makes time travel real. He makes me wonder whether he's writing a story or writing the truth about his own secret 'rabbit hole'. Craig Wasson begs some mention. His 'performance', though I'm reticent to use that word, is the second ingredient to the pairing of this book and its words. I'll now look for other books read by Mr. Wasson. This book will keep the listener up way beyond their bed time.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zooomer 12-04-11
    Zooomer 12-04-11

    Zooomer

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    "Best Stephen King in years"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    Very good story. Intriguing, thought-provoking, unexpected. At 30+ hours and knowing Mr. Kings propensity to go on and on - I always felt his books would be much better with a good editor keeping his excesses to a minimum - I was prepared for many boring sections. But even when the story dragged, it was still interesting and then it moved on to something interesting.The narrator's performance was exceptional and personally I enjoyed the voices of Burt Lancaster, Jimmy Stewart and John Houseman as many of the characters. Lots of emotion and pathos in the reading.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Well, I bought the book because I've always been fascinated with the JFK assassination and while that part was pretty interesting, the overall time travel adventure was much better than I expected. That said, I would have done things much different than Jake. Especially his calamitous methods of raising money. I had some trouble with the


    What about Craig Wasson???s performance did you like?

    Just great, is all I can say. Very well done and always kept my interest up.


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

    Are you kidding! No way! Too long for anything like that. But I enjoyed taking my time with the whole thing and letting the story unfold in its own sweet time.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Egg Harbor, NJ, United States 12-03-11
    Harry Egg Harbor, NJ, United States 12-03-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Poor Language"
    What disappointed you about 11-22-63?

    The Language that is used in the book. I only got thru the first 5 chapters before I had to stop listening to it. I lived thru the 50's and did not speak that way nor did my friends.


    Would you recommend 11-22-63 to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book to anyone that can express themselfves without cursing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    could not contine on listening to the book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from 11-22-63?

    I would cut out most of the bad language.


    Any additional comments?

    The plot of the book was good and I was interested in seeing the outcome, but could not continue to listen to it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Sullivan Egg Harbor City, NJ, US 12-03-11
    Harry Sullivan Egg Harbor City, NJ, US 12-03-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Poor Language"
    What disappointed you about 11-22-63?

    The Language that is used in the book. I only got thru the first 5 chapters before I had to stop listening to it. I lived thru the 50's and did not speak that way nor did my friends.


    Would you recommend 11-22-63 to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this book to anyone that can express themselfves without cursing.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    could not contine on listening to the book.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from 11-22-63?

    I would cut out most of the bad language.


    Any additional comments?

    The plot of the book was good and I was interested in seeing the outcome, but could not continue to listen to it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ray ottawa, Ontario, Canada 12-02-11
    ray ottawa, Ontario, Canada 12-02-11
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    "Quite the Travelogue!!"

    What a ride-his best, at least for me, since The Shining! Completely different in style and content than much of his past work. Appreciated the history lesson and the love story-a fine mix of fact and fantacy-superbly read by Mr. Wasson. Recommend it highly!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hoboken, NJ, United States 12-02-11
    David Hoboken, NJ, United States 12-02-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Stephen King needs an editor!"

    I love Stephen King, and this is another wonderful yarn, but why doesn't he put himself into the hands of a good editor? This book must be something like 1000 pages long, and there is probably a really great 500 page book hiding in here. All of his early books were much shorter, although never short, and they were better, more concisely plotted books. He is still a great natural story teller, but if he worked with a good editor, these books would be much better, and less larded with language.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gayle Kephart 12-01-11
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    "Incredible read"

    OK, so I've never been motivated before to write a review (hard to please? Maybe). This was one incredible novel, fascinating, tearful, joyful. I'm a fan of King anyway, but this was way over the top of "excellent" and no gore...for those of you who avoid him because of that. Reader was outstanding, I listen while I work, so I got a lot done since I couldn't stop!!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LASoundCrafter VAN NUYS, CA, United States 12-01-11
    LASoundCrafter VAN NUYS, CA, United States 12-01-11

    LASoundCrafter

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    "History, drama, and a beautiful love story"

    As for being a great horror writer -- that he is, but Stephen King is just a great writer overall. 11-22-63 really is not the usual King horror fest with weird creatures and impending doom. It speaks of the idea of changing history, but will changing history result in something better or far worse? The past is obdurate and does not change without putting up a fight. Perhaps it does choose the better alternatives on its own -- maybe mother nature does know best.

    Aside from the absolute skill King brings to telling this story, there is, within its pages a beautiful love story and it all ends on one of the most poignant notes I've ever encountered. The ending is really quite beautiful and rather sad.

    One of the most surprising and pleasurable experiences I had with this book was listening to Craig Wasson's reading. There are a multitude number of voices and accents that Craig brings to this reading -- I had to keep reminding myself this is ONE person doing all of this! So far, 11-22-63 is now my favorite King novel. Stephen King just gets better and better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    12-01-11
    12-01-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Great Book"

    My son got me reading Stephen King . I love the Dome. Now 11/22/63 is the Best of all. It is long but you will not want to stop the book and do what you have to.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill Grand Rapids, MI, United States 12-01-11
    Jill Grand Rapids, MI, United States 12-01-11
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    "Listen to a preview before ordering"

    The narrator's voice is absolutely horrible. I don't think I will make it through the book because of his voice.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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