11-22-63

A Novel
Narrated by: Craig Wasson
Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (57,148 ratings)

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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

Featured Article: Stephen King’s 20 Best Audiobooks—The Definitive List


Stephen King is one of the most prolific American authors of all time. He has published 61 novels, more than 200 short stories, and six nonfiction books—and he shows no sign of stopping. His most recent novel, The Institute, was published in September of 2019, and we’ve already pre-ordered his novella anthology If It Bleeds, which is set to be released in 2020. With such a large portfolio, choosing one listen to start with can be daunting.

Editor's Pick: Best of the Decade

A nostalgic trip
"Stephen King’s 11.22.63 is a technicolor romp to the past where the root beer tastes better, cars have more class, and listeners are warned to beware the yellow card man. I was not alive in 1963, but after spending 30+ hours listening to narrator Craig Wasson bring these fictional (and real) characters brilliantly to life, I feel like while I didn’t live there, I’ve at least visited for a long weekend. Blending time travel, history, a little romance, and political intrigue, this is an oddly feel-good tale—odd because it's about assassination and comes from the king of horror. The thing is that King also just happens to be a masterful storyteller whose best work of the decade will warm your heart more than scare the hell out of you." — Tricia F., Audible Editor

What listeners say about 11-22-63

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great! Boring. Good again... Boring. Too long.

This Audible book is broken into four parts. It's very captivating and interesting in the first part as we learn how the time travel option works. Then it gets boring for long stretches while our first person narrator describes his daily life. The funny thing is, even the main character starts spying on Lee Harvey Oswald, it's still boring.

It's very frustrating to see a writer set up a great premise, then have his characters behave like idiots. Still, I was interested enough to stick with it until the end.

The narrator did a great job with the text and characters he was given.

39 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

So long and not interesting

After the all the buzz I broke down and got this book, but oh how I regretted it. I had to force myself to finish this book. It's way too long with a lot of details that could have been omitted and still kept the integrity of the story. I wish more time had actually been spent on the assassination and the ending instead of some nonsense in the middle. The last chapters felt very rushed.

26 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

entirely average

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Craig Wasson?

perhaps

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

thankful

What aspect of Craig Wasson’s performance would you have changed?

not everything needs to be SO EMPHATIC!

Do you think 11-22-63 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no.

Any additional comments?

if the book had been about 1/2 its length it might have been compelling. the basic idea is interesting, as is the general plot arc. but just way too wandering down so many uninteresting paths (like he had to prove that he had done lots of historical research).

35 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Long and dull

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Craig Wasson?

I have enjoyed other S King books, but this one looks to me like the old man has grown too great to have any editors look over his shoulder and make any cuts. It just went on and on restating the same things over and over - meandering and getting to the climax so slowly, I could hardly believe it.

Has 11-22-63 turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Which character – as performed by Craig Wasson – was your favorite?

I enjoyed Mr Wasson's performance very much.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was OK

34 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Detail in Search of A Plot

This is one of those books that makes you wonder whether the author is editor-proof. It is slow without creating texture or character. The plot is a distant relative to the author's description of 1950's Maine. For the right reader, it is likely to be ideal.

32 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have done without the makeshift love story.

The romance seemed like an afterthought to an already amazing plot. Love scenes were awkward.

40 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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This book faded like a bad racehorse…

When I first got into this book, I was very interested and tearing through it. However, as I plodded along it got slower and worse—then it was capped off with a terrible ending. The book is largely about a “rabbit hole” that leads to the past, however King’s rambling writing also leads the reader down countless rabbit holes that add nothing to the overall story and just make the book longer and more tedious. I was also frustrated throughout the book by the many pot shots that King takes at republicans and conservatives in general. I get that he is a proud liberal, but it comes across as juvenile and petty. The narration was excellent with a few exceptions. I have not heard this style of narration before where many of the characters take on imitated voices of actual actors. Most were good (very good in fact), however the FBI agent towards the end with the Jimmy Stewart voice was terrible. I had trouble listening to those parts which were critical to the entire story. This is my first reading of a King novel, I was hoping for “Shawshank”, but it turned out more like “Maximum Overdrive”.

45 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

learned a lesson on this one!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

nothing I did not like the story

What do you think your next listen will be?

A book from an author who I know I love!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Not sure it was the narrator but probably the story. It is hard to appreciate a narrator when you don't enjoy the story line.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

Any additional comments?

I will carefully chose my next book!

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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This was over 20 hours of my life wasted.

What disappointed you about 11-22-63?

Too long and boring. When the speaker pretends to be a southern woman I kept thinking of Monty Python. The characters were false and unbelievable. It's trying to be a love story, after 14 hours I still wasn't convinced. I kept listening hoping it would get better but it only got worse.

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

I used to be a fan. Not sure anymore.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Craig Wasson?

Different voices for different characters would make more sense.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time and money.

43 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Yuck

Winding story that fizzed right after it started. Boring! Maybe my expectations were too high?

49 people found this helpful