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11-22-63

A Novel
Narrated by: Craig Wasson
Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50,332 ratings)
Regular price: $52.50
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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

What members say

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Story

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matt
  • OVERLAND PARK, KS, United States
  • 01-06-12

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”.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Never finished

I couldn't finish this book, and I wanted to. The narration is terrible. Wasson gets too aggressive way too often, almost yelling at points. The story was intriguing, even though King is ridiculously long winded. But I just couldn't get past the narration.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Worst King book ever!

Narration was good, terrible story and ending! and this is coming from someone who owns tons of King books and have enjoyed most of his work.

52 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

*spoiler alert
I saw all the great ratings and like time travel books (mostly to figure out what they did wrong), so even though Stephen King isn't my favorite, I thought I'd give this a try. Stephen Kind did lots of things wrong, time travel wise, but I'll just focus on the story and performance.

First off, the narrator was HORRIBLE -- his voice was so pathetic / whiny, that I could develop little empathy for the character. He was also SLOW, which with a book that was way too long to begin with, was excruciating.

Second of all, to follow up on the above, why couldn't somebody EDIT this? It would have benefitted by being about 50% shorter.

Thirdly, the choice of is predecessor to try to change the JFK assassination, seemed so arbitrary and the narrator's decision to continue this particular mission seemed random as well. Actually, nothing the main character did made much sense. He often provided elaborate reasoning but it was just more words, with no actual understandable rationale or logical thinking. (Example -- why throw your phone into a pond when you accidentally brought it back in time? Weirdest choice ever).
Fourthly, the insertion of a city and its history that has been in lots of Stephen King novels (Derry) seemed pretty cooked up -- and didn't forward the story much. It also wasn't compelling as a standalone subplot since his final decision just to kill the bad guy was done with no finesse. (Why does he keep driving around a bright red convertible which makes him the most obvious person in town?)
Finally, OK, I have to bring up the time travel aspect, there being arbitrary and unknown rules for the time travel portal was just annoying, and the new not-yet-an-alcoholic portal guardian who finally showed up at the end and bothered to tell the protagonist something vague about it was just grrr.

The book also handily avoided talk of race relations, which were a big thing in the 50s. I guess our hero didn't have a problem with the 50s status quo.

I just couldn't finish this novel, but made my husband tell me what happened.


#TimeTravelPast #Nostalgic #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mickey
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • 09-29-18

Stephen King needs to shut up

Pacing is really slow. King talks about the main character getting a car, having random conversations with people, wow look at how cheap everything is!, etc all in depth. It's a problem when you can literally delete huge chunks of chapters and not have it affect the story. This novel does not earn its length. I think King is lazy in the sense that he refuses to map out where his story will go or to edit down his novels. He takes weird pride in writing books that are as long as possible but they don't have enough plot to sustain them.
King is SUPER overrated and all the overly inflated reviews just prove that. His writing ability hovers around James Patterson level and people act like he's one of the great writers of our generation. Nope.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

my first and last king book

I wish someone had told me it was a freaking harlequin romance novel.
just as the story starts to get interesting, blam! a face full of sappy mush.

The narrator does a pretty good Burt Lancaster and Jimmy Stewart.

ugh!

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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WORST. NOVEL. EVER.

Million dollar idea. 50 cent delivery. If this had been Stephen King's first manuscript? There wouldn't be a Stephen King. Put that idea in your time tunnel.

50 of 53 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Don't waste your money

What disappointed you about 11-22-63?

Everything!

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

The length and the end. He really has lost his way as a writer. He is not the Stephen King of "Christine" and "Carrie." He thinks that mass=substance. In reality mass=a lack of focus on a good, solid, page-burning story line. Instead, King resorts to pages upon pages of political commentary showcasing his liberal viewpoint...I can get that from the mouthpieces on CNN. Stick to a good story and don't think we care about your political viewpoints, Stephen. Your opinion has no more or less weight than mine. You just have a better bully-pulpit. As for his comment "it was like breaking in a new pair of shoes", next time try starting with a pair that actually fits, Stephen!

What didn’t you like about Craig Wasson’s performance?

Craig did a nice job.

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

Everything about the relationship with Sadie and the town of Jodie. And, the dystopia ending...really?!? C'mon, Stephen, that was like you couldn't figure out how to end the book so you threw it together as an excuse for Jake to go back and do.....nothing! HUH?!?! Talk about a major let-down...

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

are you kidding me?

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

No

What could Stephen King have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Actually hire someone with talent to read it.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Immensely

What character would you cut from 11-22-63?

I couldn't get thru it.

Any additional comments?

Please refund my credit.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Carolyn
  • LOS ALAMOS, NM, United States
  • 01-29-12

Crappy book

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The whole stupid premise.

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

Maybe not necessarily from this genre but from SK.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Over the top incredulity which is what was needed to read this stupid novel.

Did 11-22-63 inspire you to do anything?

Yes, don't buy a new novel by SK.

Any additional comments?

I used to read SK years ago and enjoyed many of his novels. I tried this new one and could not recommend past chapt 2.

37 of 39 people found this review helpful