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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 (52,838 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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    37,916
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not a fan of gore

It was my first Stephen King book. The story became fascinating, but the Number of F-bombs and the time spent describing the murder details and associated gore was disgusting. Sorry Stephen King, I guess I don’t belong to your audience demographic.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

not my Favorite King story

I struggled to get through this book. I am a big King fan and love most of his work. this book just draaaaaaaggggggggged on for me. One off!

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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

Can't get past two hours

Call me crazy, or unappreciative of King's talent, but I just can't get beyond the first two hours. You have to be a King fan to enjoy this one. The story starts way too slow for the average book candy reader. Sorry Stephen, I liked The Shining!

16 of 17 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
  • Brenda
  • south portland, ME, United States
  • 02-22-12

500 Pages Too Long!

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

A good strong editor would have improved the story. This book read like a first draft - loosely written with not much care for what was essential to the story. In many places insignificant details were given way too much space and occasionally these the details were conflicting (did the car have Florida plates or Maine plates???) The entire relationship with Sadie felt contrived and superfluous.

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

Probably not.

What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

He did well discerning between the characters. His Maine accent was tolerable.

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

Sadie

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • T.N.C.
  • United States
  • 02-11-12

Tiresome, at best.

What would have made 11-22-63 better?

I think that Stephen King has gotten so popular that even his editors are afraid to tell him to cut down on the word count. I don't really like him at the best of times, but got this because it was listed by the New York Times as a notable book. About 8 hours in I had to give up. The story just drones on and on. Excessive time is spent with irrevelent details. There isn't really any tension. And the narrator can be offensive sometimes, particularly when depicting characters with mental disabilites.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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

slow... so slow

everything about this book was slow. I did not enjoy the plot or the progress of the story.it dragged out, but didn't go anywhere.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Moved slowly

Tried to read several times but the story just moved too slow. If it doesn't get my attention in the first chapter, then it's out for me.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Feels like it took about 5 years to read...

The book drags immensely. Maybe King was trying to convey the sense that we're stuck in the early 60s along with the protagonist. There's way too much of a sense of "in my day" going on. I do appreciate though that not everything is rainbows and sunshine, and he touches on the sense of race issues lingering in the background for some types of communities. For all the time we spend in the journey, the result feels like an afterthought. An unbelievable afterthought at that (perhaps that's my optimistic side showing through too much). I'm not bothered by the repetition of the "obdurate" and "harmonizing" past as some other readers are, but I am bothered by some of the stretches he takes to make the harmonizing happen.

As for the narrator, he does emotion well, but there is a little too much. His voice for Sadie bothers me, and she's a large part of the book. She's a bit too much of a caricature. He does do a good amount of variation for the main characters, so it's easy to tell who's speaking, which is a plus.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Oh, THAT's right, I remember now!

I really wish I could read Stephen King, but I've tried and tried, and I just can't. He has such a huge following of loyal and enthusiastic fans that I forget every 5 or 10 years, and try another of his novels. That's what happened when I saw this one on Audible. I fell for it... The story started, built momentum, fine, no problem. I got interested, and then BAM - gratuitous, bloody gore, meticulously described in oozing detail, and sprung on me in the interested and involved tones of a really good narrator.
Oh. THAT's right. I remember now, why I don't read Stephen King novels. It's the jumping-out-at-you-from-nowhere horror scenes. They get to me every time, and not in a good way. I didn't finish the book. I don't want to be horrified. Maybe having typed this review will help me remember next time I'm tempted!

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Not what you think of a Stephen King novel

Struggling to finish. If you like 1960s America, you can appreciate this book. But misses the mark for me personally.

30 of 33 people found this review helpful