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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 (50,284 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

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  • Overall
    2 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

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    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”.

29 of 30 people found this review helpful

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What !!!

One of the most drawn out boring books I have ever tried to listen to ! He goes sooo far out of storyline , you forget what it's real purpose was ! Sorry... I didn't even finish it !!!

43 of 45 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • scot
  • YONKERS, NY, United States
  • 07-22-14

Horrible.....(spoiler alert!)

Holy cow, I hated this book...let me count the ways:

-Kennedy worship. If you're not over 60, the whole Kennedy worship thing makes no sense at all. It is the underlying premise of this book- just ASSUMED that he is the messiah that will make America a perfect place and avoid the Vietnam War, etc..
-WHY do the characters assume that, if Kennedy is NOT killed, things won't turn out virtually the same (a premise within the book) or even worse?
-How can the main character kill multiple times in cold blood and then NOT kill the man who almost kills his woman.
-Why the hell would he wait till the last minute to kill Oswald? I understand his lack of certainty, but he has about 1,000 chances to do it before the beating.
-Try shooting from the ground into a small 6th floor window with a handgun. Super-unlikely.
-So there is an attempted political assassination, and the main character kills Oswald, and the FBI and Secret Service are treating one of the guys in that room as a hero. Really? Why isn't he treated as a complete nut job or as a spy?
-How did they find his doctor if he didn't tell them?
-Why does he assume that HE has free will when he knows things reset along their original path every time you go back? Shouldn't he also suspect that he is just "a player in the play?"

-As an aside,
-Carson didn't host the Tonight Show until 1962. That would have been Jack Paar. I'm in my 40's and even I knew that.
-Jews (generally) don't get tattoos.
-Bookies generally don't want to kill their clients, they don't hold the risk, they take a percentage on the total wager. His long-shot bets meant they could take MORE action on the other side expected outcome to balance things out, and making them MORE money. They would love him (although they might want to know HOW he knew....)

AAARRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

42 of 44 people found this review 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.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

boring

this book, just goes on and on and on with the most minut details...soooooo much that you lose track of what was even happening....no way I could ever finish this book.

26 of 27 people found this review helpful

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    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

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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

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  • 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

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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