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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 (51,204 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

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • danny
  • regina, SK, Canada
  • 02-16-12

uninspired, dull, depressing

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

better story, quicker narration

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

yes... some of his older stories are very inspired.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

yes... both were the protagonist and narrator sounded bored.

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

as always Steve King develops characters very thoroughly.

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    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.

39 of 43 people found this review helpful

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

Disappointing

I read The Shining when it first came out and was not interested in reading any more of King's book. I decided to read 11-22-63 because of Audible's reviews, which I sometimes rely on and have never been led wrong. The story line looked interesting so I decided to try King again. Unfortunately I was disappointed. The idea was great and the beginning kept me very interested. Then the story started to drag and became boring. I started to listen to it on a higher speed just to get to outcome, which again was disappointing. A total flop considering all the possibilities that could have been. I appreciate King's research. I was 22 yrs old when JFK was shot and living in DC. The book refreshed my memory.

47 of 52 people found this review helpful

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

Bad Effort

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

I am a Steven King fan, but I would never buy another audio book narrated by Craig Wasson.

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

Yes

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator.

Any additional comments?

Growing up in Dallas in the 50's and 60's, I am used to people's negative view of the city due to the JFK assassination. But at this late date, King's constant deriding of Dallas and the his stereotypical portrayal of the city is unwarranted and also way off the mark.
He claims to have been to Dallas and researched the subject, but I find it hard to believe.
For example, in this book, his main character claims that weeks of apartment searching failed to yield even one

55 of 61 people found this review helpful

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

A Piece of Genuine Crap

Stilted dialogue from characters that couldn't have existed, even in the '50's. Waste of time.

46 of 51 people found this review helpful

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

So very boring, and doesn’t ring true

King has written some great stories. This is not one of them.
This is a bazillion pages of “the imagined fairytale life of a 70s-era guy living in the good ol’ days of the late 50s” Someone should have taken a dozen red pens to the endless rambling about how cute the sock hops were and how neatly George cut his grass and all the little ways he transformed every young life he touched. Also excessively belabored are Jake’s internal musings about what he’ll maybe eventually do in four years— or not.
And Jake is supposed to be a guy raised in the 80s/90s, yet all the “modern” slang and pop culture references and such that are supposed to highlight his anachronism are from the 70s. It’s bizarrely old fashioned, and it’s jarringly out of place with the context. No one who was 35 in 2011 goes around saying “kick out the jams” or obsessively telling people their name is “Puddintane.”
I wish I had skipped whole chunks of this one, if not the whole book. I haven’t watched the miniseries, but I imagine they must have stripped it bare and cut out the whole middle to make it work.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful

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

I gave up half-way through

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I sort of forced myself to keep listening, and got about half-way through until I just let it go. The story itself was OK, but not particularly compelling. I never found myself with that "I can't wait to get back in my car so I can listen some more and find out what happens next" feeling. I never really got involved in the characters, never ended up feeling attached to anyone.

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

No - bottom line: the story just never really engaged me, and the actor's over-zealous performance kept taking me out of the story in my own head.

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

The actor's performance was what really ruined it for me. Over the top, a lot of the time. When I'm listening to an audiobook, I'm not really in it for an "emotional" reading - Craig Wasson tried way too hard. The most annoying part was his "wry chuckle" that surfaced, over and over, at inappropriate times.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

Usually, after I finish one audio book, I need a week or so to "detach" from the story and the characters before I'm ready to move on to another book. Not this time. Bored and annoyed, I'm ready to start something new tomorrow.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful

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

Stephen King can't finish a story

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The initial plot is really creative and really enjoyable. The ending is ludicrous. The middle is way too long spending time on how great it is to be a teacher.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.

What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

Very good, very easy to listen to.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No.

Any additional comments?

All Stephen King books start great and then the train goes off the tracks.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Leora
  • WEST HARTFORD, CT, United States
  • 06-15-12

Overblown and predictable

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

A less "I can see it coming around the corner" plot line.

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

No, just confirms my dislike of stephen King.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Nothing, he did a good job with the material he had.

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

Disappointed -- it was so hyped.

38 of 42 people found this review helpful