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11-22-63 Audiobook

11-22-63: A Novel

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential - 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 his critically-acclaimed epic, 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. Named Audible’s Best Book of 2011, 11-22-63 easily holds its own among King’s earlier classics, and Craig Wasson, handpicked by King to narrate, is nothing short of amazing: he has a fine actor's gift for performing the novel's wide range of characters, emotions, and action with great authenticity. — Chris

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 Rating

4.6 (38784 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ZoeyMomma Dallas, GA 06-20-12
    ZoeyMomma Dallas, GA 06-20-12 Member Since 2015

    Dog lover & book addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stephen King Fan, but..."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It was to a point. I am a huge Stephen King fan, but sometimes it just takes the man too long to move the story along. This was the case for this book.


    If you’ve listened to books by Stephen King before, how does this one compare?

    I've liked others much more. I thought Sophie was the best character in the book. She was the gutsy one in both versions of the past. She lived a life with meaning, with or without Jake/George.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The narration was good, but I got tired of the guys voice by the 20th hour of listening. It was just too long.


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

    Go back in time? Er, no. But by the time this book was complete, I was ready to listen to something a bit lighter, especially after the going back to present time and there were deformed people everywhere. Bring on the chick-lit!


    Any additional comments?

    Took a while to get into and then wrap up. The middle was the best part when all of the action was happening -- was a bit long-winded otherwise. I love Stephen King but sometimes have to take him in small doses. Its intriguing to think where our country would be if JFK had not died though. And the butterfly effect is such a fascinating concept.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rick Saginaw, MI, United States 06-20-12
    Rick Saginaw, MI, United States 06-20-12
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    "Fascinating Story Brings Out the Best in King"

    I loved this book. It answers those age-old questions of "would you change history if you could go back in time?" And of course, nothing is as easy as it looks, and prices must be paid.

    The length of the book is both a blessing and a curse. King is no stranger to long stories, and that allows him to let the situations breathe, and gives him room to fully explore characters, plot possibilities and environments. (It is especially interesting to see Dallas of the early 60s come to life). But King also fills a lot of the pages of 11-22-63 with hefty doses of overly sweet nostalgia; there are malt shops straight out of Happy Days, and the main character's love story is straight out of a Lifetime movie. Sooooo much time is spent on the romance, and there were plenty of times where I felt like rolling my eyes at the sheer silliness of his statements, most of which were variations of "Oh how I loved her." Given this character's history-changing mission, I was a little puzzled by why he let himself get entangled with this person.

    There were a few other instances where characters acted in unbelievable ways. The main character had a method of making money in the past (you can guess what that might be if you've ever watched a time travel movie), but despite having an iron-clad system, he consistently overplays his hand, and that gets him in trouble. Why in the world would he expose himself in this way? Also, King's knowledge of NFL history is sketchy; he mentions the "NFC" in the early 60s, and that entity didn't exist until the NFL-AFL merger of 1970. I also think he mentions the Houston Oilers before they existed. Apparently, King's editors don't know their football, either.

    Wasson does a very good job as narrator. Good accents, excellent energy.

    There is also a very good section after the story concludes where King speaks and discusses his JFK theories, his sources and the writing of the book. Stick around for that.

    I've been a King fan for awhile, and this is one of the most enjoyable King stories I've ever read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Oesterreich 06-20-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Great "pull you in" story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of 11-22-63 to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the book but loved the audio book.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 11-22-63?

    The main character's decision about whether to "reset" things or not.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Leading up to when Jake/George comes in contact with Lee Harvey Oswald on the infamous date.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    If you could change history, would you do it?


    Any additional comments?

    I couldnt wait to listen - great story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Phoenix, AZ, United States 06-19-12
    Bill Phoenix, AZ, United States 06-19-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great Stephen King"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a great Stephen King book on many levels; he fully captures the flavor of the 50's and 60's, the region -- NE & South, along with complex characters and weaves multiple stories together into one dynamic tapestry of light and color. I highly recommend this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The complext characters, the rich texture of the time, and the unpredictable-tense-couldn't put it down story.


    Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. Performance was excellent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Definitely... found myself up late at night, listening at work during lunch, and even on short trips to the grocery store.


    Any additional comments?

    As much as I disliked Under the Dome I thoroughly loved 11/22/63. This is not only one of my favorite Stephen Kings but one of my favorite all time books. It stayed with me long after I finished it. Nice job to a master story teller.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat 06-19-12
    Pat 06-19-12
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    "Thoroughly enjoyable and thought provoking"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    A well-crafted story with excellent narration.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The whole idea of time travel as developed in this novel was fun to think about, also that all actions have far-reaching and seemingly unrelated consequences.


    Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I haven't but would love to hear them.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was a long listen and I liked looking forward to my next chance to get back into it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Jacksonville, NC, United States 06-19-12
    Jon Jacksonville, NC, United States 06-19-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Exceptional Entertainment, Gripping Story"
    Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

    I will definitely listen to this book again. The story was possibly Stephen King's best - full of suspense, twists, and turns. Memorable characters and a depth of plot that is seldom found. Craig Wasson is magnificent as narrator - he brings the story and characters alive as if he wrote the book himself. Perfection.


    What other book might you compare 11-22-63 to and why?

    This book is unique and stand on its own, it really has no comparison. A complete detour for Stephen King, actually, a departure - but it is perfection. Stephen King proves he is simply an exceptional author, regardless of the genre.


    What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

    Everything - Craig Wasson is tremendous. This is the first time I have listened to him narrate, but I will most certainly seek out other books done by him.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not sure of a tag line - but I truly hope this book makes it to film. As complex as the book is, it lends itself to "pruning" that will undoubtedly adapt easily to a screen play. I would say that Stephen King's films are batting less than 50% for good screen adaptation - I hope the right director/producer/cast works on this project as the film could be magnificent.


    Any additional comments?

    All in all, one of the best audio books I have listened to to date, and I am an avid listener.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    drd 06-18-12
    drd 06-18-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Beautiful Novel"
    What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

    I felt immersed in the period and very involved with the chararcters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 11-22-63?

    The ending is wonderful


    Have you listened to any of Craig Wasson???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    YES


    Any additional comments?

    no

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    joseph Philadelphia, PA, United States 06-18-12
    joseph Philadelphia, PA, United States 06-18-12
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    "Not a Steven King fan but this book is great"
    What did you love best about 11-22-63?

    The small details that King brings to life is great but this book is overall great


    What was one of the most memorable moments of 11-22-63?

    the whole book


    What does Craig Wasson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings a passion that is wonderful


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roojun 06-18-12
    Roojun 06-18-12 Member Since 2013

    I love thrillers, mysteries and historical novels. I do most of m listening whilst driving - the car, the ride-on mower, the tractor ...

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    "Loved it - King at his best!"

    I ambivalent about Stephen King - I have read many of his books and have enjoyed about half - didn't finish some of the others, so it was with some trepidation I started this one, especially with this subject. How can you change history?
    The story was gripping from the outset and I enjoed every minute, all the while wondering how it could possibly end - I already knew the ending, right?
    Wrong!
    King weaves his magic so well that you really believe history is about to be re-written.
    Don't miss this one - Craig Wasson does it great justice - his narration is excellent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne Tye 06-18-12
    Anne Tye 06-18-12 Member Since 2016
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    "Great story! Not very thrilling though."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed the book, but I got it just because it's Stephen King and kept hoping it would get scary. It never did, but still a very good story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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