Regular price: $52.50

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    29,499
  • 4 Stars
    9,529
  • 3 Stars
    2,232
  • 2 Stars
    600
  • 1 Stars
    393

Performance

  • 4.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    28,868
  • 4 Stars
    7,207
  • 3 Stars
    1,629
  • 2 Stars
    336
  • 1 Stars
    261

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    26,921
  • 4 Stars
    8,302
  • 3 Stars
    2,139
  • 2 Stars
    538
  • 1 Stars
    323
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

King at his best

Any additional comments?

I could have done without the blatant political commentary peppered throughout this story, but overall I really enjoyed it.<br/>There are some gruesome bits, but this is not a horror novel. I stopped reading King years ago because his stories got so icky and odd, but here he's again at his best.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story, but the Narration was Flawed.

As Stephen King says in his afterword, the best time travel book was written by Jack Finney (Time and Again). In my opinion this book, 11-22-63: A Novel, is the second best. I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline, and manner in which King setup the logistics and consequences of traveling into the past. Tangling with a historical event as significant as JFK's assasination would be a tall order for anyone This author handled it with great research, finesse and believability.

My only real gripe came with the narration. On the whole it was fine. Unfortunately, his portrayal of Sadie, the main female protagonist and a young woman from Georgia, sounded like an 80 year old hag. This is did not help when attempting to lose one's self in the book, and points out a potential major weakness with audio books. In general, I think male narrators seem to have an easier time with female roles than women narrators with male roles. Unfortunately, this narrator proves to be the exception. Also, several of his characterizations of male characters sounded to me like impersonations of celebrities like Woody Allen, Humphrey Bogart, Jimmy Stewart, and several others . . . just plain distracting.

On the whole, I would heartily recommend 11-22-63. This is the first Stephen King book I've picked up (virtually) in a long time, and I was very pleasantly surprised!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • K
  • 07-11-12

LOVED THE STORY - GREAT NARRATION

Any additional comments?

This book is FANTASTIC. I loved the book as a book and I loved it even more as an audiobook. Narration is really well done. The story is engaging, gripping, filled with romance and nostalgia. It transports you to another place and time. It is the BEST book Mr. King has written since his horrendous accident in the late '90's - hands down. Nothing else comes close... (I am not a Dark Tower fan, obviously). I'd put this book right up there with my other King favs: It, The Stand, Needful Things, Dead Zone. Excellent story, well drawn characters, interesting ideas. LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jaye
  • Albuquerque, NM, United States
  • 07-09-12

Historical Drama and Romance - Stephen King style

Once again, he writes a great story with dramatic well developed characters and provided an accurate historical picture. I truly appreciated the research and thought that went into depicting a future in which JFK is alive and well. I always appreciate performances that don't make me consider the actual "performance" - to me its a sign of a good storyteller.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • S.L.T.
  • CHICAGO, IL, United States
  • 07-09-12

King at his best.... haunting and evocative

Stephen King's writing has evolved to finely honed perfection. I was not terribly excited about the JFK storyline; however, the story made me connect deeply with the president's alleged assassin and time period. It truly brings the late 50's/early 60's to tangible reality. This is a mixture of history, historical fiction, and the realistic fantasy that is King's forté. At its core, though, the book is a love story that touched even my cold little heart. Don't hesitate to indulge in this vivid tale!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent book that is not predictable

What made the experience of listening to 11-22-63 the most enjoyable?

I give it an A+ like Jake gave the paper written by Harry because it continually evoked an emotional response from me. I only listen in my car, so I found myself looking forward to getting in my car,especially for longer drives. Excellent character development that made you care about the story and the outcomes to the characters. Only my 3rd Stephen King book; I hated to see this one end. I might just listen to it again, it was that good!

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

The town of Jodie

Which scene was your favorite?

Sadie and Jake dancing

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

Yes

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Unexpected Excellence!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of 11-22-63 to be better than the print version?

I was a little apprehensive about this book because of the whole "time travel" thing, but I read the good reviews and decided to try it. I am very glad i gave it a chance, this book is VERY good!! One of the best i've ever listened to.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Meh

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

I would try another Stephen King novel but will avoid Craig Wasson.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

There's a great deal of repetition/padding, and the main characters are altogether too good to be true. Other problems are simply jarring: an English teacher, apparently a reasonably well-educated one, confuses lay and lie, sit and set, nominatives and accusatives; Killeen is not what I would call "south central Texas"; I can't imagine any 1963 Texas woman, let alone lady, let alone small town female, telling anyone what Miss Mimi (if that was her name) told Jake/George about Saturday nights. The characterization of Oswald is the best part of the book.

How could the performance have been better?

Mr. Wasson has trouble keeping his accents and his timbres sorted; better he should concentrate on pronouncing his words correctly and reading the book with style and expression but without trying to act it. I have lived in Texas all my life and never heard anyone sound even vaguely like the jump-rope girls. His Walter Cronkite is fairly good but too harsh.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great book and performance!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!! It was not what I was expecting which is good!! I am going on a Stephen King road for my next reads.....

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

"Schmaltzy" end to an intriguing start.

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

The story was just 'OK' for me. Not good, not bad. I found it intriguing at first, then a bit ponderous, and lastly too schmaltzy. The outcome was predictable given the "red flags" planted early on in the storyline. As a side note, I pretty much hated the word 'obdurate' by the end of the book because it was used so repetitively.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the character development in this story, and I appreciate the historic research that was obviously undertaken to anchor this story in historic facts.

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

I didn't care for Mr. Wasson's performance. His voice was not suited for the characters portrayed. I especially disliked his characterization of the female lead. He made a young 28 year-old sound like an old lady.

Do you think 11-22-63 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

NO! King put certain "time travel rules" in place that preclude a follow up. (Spoiler alert) One of these rules being that changes made to an historic event will balance out. So, if you change history and save thousands of people from the Vietnam war, for example, then natural disasters (or some other horror) will take out as many in the new chronology. Given this, why have a follow up time travel story when the lesson learned in this first book is: Stay away lest you purposely (or inadvertently) make things worse?