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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

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Steven
  • New Liskeard, Ontario, Canada
  • 06-29-12

Sensational

If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

Suspenseful; Interesting; Emotional.

Any additional comments?

The best narration that I have yet heard. Craig Wasson's performance truly made the story come alive. He gave the characters a personality and a depth that was nearly three dimensional. The story was brilliantly written and held my captive attention throughout.

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  • Ryun
  • Cumming, GA USA
  • 06-28-12

Won't be nice if we could go back in time

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

I listen to audio books while training for marathon races. I need the story to take me away since miles 2 through 25 become long. But I don't want a technical self help book - too much to think about. Stephen King's books have become a main stay in taking me away while training - I don't even turn him off while cooling down. This book as with "Cell" kept me wanting to train longer - it was that good. You begin wishing you too could find the stairs to the past.

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Didn't think I would like this so much!

Confession: I have never read a Stephen King novel. That said, I am now just into the 2nd part of 11-22-63 and thoroughly engrossed in this story! So much so that I find myself not wanting to work or sleep so I can hear more (sadly, that's not possible). The narration is awesome, the story is fascinating and makes me wish I were Jake. :)

Part 1 would stand alone as a great book - I can't wait to see what the next 24 hours or so of listening have in store!

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  • Story

Time travel, history and the nature of fate.

If you could sum up 11-22-63 in three words, what would they be?

Harmonizing Obdurate Past.

What did you like best about this story?

The amazing amount of tension that build though out the story. What a great ride!

Which scene was your favorite?

The first time Jake goes into the past. I love the descriptions of an earlier time.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me shudder a few times and gave me a yearning for the past. A truly well written book that provokes one to consider the nature of fate.

Any additional comments?

Get this book, one of King's best.

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  • Riley
  • Bellevue, NE, United States
  • 06-27-12

Going full circle with no gain.

Now, before I get started I just wanted to point out that there's a reason Stephen King is the world's bestselling novelist. I've loved his books since picking up The Dead Zone when I was in high school.

However, I've come to realize that his longer works are in dire need of some serious edit trimming. There are many points in his longer works that seem to wander off the trail and go on and on about something that has no real purpose and doesn't move the story forward. One of the many things I've learned about writing is that if it doesn't move the story ahead then it should be deleted. During these side stories I find my mind wondering about other things going on around me. The grip of the story simply loses me many times throughout the book.

Don't get me wrong, it is a good story, but you could have an even better story by cutting this novel in half and doing away with extra stuff thrown in to bulk up the novel.

The Stand, It, Under the Dome, the Dark Tower series and several others would have been stronger stories by cutting sentences, paragraphs and even entire chapters.

And by saying in my headline "Going full circle with no gain" can be understood when you listen to or read the book to the final page.



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  • Buzz
  • Scottsdale, AZ, United States
  • 06-27-12

Science Fiction as Literature

“Under the Dome” was the first Stephen King book I had read, and it resulted in my acquiring respect for King as a superior writer. “11-23-63: A Novel“ is a work of science fiction, a genre which excited me as a teen-ager, but has held no attraction since, until, that is, “11-23-63: A Novel“ which absorbed me into its make-believe world of time travel, a world enhanced by the book’s historical references to the Kennedy assassination, which are completely accurate, the result of King’s thorough and meticulous research. There is nothing predictable about the plot, which is endlessly creative and, thanks to King’s literary skill, believable. The book was, perhaps, longer than necessary or longer than I would have liked, but it was so exciting and well done that, in the end, I did not begrudge the time it took me to read it. This is a literary work of remarkable creativity, by a popular story teller who really knows now to write.

The reader, Craig Wasson, was perfect for this book, and his excellent performance (and it was a performance worthy of the theatre) was indispensable to my enjoyment of this audio book experience.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel
  • Virginia Beach, VA, United States
  • 06-26-12

Great story and great narration.

11/22/63 is Stephen King at his best in my opinion. The descriptive details are what makes his books so hard to put down or in this case, hard to stop listening too. Craig Wasson did a great job narrating the story. I would recommend this audio book to anyone.

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A MUST READ!

Would you listen to 11-22-63 again? Why?

Yes, and have. Very intriguing story, and felt as if I was able to picture the scenes in my mind, and it was very difficult to turn it off.

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

Yes, wish I had been able to listen to it without any interruption!

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Couldn't stop listening

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it's a well-written and interesting story. Loved the characters.

What did you like best about this story?

The voice of the reader. Wasson does such a great job!

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

I haven't, but he's my favorite reader so far!! Loved the John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Alfred Hitchcock voices that came out-- entertaining!

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

yes

Any additional comments?

I hated all the bad language, but the story was great!

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All time favorite and must read

This is definitely the best science fiction I've ever read, and one of my all time favourites of any genre. Stephen King's stories seldom take hold of me like this story did. Pacing, attention to details and an enchanting plot makes it impossible to put the book down.

So many things could have gone wrong with this book. It contains time travel, a love story, thrilling murders and investigation and characters from both the 60s and present. King really makes it hard for himself, but delivers in every category.

The narration is beyond excellent, and fits the mood of the book and the character of Jake Epping perfectly. Warmly recommended.