I have never before read a Stephen King novel. I think I’ve seen a couple of his movies but reading his books has never interested me. That was until I started hearing about 11/22/63.
To be honest before I started this book I hadn’t heard a whole lot about it other than it was really good. And so far I haven’t been disappointed. I am well over half way through the book and thought this would be the perfect time to review this book so I can ensure I don’t give anything away.
11/22/63 is a day that most Americans know exactly what happened without really giving it much thought, even if we weren’t alive during that time. Being from Dallas, I suppose the Kennedy assissination has always fascinated me to some degree. I’ve been to the 6th Floor Museum and to see Dealey Plaza and I even remember being in elementary school when the 25th anniversary of JFK’s death was remembered. That is when I was first introduced to this tragedy.
When I first began this book I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how the story could go from a 2011 English teacher in Maine sitting in his classroom reading a story by the school’s janitor working toward earning his GED to 11/22/63 in Dallas, TX. Then I learned that this book dealt with time travel; but not in a lame or over complicated way.
Jake Epping (the English teacher) is quickly introduced to the portal to 1958 by his friend, the owner of a local diner, Al Templeton. Jake learns that Al has traveled through time countless times but it is not until Al is on his death bed and realizes he needs Jake to accomplish what he never could; to prevent the assassination of JFK. Jake is of course leery of this proposition but eventually takes on his dying friend’s mission as his own.
This being my first Stephen King novel, I am really impressed at his writing abilities. Though I guess to write the thrillers he is so famous for would require him to be a great wordsmith with an amazing ability to stir up his readers’ imaginations. This book contains mystery, suspense, drama and even romance. Just when you think the book is on one path it will quickily take a twist and lead you another way.
Despite being between 700-800 pages (depending on the version you are reading), this book draws you in and is a rather quick read. I find myself wanting to know what happens in each part of the book and wondering if Jake (who has become George in his time traveling) will be able to stop Lee Harvey Oswald and if so, what kind of picture will Stephen King paint about today’s world and the changes this makes? Or will King leave the outcome the same, because the past really is obdurate and an event this large could not be changed no matter how much advanced knowledge a person might have?
Have you read this book? I want to know your thoughts.