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11/22/63 by Stephen King
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11/22/63 (edition 2011)

by Stephen King

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5,494394790 (4.2)1 / 505
Member:ablachly
Title:11/22/63
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Scribner (2011), Edition: First Edition/First Printing, Hardcover, 849 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work details

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King

  1. 152
    It by Stephen King (watertiger, sturlington)
    watertiger: The characters from IT are referenced in 11/22/63
    sturlington: A section of 11/22/63 is set in Derry and features characters from It.
  2. 80
    The Dead Zone by Stephen King (StarryNightElf)
  3. 70
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (zwelbast, bookworm12)
  4. 60
    Replay by Ken Grimwood (SJaneDoe, dltj)
    dltj: Shares a similar plot line that covers part of the same time period, and "Replay" even includes a story fragment about November 22, 1963.
  5. 10
    Somewhere In Time by Richard Matheson (stevetempo)
    stevetempo: No change in history here...but a cross time romance is featured...if you saw and enjoyed the movie...read the book.
  6. 32
    American Tabloid by James Ellroy (glwebb)
    glwebb: If you liked 11/22/63 then American Tabloid should be right up your street. A very snappy, complicated, twisted look at the Kennedy Presidency and assassination. Ellroy dishes up a counterfactual history that seems almost too real to be anything other than the secret truth.… (more)
  7. 22
    American Gods - The Tenth Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman (krazy4katz)
    krazy4katz: Both novels are epic. They both have elements of time travel and a sense that minor actions can lead to major unintended consequences.
  8. 02
    Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (mene)
    mene: Both books are about time travel through a kind of portal. In both books, the time traveller finds love on the other side, but the effects of the time travel and the way it works are different. In King's book, the time traveller also actively tries to change history, while in Gabaldon's book, the time traveller uses her knowledge of future events a lot less actively.… (more)
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English (367)  Dutch (8)  French (5)  German (3)  Catalan (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (392)
Showing 1-5 of 367 (next | show all)
This isn’t a book review; it’s a love letter to Stephen King.

I read my first book by Stephen King when I was 11-years-old; the summer before 6th grade, 1992. I read It, and I don’t remember a thing about reading it. Something tells me it was a little over a young girl’s head. I followed it up with Cycle of the Werewolf, which inspired me during the school year to write a short play based on the concept where all of the girls in my class that I disliked were killed by said werewolf. My 6th grade English teacher allowed a few of my friends and I to perform it for the class. As a side note, I also did a book report that year on Piers Paul Read’s Alive; it’s a wonder to me now that that teacher didn’t send me to the school counselor.

As anyone who is vaguely familiar with me knows, I am a book lover and have been an intrepid reader since the time I learned how. I read a lot. Last year, when I only completed 79 books (out of the 100 I had aimed for), I felt like a failure. I do not have a favorite author, or genre, and I will choose books based on their covers or on the flimsiest of recommendations. The way I see it, if someone has put their time and heart into writing something and then had the good fortune to get it published, it is probably worth a read. I certainly have never finished any stories I’ve ever attempted to put to page, so I feel that if I even have the slightest bit of interest in what they’ve written, I owe it to them to experience their art.

I have favorite books, to be sure. If pressed I will claim David Copperfield is my favorite book of all-time, but the truth is that it is just one of group of books that swim in my 5-star pond.

Not more than 30 minutes ago I finished reading 11/22/63 and by the last page (as I read the Afterword through tear-soaked eyeballs), I had redefined not only what a good story is, but also the concept of “favorite book”.

I love 11/22/63 because I am a lover of stories. I love being able to experience a part of another person’s life. Stories are a window into a foreign soul and reading them is a way to open your eyes to how people are very different, and how people are often very much the same. The story of Jake Epping and George Amberson is the best representation of this that I’ve seen, as it also illustrates how there are different versions of ourselves that lie dormant inside of us; it is often our environment and the people we encounter that causes these other versions to be freed.

I love 11/22/63 because I am a historian and a lover of history. (There are two very distinct things to be, and I’m not sure you know the difference unless you are both.) Historians have been enthralled with the idea of “what if?” since the first historical record was put into print. If you’ve never looked up “what if Germany won the war?” or “what if Hitler didn’t die?” I think you’d be surprised at the enormous amount of theoretical writings that are available. This story uses its central character as a way to explore American history from not only the “what if?” context, but also from an incredibly interesting social history context. It is rare that anyone realizes they are in the midst of history while they are living it, but in this story our Jake/George knows that he is witnessing history before his eyes and oftentimes finds himself overwhelmed by the awe of it. Just imagine if we could all see our present with that kind of clarity?

I love 11/22/63 because I love love. It’s not something I’ve been very good at in my life, but it is something I’ve experienced on a handful of occasions. Jake writes “But I believe in love, you know; love is a uniquely portable magic. I don’t think it’s in the stars, but I do believe that blood calls to blood and mind calls to mind and heart to heart.” There are a lot of arguments out there for the different kinds of love, and the importance of lasting love and the heartache of unrequited love, but nothing has ever seemed as true to me as Jake’s understanding of how to find, and recognize, love.

I love 11/22/63 because I know that if someone asked me “what did you like so much about it?” I would never be able to answer their question to satisfaction. As I sit here, thinking of how to end this, I find myself placing my left hand upon the cover, as if it were the Good Book and I was being sworn to testify. “It’s a book about a man going back in time to stop President Kennedy from being assassinated” is a justifiable way of introducing it to another person, but it’s really not what this book is about at all. That’s like saying Donnie Darko is about a kid that hallucinates a rabbit or The Picture of Dorian Gray is about a phantom painting.

I love 11/22/63 because I’ve never had an experience where I’ve said “Eight hundred and forty-nine pages was not enough.” It wasn’t. Not nearly. ( )
  sixteendays | Apr 24, 2015 |
There is a passage to the past. Jake Epping takes it. Several times. And is faced with moral conundrums. Which is better - to save a life or many lives? What are the consequences? Which lives should be saved? Should you live in the past or the present?

Excellent pacing and characters. A great feel for setting.

Highly recommended. ( )
  devilish2 | Apr 9, 2015 |
Enjoyable, but way too long ( )
  PatNugent | Mar 31, 2015 |
I listened to this one as an Audible book. I would have liked the story to move along more quickly than it did. I am not one who enjoys great detail. However, the characters were fleshed out and the Kennedy assassination and its alternative in time travel were very detailed and interesting. I wanted to get to the end to see what transpired, I just wish it'd been sooner to get there. Stephen King is not for me. ( )
  bereanna | Mar 11, 2015 |
Probably everyone knows about the Kennedy assassination in 1963. It is very likely that it was Lee Harvey Oswald who fired the shots at the first Catholic American president in Dallas, Texas. In 11.22.63 Stephen King sets out to imagine a world in which the assassination can be prevented by traveling back in time and stopping Lee Harvey Oswald. This is exactly what protagonist Jake Epping, an English teacher from Maine, tries to do in the novel. He leaves 2011 behind and travels back in time to the America of 1958. Five years before the fateful day of 11/22/63 Jake Epping starts to enjoy his life in the past and falls in love with a librarian. As the day of the assassination is slowly approaching, the obstacles to the protagonist's mission start becoming bigger and bigger. It seems like the past does not want to be changed.

As I like Stephen King's writing, this is of course something that I also enjoyed in this novel. Generally the plot was very clear right from the beginning so the interesting thing was how King enriched the plot with small events, the characters and their development. At times he manages to enthrall the reader but then again there are also passages that you just read to get on with the novel. The characters were actually quite round and provided much room for good twists and turns.

A very important issue in this novel is obviously time-traveling, the butterfly effect and bringing together separate strings of time. In this respect I had expected a little more depth. King rather focuses on what the world is like and what happens than spending time ruminating about typical questions about time-traveling: What if I meet myself because I will only be born in a couple of years? What if I change the world in a way that I will never be born? Should I go back to the present then? Will I die when I go back? So if you expect answers to questions of this kind, you will probably be disappointed in the book. It is more about showing what life is like in the two different 'worlds' and (re-)creating these worlds with as much detail as possible.

I liked 11.22.63 quite a bit, it was sometimes a little bit too long-winded. For that reason, I'll only give the book 3.5 stars. ( )
  OscarWilde87 | Mar 6, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 367 (next | show all)
It all adds up to one of the best time-travel stories since H. G. Wells. King has captured something wonderful. Could it be the bottomlessness of reality? The closer you get to history, the more mysterious it becomes. He has written a deeply romantic and pessimistic book. It’s romantic about the real possibility of love, and pessimistic about everything else.
 

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bonomelli, RexCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cassel, BooTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gassie, NadineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbing, ErichDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuipers, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasson, CraigReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wu MingTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
It is virtually not assimilable to our reason that a small lonely man felled a giant in the midst of his limousines, his legions, his throng, and his security. If such a nonentity destroyed the leader of the most powerful nation on earth, then a world of disproportion engulfs us, and we live in a universe that is absurd.

- Norman Mailer
If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples.

- Japanese proverb
Dancing is life.
Dedication
For Zelda
Hey, honey, welcome to the party
First words
I have never been what you call a crying man.
Quotations
But stupidity is one of two things we see most clearly in retrospect.  The other is missed chances.
Although emotionally delicate and eminently bruisable, teenagers are short on empathy.  That comes later in life, if at all.
Life turns on a dime.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas,
President Kennedy died, and the world changed.

If you had the chance to change history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
Haiku summary
Can we change the past?
Not if it erases life.
Better just to dance. (enemyanniemae)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? The author's new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. In this novel that is a tribute to a simpler era, he sweeps readers back in time to another moment, a real life moment, when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history. Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students, a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night fifty years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane, and insanely possible, mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life, a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.… (more)

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