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11/22/63 by Stephen King

11/22/63 (edition 2011)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,686None1,007 (4.21)432
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Scribner (2011), Edition: First Edition/First Printing, Hardcover, 849 pages
Collections:Your library

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11/22/63 by Stephen King

1960s (51) 2011 (28) 2012 (79) alternate history (150) assassination (50) audiobook (37) ebook (77) fantasy (69) fiction (424) historical fiction (125) history (38) horror (70) JFK (148) Kennedy (37) Kennedy Assassination (54) Kindle (83) Lee Harvey Oswald (29) Maine (33) novel (51) read (56) read in 2011 (25) read in 2012 (40) science fiction (193) Stephen King (54) suspense (38) Texas (48) thriller (69) time travel (401) to-read (184) USA (29)
  1. 122
    It by Stephen King (watertiger)
    watertiger: The characters from IT are referenced in 11/22/63
  2. 60
    The Dead Zone by Stephen King (RWListen)
  3. 50
    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.
  4. 50
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (zwelbast)
  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. 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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» See also 432 mentions

English (318)  Dutch (8)  French (4)  Catalan (3)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  All languages (339)
Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
Sometimes a cigar is just a smoke and a story's just a story

And what a story this is. I'm not sure where Stephen King came up with the idea for this book, but it's a hell of a thing. Part time travel, part thriller, part love story. I enjoyed the slow build up, the reveal of how the time travel takes place, and the various peaks and troughs that take the main character to where he needs to be on that fateful day – this book is certainly worth a read.

The main character is your typical Stephen King main character, as sort of everyman searching for something in his life. He's given the opportunity to go back in time and for some reason he and his co-conspirator decide the best use of this opportunity is to prevent the Kennedy assassination. Which seems somewhat simplistic to me, at best. I know this kind of plays out, in terms of the fact that it doesn't really improve anything in the future, but I'm just not certain where the fixation on that particular moment stems from in the first place. I don't get the sense of why they both believe it possible that preventing it would make everything better? However, I have to also accept that 1. I am not American, and 2. I was born 27 years after the Kennedy assassination. So perhaps the impact and magnitude of the event – which I know and feel to be great – is even in excess of that which I can imagine.

I enjoyed a lot of the dallying around that happens prior to get into the meat of the story. As is, I suspect, somewhat common with Stephen King books – though I don't have the grounding to back this up – there is a lot of filler in these 740 pages. For example, the two iterations of the murder of the Dunning father could have been done a lot more effectively. The part of the book with Epping as a high school teacher felt comparatively short, and I was enjoying that part so much that I really wanted to spend more time there. I found the parts where he was trailing Oswald intriguing at first, but they quickly became tiresome. They were repetitive and didn't really add much to the depth of Oswald as a “character”. The whole point from the beginning was that he was a repulsive piece of work, and the only question is whether he was a repulsive piece of work with the balls to do what he was accused of doing. So it's kind of tiresome to spend so much time proving over and over how odious his behaviour is when we already know that. Also, regarding the romance Epping is painted as not being totally convinced at the beginning that stopping the Kennedy murder will fix things. Given the apparent strength of his love for Sadie, I kind of felt like it was unrealistic for him to pursue Oswald with the zeal that he did, sacrificing the possibility of continuing their love. I don't know, I just feel more like he would have stayed with Sadie. It was a sweet love story though.

Overall, I really did enjoy this a lot. I just feel like maybe if it had been about 200 pages shorter, it would have been more special. I give 11/22/63 eight out of ten.
  heterocephalusglaber | Apr 19, 2014 |
With 11/22/63, Stephen King takes us into one of his most ambitious novels. 11/22/63 is a fiction based on a historical event that marked America (and the world).

Addressing the theme of time travel in an original way (each new stay in the past is a reset of what has been changed the previous time), the novel deals head-on with the theory of the butterfly effect in a reality-fiction taking the appearance of a police investigation linked to a love story of the scale of Lisey story.

Excerpt of my review of 11/22/63 available on the website of the Club Stephen King

( )
  ClubStephenKing | Apr 11, 2014 |
Al Templeton, owner of the local diner in Lisbon Falls, Maine, has accidentally found a porthole to the past in his storage room. Every trip through the porthole takes him to Lisbon Falls, Maine on September 9, 1958 at 11:58 AM. And every time he comes back, no matter how long he stays, it's always two minutes later in the future. Al makes many trips through the porthole and devises a plan to go back and prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Unfortunately, Al develops lung cancer and cannot continue on with his plan so he recruits the help of a local high school English teacher, Jake Epping. Jake is of course skeptical at first but once he makes his first trip through 'the rabbit hole' under the alias of George Amberson and helps to save the lives of a friend's family he becomes a believer and agrees to make the journey through the porthole and on to 1963 where he would attempt stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing JFK. But the past is obdurate. It doesn't want to be changed and there are many many, sometimes dangerous, obstacles in his way.

I don't want to give away too much about the story but Jake or George, whichever you prefer does fall in love, makes many friends, and also helps to save the lives of others on the way. You must remember there is a butterfly effect going on and every single life he touches changes the future. The ending is totally unexpected but I wouldn't say a cliffhanger, thankfully.

At first I was intimidated by the book's size(849p.) and it sat on my shelf for many months. But once I got started with it, I was quickly hooked and finished the whole thing within a week. I think Stephen King fans will love this tale of 'natural meets supernatural'. Classic Stephen King. I have to say the last several books I read by King were, to me, not of his nature and left me slightly disappointed. But I'm glad to say he is BACK!! Go get it!

Published in 2011 by Scribner. ( )
  clayhollow | Apr 8, 2014 |
Stephen King and time travel. What is not to like? I wish I read this in my teens as there would have been a lot of "this is freaking awesome!" moments. Now the moments were well done but "been there/done that." I have seen many JFK clips, but was born three years after the assassination. I appreciate Mr King lived through the time and what it means. ( )
  mainrun | Apr 6, 2014 |
A few years ago, I had a few friends over to my place for some pizza and movies. We had rented Terminator 3, so I'm going to put this gathering at around.. 2003? After the movie was over, we started talking about time travel and how enormous a concept it was to take on. We all had our own theories on how it was supposed to work and the discussion began to get pretty heated. Now, when I say "heated" I mean, in just a frustrating and hilarious manner. We actually started screaming at each other as movies we all loved were brought into the discussion.

In the end, nothing was solved. Basically time travel fiction (anyone know of any non-fiction?) is pretty open ended. There aren't any set rules you have to play by and the most people ask is that you just make it seem.. plausible? You can argue until you're blue in the face with someone who has their own views on the subject but as long as you have a compelling enough plot surrounding it, you can shift people's focus from the mechanics to the basic story itself.

So in 11/22/63, King doesn't spend a lot of time going into how Jake travels 53 years into the past, he just wants you to accept that he is able to do so. Which is fine by me, I can trust Uncle Stevie, he hasn't given me a reason yet not to expect a great read. Granted, he gives you somewhat of an explanation eventually and while it does seem to make sense, I still didn't quite fully grasp what he was going for.

Thankfully, the story itself was enjoyable. It did seem to meander at parts, which is why it's only going to get a 4 star rating, but I suppose that's a given with a near 900 page monstrosity. I really hate harping on book length as I'm actually a pretty big advocate of longer fiction; my favorite book of all time is damn near 1,200 pages! I firmly believe that King could've shaved 100 pages off.. or at least somewhere in that ballpark. Pretty sure I heard him state in an interview that the first draft was somewhere in the realm of 1,500 pages? Correct me if I'm wrong.

I've heard a few people say that they had some issues with the ending and I can't quite understand that one. It's easily a far better ending then 2009's [b:Under the Dome|6320534|Under the Dome|Stephen King|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1268982908s/6320534.jpg|6760952]. The pacing in the final 150 pages including the final confrontation with Oswald had my heart racing at a rapid speed.

King certainly has done better but it's still worth the time you put into reading it. I give it a solid recommendation. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 318 (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 (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bonomelli, RexCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cassel, BooTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gassie, NadineTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbing, ErichDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuipers, HugoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wasson, CraigReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wu MingTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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.
For Zelda
Hey, honey, welcome to the party
First words
I have never been what you call a crying man.
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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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