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11.22.63 by Stephen King

11.22.63 (edition 2012)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,762416737 (4.2)1 / 515
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Hodder Paperback (2012), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:time travel

Work details

11/22/63 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. 20
    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. 00
    Time and Time Again by Ben Elton (aliklein)
  9. 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 (389)  Dutch (8)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  All languages (416)
Showing 1-5 of 389 (next | show all)
I'm a fan of time travel tales to begin with, so combining that and Stephen King seems tailored to me. Well, I was not disappointed! One of my favorites by the master, although if you are looking for classic King horror look elsewhere. This story deals with altering the past and possible consequences, and it's done masterfully! What a great book, get your copy, set some time aside (you won't want to put it down), and enjoy an interesting and engrossing story! ( )
  bearlyr | Oct 1, 2015 |
9-14-2015 - The first chapters started somewhat OK. But it's dragging on. I probably won't like it but I should listen to a few more chapters just to make sure.
  mjbaker | Sep 15, 2015 |

Stephen King gives his protagonist a way of going back in time from 2011 to 1958, with the mission of preventing the assassination, and therefore stopping the Vietnam War in its tracks and bringing about a better fifty years for American history. Our hero loves, fights, loses, wins, and then discovers that when he gets what he wants, it may not be what he wanted it to be. All the time travel cliches are there, but all done really well; I've often found Stephen King nostalgic for the 1950's/60s, both the good and bad parts of that time, and here he is able to indulge himself as a tourist of the past. The level of circumstantial and emotional detail is tremendous; one can almost smell Texas. (The time portal is located in Maine, which allows King to employ his love of his home state to great effect.)

With all that, I was a bit disappointed with the end of the book, where the real conspiracy is revealed and the story defaulted back into all the things I don't like about Stephen King's writing. But that was only for the last few dozen pages of a very long book. People who like King more than I do will like the book more than I did, and I liked it a lot. ( )
  nwhyte | Sep 12, 2015 |
Full disclosure; I love what Doctor Who refers to as that wibbly, wobbly, timey-whimey stuff.

I love the idea of time travel; of being able to explore the past and solve unknown mysteries of history. I especially like the idea of what would happen if you went back and changed the past. Intricate mind-bending questions like what would happen if I went back and killed my grandfather are fascinating to consider.

Apparently Stephen King is similarly intrigued with such things as he took the old ‘What would happen if someone went back and killed Hitler?’ question, updated it, and gave it an American retelling. Much has been said about what would have happened if John F. Kennedy had not been assassinated. His death is one of the few events in our lifetime (assuming you are an old fart like me) where it could be argued that a minimal amount of intervention could have greatly changed the course of our history. Jake Epping, the protagonist of King’s foray into time travel, believes fervently that if Kennedy had not been killed he would have ended Americas’ involvement in Vietnam before it became the quagmire that took the lives of 58,220 Americans and over 1 million Vietnamese. When he is shown a portal back to 1958 he quickly seizes the opportunity to change the world. He quickly learns a lesson that is repeated over and over in the ensuing years and that is that ‘the past is obdurate’. It doesn’t want to change, and the greater the change he attempts to make, the more the past throws obstacles in his path.

In the five years that Jake spends planning his attempt to stop Lee Oswald, he begins a new life in the small town of Jodie, Texas, teaching high school under the assumed name of George Amberson. His quest becomes vastly more complicated when his life in Jodie becomes more real and dear to him than anything he had back in the future. If he carries out his plan, he may have to leave the life and people he has come to love.

Does he succeed? If so, what happens? You’ll have to read the book yourself and find out. It’s well worth the effort.

The bottom line is that Stephen King has apparently learned a lesson that I learned over the decades. Bad things are going to happen and, even though we suffer unhappiness and loss, there is nothing to be gained from wishing things had been different. Good things can follow after bad just as easily as bad things can follow good. If my first marriage hadn’t fallen apart I never would have moved to California and met the woman I was destined to spend my life with. The pain that we suffer is a part of making us who we are. Not only is the past obdurate, it also harmonizes.

I listened to the audio recording read by Craig Wasson. He was really good but there were times when he made characters sound a bit too familiar. (Is that pawnbroker Burt Lancaster? Did I just hear John Houseman?)

FYI: On a 5-point scale I assign stars based on my assessment of what the book needs in the way of improvements:
• 5 Stars – Nothing at all. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
• 4 Stars – It could stand for a few tweaks here and there but it’s pretty good as it is.
• 3 Stars – A solid C grade. Some serious rewriting would be needed in order for this book to be considered great or memorable.
• 2 Stars – This book needs a lot of work. A good start would be to change the plot, the character development, the writing style and the ending.
• 1 Star - The only thing that would improve this book is a good bonfire. ( )
  Unkletom | Sep 12, 2015 |
I LOVED IT! It’s a huge book, more than 800 pages of pure madness. It’s a slow read, I think it took me 6 months to finish it, with what little time I have in between my free time. Although the book is about time travel, there is plenty of drama and romance thrown in. I can’t help feeling sad and pity for the protagonist when Sadie died when trying to save JFK.

I have never really been to America, but here in Malaysia we have enough reference to its culture and history through television, movies and the internet. Despite some readers who protested that the book focuses too much on American culture in the 50’s and the swinging 60’s, I feel at home with these. I could almost hear Elvis the King singing over the radios reading that book. King’s description of the era pretty much sums up what the older Americans remembers about it. Food were more delicious, water and the air much cleaner and there are no computers or smartphones to beep you every other minute. Kind of like how I remembers my childhood in Mambang Diawan as well. There is a sense of nostalgia, and you can’t help but feel sad that the age of innocence is now lost forever.

I’m fine with the JFK assassination story, but I felt the story of spying on the Oswald’s life a bit draggy. And the part where he explores the slum in Derry, Florida and Dallas. I understand that it is a necessary part of the story in order to flesh out the details. Give life to Oswald so to speak, and to explain why he does the things that he do. But if I were to re-read the story again, that is the part that I would most likely skip.

There is also the part about saving Al’s friend from a hunting accident and Harry Dunning from his alcoholic father. Again I would most likely skim through these parts. But they are important parts of the story, which lends itself to build the revelation in the end.

But the story in Jodie was beautiful! Specifically the part where he meets his lover and fiance Sadie Dunhill. Sadie is not your typical blonde-meets-guy and falls head over heels (literally, she tripped and fell down on their first meet). She has a strong character, beautiful, caring and loyal. Even when Jake tried to shake her off during his final encounter with Oswald, Sadie was very adamant about following him, helping him. You can’t help but feel for Jake when he tried to help Sadie to get back on her feet again, first during her drunken suicidal attempt, and more importantly when her face was scarred badly by her ex-husband. Not only did Jake not mind her scar, he brought sense back to her and became her pillar of support through it all. Only a true love would do that, and King has displayed his story-telling prowess with the development of Sadie’s story. Despite this not being a lovey-dovey story, I ended up feeling really sad for Jake, especially when he realised that he cannot stay in the pass and live a full life with Sadie. That moment was a real tear-jerker, and I still feel the goosebumps thinking about it.

I understand that the ending in the book was not the original King’s ending. There is actually an alternate ending to this story, which has a far bleaker ending. But I like how the ending in the book turned out. I can see them falling in love again, and in the months ahead that they are together, Jake finally tells the truth about how he actually met her in the other string of universe. (On a side note, ever wondered how to deflower an 80-year-old virgin? hehehehe )

The story of Jake and Sadie is so sweet. I would gladly re-read the book again, just to experience their first dance all over again. How they made love, how she had been hurt and he nursed her back to health. It was as if the whole book was about them. Their life has just grown on me by the time I was finished with the book, and I really don’t want to see them go. I’m having one of those post-reading depression syndrome. The journey is over, but I really don’t want it to end. I can re-read the book again, but the feeling will never be the same again compared to when I first read it . Someone should really make a fanfiction about their lives in 2012, this time a pure all-out romance. Who knows, if time permits, that someone could be me ….

Here’s a toast for Jake and Sadie, may we meet again! ( )
  jackyyong | Aug 31, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 389 (next | show all)
...ingen van läsare av science fiction kommer att bli överraskad.

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

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
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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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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.

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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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