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11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
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11/22/63: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,957501518 (4.2)1 / 566
Member:ButlerDoug
Title:11/22/63: A Novel
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Gallery Books (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 880 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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. 70
    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.
  3. 70
    The Dead Zone by Stephen King (StarryNightElf)
  4. 70
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (zwelbast, bookworm12)
  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. 42
    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. 10
    Blackout by Connie Willis (Navarone)
    Navarone: Both books are about time travel and how the future is affected due to the actions you make.
  8. 10
    All Clear by Connie Willis (Navarone)
  9. 32
    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.
  10. 00
    Time and Time Again by Ben Elton (aliklein)
  11. 12
    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 (473)  Dutch (8)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Danish (1)  All (501)
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This is the story of a time traveler living in 2011 who finds the "rabbit hole" and travels back to the 50's where he considers changing the course of history.

Jake Epping is a recently-divorced high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, earning extra money teaching a GED class. Epping gives an assignment to his adult students, asking them to write about a day that changed their lives. One of the students, a learning-impaired janitor named Harry Dunning, submits an assignment describing the Halloween night his drunken father murdered his mother and siblings with a hammer and injured Harry, causing him to be brain damaged; Harry's story emotionally affects Jake, and the two become friends.

Two years later, in June 2011, Jake stops by a local diner and speaks with the owner and cook named Al., Al asks Jake to meet him at his diner the next day. When Jake arrives, he is shocked to see Al has aged many many years since just the previous day. Al explains that he is dying of lung cancer and that his appearance is attributable to his condition; but nobody ages that quickly in 24 hours and it would be impossible to lose that much weight. Jake eventually learns that Al has discovered a "door" in his diner's pantry, which he has used to transport himself back to to 1958. Doubting Al's story at first, Jake skeptically, travels through the portal. Jake spends an hour in 1958 before returning to the present, after which Al explains that he's figured out the basics of how the portal functions:

Every journey through the portal transports the traveler to September 9, 1958, at precisely 11:58 a.m.
No matter how long someone stays in the past—hours, days, weeks, or years—only two minutes elapse in 2011.
Past events CAN be changed; however, subsequent use of the portal "resets" the timeline and nullifies all changes made on the previous excursion.
The "obdurate" past throws up obstacles to prevent history from being changed.
Because the portal gives one the ability to alter the present by changing an event in the past, Al wonders at Al's prompting, if he might be able to prevent John F. Kennedy's assassination, hoping that doing so would change history for the better, had JFK lived. He spent four years in the past after entering the portal the previous night, traveling to Dallas, Texas to track Lee Harvey Oswald, plotting to kill the would-be assassin during his attempted murder of General Edwin Walker. His delay was due to the fact that he wanted to be absolutely sure that Oswald actually was a killer and would act alone.

As an experiment prior to saving the president, Jake travels back to 1958 to save Harry Dunning's family and prevent Harrys' brain damage. When Jake returns to the present, he learns Al has committed suicide, forcing Jake to act immediately, before the death is known and the diner is sealed.

With no preparation, Jake re-enters the portal. He spends several years establishing his identity in the late 1950s as he gains employment, establishes friendships and makes a home for himself.Soon he comes to suspect history "harmonizes"—he keeps coming into contact with people of the same name, with similar events. He suspects saving one life may result in another person dying in their stead, for example.

He begins to stalk Oswald, renting apartments near the Oswalds' apartments. He begins to wonder if Oswald's only friend in Dallas, George de Mohrenschildt, may somehow be involved in the assassination, and thus hesitates to kill Oswald ahead of time. He thinks de Mohrenschildt is a CIA resource who is supposed to keep an eye on Oswald, but may also be egging Oswald on to kill first General Walker, then JFK. Jake resolves to wait until the Walker attempted assassination before killing Oswald. However, he is unable to learn certain facts and is prevented from accessing several opportunities to kill Oswald.

Finally, the situation comes down to November 22, 1963. as Jake carries out his plan to better the present world, he learns his actions have devastating and tragic reactions.
( )
  jothebookgirl | Jan 3, 2017 |
it was a good read by Stephen King... flawed though it was, it turned out to be a new take on time-travel. ( )
  Greg_Hunt | Dec 30, 2016 |
I heard a lot of 11/22/63 when I saw King winning awards for this book and the fact the rave reviews on Amazon were enticing. Not a horror novel, King writes a time-travel novel.

But it's not about time-travel. Behind this science fiction landscape is a love story. A love story that could shake the very reality of the universe if Jake Epping lets it!

Jake gets to know Al, a strange guy who runs a hamburger joint in a small Maine town. Al is dying of cancer and has to let someone know his plan. Live long enough in the past to 1963 and stop Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating Kennedy!

Jake is not so sure about this but goes ahead to the tiny burger joint where Al shows him the stock room, which happens to have a time portal in it. Where'd that come from? Weird anomaly or more?

Al tells Jake all and then perishes. The character development is such that I really felt for Al and his major quest to stop the Kennedy assassination. Al was hoping that we would not get into Vietnam and the country would prosper.

Jake on the other hand wants to change the past as well. Stop a little girl from getting hit by a bullet and get paralysis; stop a student, Harry, from having his family murdered by a drunk father; and his biggest prize, Oswald!

I was fascinated by the fact that King weaves an easy-to-follow story where Jake meets the "Yellow Card Man" which card keeps changing color. Who is this guy?

Also I have seen where other reviewers remark that King drops a few Easter eggs where characters from his other novels appear – a murderous clown, or mention of Shawshank Prison. This didn't tickle my fancy so much. What did is King's interpretation of the late 1950s/early 1960s.

The time period did have its friendly small towns but also had its criminal element. Interesting that we glorify the past but forget that the past had its own problems and bad elements, which Jake finds plenty of, to his dismay.

The majority of the book is Jake's relationship with a small-town librarian in Jolie Texas and how he will do anything to protect her and to love her. Trouble is, there is way more at stake and I won't reveal more in the plot, other than to say the ending is troublesome and heartwrenching for the poor guy.

Bottom Line: Not a typical horror novel and not even a typical time-travel novel, the 860 pages fly by as you experience 1960s America and it's date with the Kennedy assassination. What if it never happened? What if we regret our decision?

Recommended.
( )
1 vote James_Mourgos | Dec 22, 2016 |
First King book I've read in years. I remember now why I stopped reading him. Terrible foreshadowing and worse research. The book itself was pretty good, but he's gotten *so* sloppy over the years. :/ ( )
  knfmn | Dec 22, 2016 |
A thoroughly enjoyable time travel tale with a twist. ( )
  Dollinha | Dec 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 473 (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 editionscalculated
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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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.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

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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