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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

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5,186368862 (4.2)1 / 474
Member:ButlerDoug
Title:11/22/63: A Novel
Authors:Stephen King
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Rating:****
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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. 60
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (zwelbast, bookworm12)
  4. 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.
  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 (347)  Dutch (8)  French (4)  Catalan (3)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  All languages (368)
Showing 1-5 of 347 (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.
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
A bit of memory makes it fairly obvious from the title "11/22/63" that this story involves the assassination of J.F. K. By creating an enthralling science fiction plot - as only Stephen King can do - the author provides strong character development, drama laced with humor, and a captivating story that clamors for more.

The protagonist, Jake Epping, discovers an extraordinary phenomena. The ability to travel back into the past. But there is one catch. No matter how many times he drops back in time, his visit always begins on September 9th, 1958 (Stephen King’s humor at work here).

Welcome to the world of Eisenhower, the cold war, segregation, hot cars, cheap gas, and rock and roll. If you lived through that era you will surely enjoy the nostalgia... TV shows, words to old songs, cigarette billboards, and high school hops. Born in 1947, Stephen King is a pro at depicting life in this era.

And if it is really possible to travel into the past, isn’t it also possible to alter events, perhaps prevent a murder and save an innocent life? Jake Epping and a trusted friend develop a plan to test that theory. And if it works, Jake will pay a visit to the past and stay until 1963 with the objective of saving Kennedy’s life.

Intrigued by the conspiracy theories, King did extensive research before writing this captivating story. Most of the details about Lee Harvey Oswald and his family, Jack Ruby, and other pertinent people were all based on fact.

King explores the oddity of experiencing startling coincidences and the eerie feeling of deja’ vu. And all through the drama, he demonstrates the epitome of suffering the consequences of ones actions… bad karma.

Not normally a fan of “time travel” stories, with "11/22/63" I make an exception. I loved this book. Of all the Stephen King novels, in my opinion, "11/22/63" holds third place… coming in just after "It" and "The Stand". However, one warning. Stephen King’s books are always loaded with violence, death, and lots of bloodshed. Particularly in this book, King is very descriptive - sometimes excessively brutal - occasionally difficult to read because it seems to be very real. For the horror science fiction genre it's a 5 Star. ( )
  LadyLo | Oct 17, 2014 |
Dopo il mezzo passo falso di ‘The dome’, King torna al librone (oltre settecentosessanta pagine) con un’altra idea che – dice lui – risale agli anni Settanta, ma con ben diverso risultato. Per farlo, abbandona la storia corale e si concentra su un singolo protagonista: Jake Epping/George Amberson è in scena dall’inizio alla fine, raccontando in prima persona il suo viaggio nel tempo per cercare di sventare l’attentato a Kennedy. I complottisti non si agitino: King è per la soluzione semplice e pensa che Oswald abbia agito da solo, ipotesi che è anche la più funzionale allo svolgimento di questa storia. Storia che appassiona dall’inizio alla fine concedendosi numerose deviazioni, un’affettuosa ma non edulcorata rievocazione degli anni Cinquanta e una bella storia d’amore. Che poi, magari, è solo un altro modo che il passato escogita per mettere il bastone fra le ruote del protagonista: perché il passato stesso ‘non vuol essere cambiato’ e questa sua ‘gommosità’ (da cui discende anche il corollario che ogni mutazione potrà essere solo in peggio) è forse l’invenzione più interessante del romanzo che, per il resto, è debitore di molta letteratura sui viaggi nel tempo e l’autore non ne fa mistero nella postfazione. Le pagine migliori sono quelle dedicate alla descrizione delle piccole comunità, sia in negativo (Derry) sia in positivo (Jodie), ma questo, si sa, è una specialità della casa: qualche battuta a vuoto si trova invece qua e là, come nel racconto del periodo in Florida o nei lunghi appostamenti per spiare gli Oswald, il che servirà rafforzare la leggenda metropolitana che il Nostro affidi la stesura di alcune pagine a qualche ‘negro’. La conclusione è coerente e indovinata, come non sempre accade anche al King migliore: pare abbia dato una mano il figlio scrittore Joe Hill, chè quella ipotizzata in origine – con Sadie circondata di figli e nipoti – sarebbe risultata di certo meno incisiva. Ultimo , piccolo appunto, alcuni errori di traduzione e/o stampa che fanno capolino all’inizio e alla fine, ma che non intaccano le ore di lettura appassionante che il libro regala, tanto che, in molti passaggi, è difficile staccarsi dalla pagine. Il piacere è aumentato anche dalla caccia alle citazioni che King distribuisce a piene mani lungo tutto il testo: oltre alle strizzate d’occhio alle opere precedenti dell’autore del Maine, si va dall’ovvio ‘Ritorno al futuro’ a un inatteso (ma non del tutto, a pensarci bene) James Ellroy. ( )
  catcarlo | Oct 8, 2014 |
Jake Epping, high school English teacher, is convinced by Al, owner of his favorite diner, that time travel is possible. Due to failing health Al is unable to accomplish his ultimate life goal – to use the time portal to prevent Kennedy’s assassination. Despite his unbelief and fear of the unknown, Jake manages to travel to 1958 unscathed where he begins to see the real possibility of changing history. Read the rest of my review on my Book Review Blog: http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/112263-stephen-king/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
I haven't finished this book yet, but I have to say this probably the best Stephen King book he has ever written. I will clarify that I am not his biggest fan, although there have been a couple of his novels that I have enjoyed. I hadn't planned on picking up any more of his novels, but I couldn't resist this one, given the subject. I have even managed to avoid it a bit after putting it on my 'currently reading list'- the only novel that at there for a couple weeks without me cracking a page, and last update of my currently reading page, I contemplated removing it.

Yesterday I needed some filler- something not important, something that wouldn't require much effort yet would provide a world to step into for awhile and just be lazy.

While I contend this is that kind of a book, surprisingly, it has grabbed my attention and while it is a lazy escape at its core, I am enjoying it immensely - a phenomenon that I have yet to experience with at Stephen King novel.

So, that is why you get this lengthy report when I haven't yet finished (only 123 pages in). I am rather pleasantly shocked and hope you might be too if you pick it up.

Finally finished. I think all I am going to say is this- I LOVE time travel stories, alternate and altered history stories... I lap them up like a kitten does spilled milk (had other metaphors but I thought I'd keep it PG)... the fact that I started reading this book way back in December and kept putting it down and forgetting, aka not caring to pick it back up, voids my previous impression and tells you all you need to know about the quality (imho) of this book. Don't bother wasting your time, this one is going on my 'avoid like the plague' list. ( )
  autumnturner76 | Sep 22, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 347 (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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

(summary from another edition)

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