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11/22/63 by Stephen King
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11/22/63 (edition 2012)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,525478584 (4.2)1 / 542
Member:TonkoKordic
Title:11/22/63
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Gallery Books (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 880 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:sf, time travel, alternative history

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. 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.
  5. 30
    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. 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.
  7. 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)
  8. 10
    All Clear by Connie Willis (Navarone)
  9. 00
    Time and Time Again by Ben Elton (aliklein)
  10. 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.
  11. 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 (448)  Dutch (8)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  All languages (475)
Showing 1-5 of 448 (next | show all)
Time travel has never been so believable. Or so Terrifying. Follow an incredible journey into the past. A journey with the possibility of altering it.
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jun 24, 2016 |
Thank god I'm finally done with this. It was good ... until it wasn't.
Toward the end I found myself rolling my eyes at the story, getting irritated with Jake/George and just wanting it to be over already.

I didn't see the slow progression from a time-jumping historical fiction book to a romance. But once that was established, I just wanted to get out.

Seriously, Jake, you know the world is/can/will be destroyed, but all you can think about is your girlfriend? How selfish can you be? I get love, but still. This is bigger than just one person, buddy.


And I'll just let my inner editor out for a sec: This story could have been about 400 pages shorter if it wasn't for King's tendency to be a tad verbose. I found myself mentally striking passages and words that weren't critical to the story. Wordiness gets boring, sir.

This might be why you won't find many (any?) Stephen King books on my shelves. ( )
  imahorcrux | Jun 22, 2016 |
Long, but worth it! ( )
  mtlkch | Jun 21, 2016 |
Stephen King is not my bag (I do. not. do. horror), though my dad loves him and holds him in high regard as a storyteller. I've also read and loved King's [On Writing]. So since 11/22/63 is one of King's not horror books and because the Dad recommended it, I gave it a whirl. And, gosh, there's a good deal about it I enjoyed a lot. King can pull you through a story, boy. My mass market copy is 1089 pages; I started it around 6:00 o'clock Friday evening and finished around 11:30 last (Monday) night. That is, like, lightning speed for me. And he can write you into a place like nobody's business. The description of the first time Jake goes back to 1958, of what he saw, what it felt like, how it smelled, that was all just fantastic. I enjoyed the romance element of the story. And some of the time travel details (or maybe more accurately, the time travel questions) King comes up with are fascinating. But on the whole, the book didn't quite work for me. (Sorry, Dad.)

The first issue is entirely idiosyncratic on my part, and that is that I don't particularly like suspense of the violent kind and I hate graphic, gruesome violence. Because this was Stephen King, and because he does some graphic, gruesome violent stuff near the beginning, I spent all 1089 pages tensely waiting for him to do the next horrible thing to his characters. That gave me rattlers in my stomach, and three days is a long time to have rattler gut from a book you're reading for fun. That's not a criticism of King or the book; that's me.

My second problem is that the book is too long. The whole second section (162 pages) seems almost wholly unnecessary. Jake wants to test whether he even can make big changes to the past and so spends months in the past waiting for the day to roll around when he knows a father is going to brutally murder his family so he can stop it, go back to the present, and see what's what. This section moves along at a good clip and is successfully suspenseful, but by the time you get to the mid-point and back half of the novel, you wonder if it was really necessary to spend all that time there, especially as none of those events have any further baring on the rest of the tale, beyond functioning as a time travel test. I also would much rather have had some more explanation at the end than have all this dithering about in the beginning.

Perhaps my biggest bugaboo is that the book doesn't seem to know what it wants to be and thus tries to be many things at once. That can work, but I don't think it did here. It starts out with a really good adventure/thriller/spec fic set up, then moves to a suspense/horror novel, then to a historical love story/slice of small-town life story, then back to a thriller (though now of a political spy sort rather than a spec fic/adventure sort) then back to the spec fic adventure, then ends in the small-town life tale. It all connects up, but it didn't quite all coalesce into one thing for me. I also found the middle (the political spy thriller part) fairly draggy.

I feel like King was trying to so something big here, something that would say something about America, especially 20th century America, and about history and memory, and about the American dream possibly and how that is all tied into JFK. But if he did say something about all that, I'm missing it. It crosses my mind that this may have something to do with me, with when I grew up, with my situation in time. JFK was assassinated almost twenty years before I was born. I don't quite understand the fascination with that moment in time (and I suspect anyone who lived through it does), or why Al and Jake think that stopping his assassination is The Thing That Will Make Everything Better. (I'm also a little perplexed by Jake. He's thirty-five in 2011, making him five years older than me. Near as makes no difference, my age, I'd say. But he doesn't feel like he is. He hardly seems tapped into the technology age we live in, and he doesn't feel particularly shaped by the popular culture he would have grown up in. And maybe most niggling but most hard to put aside: unless this guy has never watched a movie, he should KNOW not to muck around with time travel. Come oooooon, dude. Anyone who grew up in the 80s and 90s would tell the guy who wants to time travel to change the past to step back. Did Jake not *see* Back to the Future II? Which is a long way of saying, "Why does Jake think this is a good idea? I can sort of maybe buy that Al does. He's old enough I guess that the assassination of JFK might feel like the moment it all went wrong. But Jake?) Maybe this is a failure of my understanding of mid-twentieth century history more than anything else. (We never got past Korea in high school, and my study of the twentieth century in college was pretty Europe-centric.) Of course I understand (intellectually) the horror of the assassination of a sitting president and the desire that that should never, ever have happened. I get that part of it. But why the complete faith that the world would be better if he'd lived? I kind of feel like if someone put this proposal to me, my reaction would be, "No way ever no how nuh uh." We just barely managed to get through it once without nuking the entire planet. Wouldn't you be terrified that even the tiniest change to the past might have made the cold war go hot? (And didn't JFK have some horrible disease that probably would have killed him shortly anyway? Or is that some slice of a conspiracy whack-theory I've picked up somewheres?)

Finally, I want to smack King with my copy of the book for the end. HE COMPLETELY ERASES EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED! THE WHOLE THING WAS FOR NOTHING! I am sure this is supposed to resonate somehow, is supposed to tell me something about time or memory or love or history or dancing or SOMETHING, but I don't get it. Also, all privileges revoked for not explaining who the "rabbit hole" guardians are in the end. Dirty pool.

*deep breath* Right. In the end, I'm glad I read this. Like I said up top, I enjoyed some of it immensely, and I also learned some things about Lee Harvey Oswald that I knew nothing about. I'm super interested to hear other people's opinions about the book, especially if you really like it and/or have thoughts about any of the things I said I didn't get. (I'm looking at you @flamingrabbit.) Also would be interested to hear from people who remember the Kennedy assassination and can shed some light on that aspect of things. ( )
  lycomayflower | Jun 21, 2016 |
4.5 stars ( )
  Andrew-theQM | Jun 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 448 (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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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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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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