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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
6,564479578 (4.2)1 / 545
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 (451)  Dutch (8)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (479)
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Al Templeton has a secret and that secret is that he has a little time portal to 1958 in the basement of his diner. Each time he goes through, it resets everything, which has been allowing him to buy ground beef for his diner at an incredibly low price for years. Then Al decided he should do something worthy with this time portal. Alas, he is going to die of cancer before he can complete his self-assigned mission. So he entrusts this mission to his friend Jake Epping. Of course, Jake needs to test the portal out before he believes Al, but once he’s satisfied that it’s real, he’s willing to sit with Al and hear his plan out. The mission is to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting President John F Kennedy on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Al believes that by saving this one man, the Vietnam war (and then some) will be avoided.

This is my first Stephen King novel and it’s quite a dense work to start with. The first 6 or 7 hours of the book were pretty slow for me. There’s a little bit of action as Al explains the ‘test’ he did to verify that the timeline could indeed be changed, but mostly it’s a lot of convincing Jake and setting up the reasons why he needs to do this. I also believe that’s it rare that saving or killing one person can alter a major event, so it was a hard sell to me as to the merit of saving JFK – I don’t think saving him would necessarily avert the Vietnam war. So I found myself only listening to this novel in short spurts of an hour or two. But then Jake decides to the plunge and test the timeline himself. That’s when things really got interesting.

Jake Epping becomes George Emberson in 1958. He travels to Maine and settles in while waiting for the chance to set right a grievous injustice done to a mother and her children. The people in the small town are suspicious of newcomers and George’s real estate excuse doesn’t wash with everyone. George basically spies on the family he intends to save and the man who historically tore it apart. Jake of 2011 has no experience doing these sorts of things, so George of 1958 has to get comfortable deceiving people. I liked that George bumbled around a bit as he picked up the lingo and absorbed the atmosphere of 1958.

Once he’s done what he came to do, he returns to 2011 to check on the timeline and see what changes his efforts made. Once satisfied that he can indeed change history, he has the big choice to make. If he goes through to 1958, he has to live several years in the past before he can stop Lee Harvey Oswald on that fateful day, but then he may well also be trapped in the past.

I found myself more interested in George’s side projects at first – saving that mother and her kids in Maine, and then another person from a hunting accident. There was drama and apparently Time herself puts plenty of obstacles in the way, wanting to keep things as they are. Then things slowed down a bit as George settled into a teaching position in Texas (which is what he did in real life in 2011). Eventually, he starts making friends and becomes wrapped up in their lives. The drama rises again as he finds a romantic entanglement with Sadie, the school librarian.

The most interesting part of the book was probably the last 7 or 8 hours. These are the events in George’s life leading up to the JFK parade in Dallas, his attempts to stop Oswald, and the aftermath of those actions. Not everything is rosy and fine, which I thought was great and realistic and really made the story for me. George is faced with yet more tough choices and I felt my heart break just a little for him.

At first, I was a bit concerned that the author wouldn’t be addressing racial prejudices in this book, even though they were definitely alive and kicking in the 1960s. While George is in Maine, we don’t see much, though there are some characters that have racial issues with a Jewish character. Once George heads south, the author does a decent job of inserting a few well-wrought scenes that show the racial divide between folks at the time.

Over all, I’m glad I put the time into this book. It’s definitely well researched – from the foods available, to the TV shows, to women’s rights, to nearly everyone smoking nearly every where, to the cars, to the politics. I had zero interest in the Kennedy assassination before I read this book and now I have at least a little interest in the times and politics of his presidency. The author gives a brief talk at the end of the book about why he wrote this book and how his life was affected by the assassination and I thought that was a nice bonus to us listeners.

The Narration: Craig Wasson did a pretty good job with this book. Several accents – Russian, German, French, along with regional US accents – were required and he did them all well. There is also this huge cast of characters ranging in ages and jobs and situations. Wasson pulled them all off giving us a very good performance. George’s breaking heart and Sadie’s near-suicidal attitude really came through. ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jul 16, 2016 |
I used to read Stephen King books all the time then got away from them when he started writing the short stories as I like longer books. This is the first one I've read since then and I think I need to get back to reading his books as this was really good. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a lot different from his earlier works. It makes you think about what would happen if you could go back in time, how would it change the future. Also, if you keep going back, how would it affect you and the future. And could you really go back? It would be fun if there was a way to go back in time and at least see the way things used to be, to actually experience them. I recommend this book and it is a good read. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 12, 2016 |
I used to read Stephen King books all the time then got away from them when he started writing the short stories as I like longer books. This is the first one I've read since then and I think I need to get back to reading his books as this was really good. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a lot different from his earlier works. It makes you think about what would happen if you could go back in time, how would it change the future. Also, if you keep going back, how would it affect you and the future. And could you really go back? It would be fun if there was a way to go back in time and at least see the way things used to be, to actually experience them. I recommend this book and it is a good read. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 451 (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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