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11/22/63 by Stephen King
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11/22/63

by Stephen King

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
9,524628531 (4.2)1 / 643
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)
  1. 171
    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. 90
    Time and Again by Jack Finney (zwelbast, bookworm12)
  3. 80
    Replay by Ken Grimwood (SJaneDoe, dltj, HoudeRat)
    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.
  4. 80
    The Dead Zone by Stephen King (StarryNightElf)
  5. 41
    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)
  6. 20
    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. 20
    All Clear by Connie Willis (Navarone)
  8. 20
    Bid Time Return 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.
  9. 10
    Time and Time Again by Ben Elton (aliklein)
  10. 00
    Doomsday Book by Connie Willis (Othemts)
  11. 00
    The Iowa Baseball Confederacy by W. P. Kinsella (Othemts)
  12. 00
    When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Othemts)
  13. 33
    American Gods: The Author's Preferred Text 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.
  14. 23
    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 (599)  Dutch (9)  French (6)  Catalan (3)  German (3)  Spanish (3)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Bulgarian (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (628)
Showing 1-5 of 599 (next | show all)
I loved this book. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it. It's beautiful and disturbing and (ending aside) all too plausible. ( )
  FooBoo732 | Jun 5, 2020 |
I have a lot to say about this book, and I'm afraid that I'd be biased because I learned to read from this great author, but after many years and many of his books read, I'd be a damn fool to think Mr. King is anything but a fantastic writer on any number of levels.

It's impossible, or plain unfair, to pigeonhole him into any category. He turns a great sci-fi tale that is, in its way, a much more solid and beautiful example of the genre than I'm used to. It's just not often that a great idea novel can grow such memorable characters as Mr. King can spin. I found myself utterly flabbergasted by the beautiful use of foreshadowing, all done in a way that supported and perhaps even transcended the tension.

Of course, it could be child's play for any King fan to start going into the tie-ins between so many of his novels, including the middle world, the crimson king, and Flagg, but they're never overbearing. They all just tease. (None of these specifically show in this novel, by the way. I mention them because the *feel* of them are very present and sooo damn creepy.) What does show, as a nice form of nostalgia, was the characters from It. An oblique reference to Black House. So many other little neat things tickled me repeatedly. All the while, I was thrown into the the worlds and times without any problem and my interest never lagged. Great book.

( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
What a ride...again. This was my second reading, and though incredibly long, I'm so glad I went through the journey again. I didn't realize how much I had missed or forgotten since my first read. Though I actually found myself a little bored in some parts, this is one of those rare "complete" books. ( )
  cgfaulknerog | May 28, 2020 |
I found **11/22/63** a pretty good time travel story (Would you give five years of your life to stop the JFK assassination, given the chance?). *Stephen King*, as always, excells at the depiction of real, gritty human life with all its ups and downs. I really think he can write about anything, natural or supernatural, as long as it has at least a tenuous connection to Maine. The story had internal consistency, a bit of character development (with a not all that clever protagonist, which I appreciated – not all protagonists need to be the cleverererest), and a pretty satisfying conclusion. Readers of It will appreciate the tie-ins, and I caught whiffs of the Dark Tower aesthetic and resonating themes. The quality of writing is, as always with King, good: believable characters, mostly even with more than one dimension, tight writing, the usual brilliant use of foreshadowing and -telling.

At the same time, there are definitely things that weren't good: First off, this is a slow book. It's not really about the Kennedy assassination, or about time travel, it's mostly about the late 50s in America, in a very yearning, positive tint. This did work for me, because I know little about the 50s in the US, and I can deal with slow books as long as they are written well. But the rose-colored glasses in combination with a very pro-50s protagonist were a bit weird. About at the time when I wanted to say "bullshit, the 50s in the US must have sucked!", King starts to talk about racism for a bit – only to mostly abandon the topic afterwards. It's sometimes there on the sidelines, but only when King wants to highlight that not *quite* everything was good back then.
Also, if you like Alternative History fiction: this is not a book for you, there is no exploration of the actual consequences of different ways history might take. ( )
  _rixx_ | May 24, 2020 |
I loved every bit of this book. I know I say this a lot, especially lately, but this time? OMG, sooo true!!
the amount of research involved is astounding, and it shows. Stephen King is back, his old style of writing is quite evident, and I have missed it, and him, like a long lost friend.
The tone and 'feel' of living in the 50's was so profound, it was almost like really being there. I miss the characters now, after finishing the book.. and the time. It has kept me from reading anything else with any interest, since. Not even the character's obsession with JFK, and his killer/killers could deter this love.
The alternate reality was MIND-BLOWING.

If you loved King in his prime, want to read a heavily researched book about the 50's, or want to fall in love with a novel and it's people therein, please read this book. You will not be disappointed. ( )
  stephanie_M | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 599 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary 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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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (3)

No library descriptions found.

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)

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