16 July 2012 ~ 0 Comments

11/22/63 by Stephen King

Stephen King is one of those authors that you either love or hate or love to hate, right? He has some great works and he has some that are just plain old “meh” stuff. He has a couple of books that are just amazing though and this one can just about nearly join them. The premise is amazing, it’s well written and it sucks you into his story and holds you there whether you like it or not. I won’t rehash the plot, you can read that on your own, but the thought of going back in time and stopping one of the most historical events is pretty daunting. My mind automatically raced ahead to what I thought would happen and tried to figure out exactly where the author was taking the characters and how.

Amazingly enough, I learned a LOT from this book. I thought I had read and understood a lot about the Kennedy assassination, but this book really was so researched, every nuance was presented and presented well. Yes, there was a little creative license, but it was so well done that it felt natural and true. This has to be one of the very best pieces of historical fiction I’ve read in a very long time.

The only reason I’m giving this four stars is that it got a bit repetitive and a little over the top for me at times. Instead of rushing through it, like I’m used to doing with his more epic books, I kept putting it down and walking away because it was dragging out a bit. BUT, again, it was so well presented that I didn’t really feel cheated in any way.

Overall, this is a recommended read for almost everyone, but especially those who are King fans and those that enjoy well-written historical fiction.

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King 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 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.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Book count for 2012: 13

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