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11/22/63 a book by Stephen King

A book by Stephen King.

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King's Best Book in About 20 Years!

  • Dec 16, 2011
Ever since King's early work (The Stand, Misery, The Shining) he seems to have been just a prolific writer of mediocracy.  This book is his big comeback!  In probably the best book of have read in 2011, King grabs the reader from the beginning with excellent characters, an interesting story proposition all in a setting that actually transports the reader back in time to experience the late 50's going up to the fateful day of Novemenber 22, 1963.

Jake Eppling is an English teacher whose good friend Al at the diner, all of a sudden looks to have aged overnight and seems have have lost about 30 pounds in a day.  Al decides to let Jake into a little secret.  Under Al's diner is a portal to the past specifically to 1958.  Jake thinks Al is crazy but Al gets Jake to go through on a "test" run.  Jake finds out that what Al says is true.

Al then starts telling Jake about his experiences in the past as well as explaining the rules.  Al says that while you could spend years in the past, only about 2 minutes passes in the present.  On Al's last excursion he spent a few years and that is why he appeared to age overnight.  Al had done many experiments and found that he could alter the present by changing things in the past.  However, each time he went into the past there is a "reset" and everything is back as it was in 1958 and the present gets reset to its original history.

Al is dying from cancer and has little time to live.  He begs Jake to do what he couldn't do on his last mission to the past and that is stay around to meet up with Lee Harvey Oswald and prevent him from carrying out the JFK assasination.  Jake has to act quickly because the diner is to be turned over to a developer who will level it at the end of the month.

Al gives Jake a new identity as George Amberson and provides him with all his notes about Lee Harvey Oswald.  Jake eventually takes on the mission but finds everything may not be the way Al described as there may be bigger forces involved that Al didn't understand.

During George's (Jake's) time in the past he meets incredibly intriguing indivduals and builds a life that he really didn't have in the present.  All through George has to decide whether he should give up his mission and enjoy his good fortune to be in a much better life than he had in 2011.

The timeperiod literally comes to life and the reader seems to be right there in the past, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, tasting the tastes that George experiences.  George starts getting a sense that the past has almost a soul of its own and will try to prevent anyone from changing it.  The reader notices that a lot of the clues are given by the mysterious "Yellow Card Man", that both George and Al had encountered.

The book is one of King's larger ones along the size of "It," however it is a much better read than "It" was.  It is interesting that the characters from that book are referred to several times in this book and parts of the book take place in Derry.  I hope that King can stay on a roll and put out a few more books that match the quality of this one!

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December 16, 2011
Glad to see the man is back at it, and so well, too!
December 16, 2011
Debbie, this book had me captivated! You should not miss it if you like time travel books. It is as good as The Time Traveler's Wife!
More 11/22/63: A Novel reviews
review by . May 03, 2014
I haven't read many of this hyper selling author's books and not for quite a while (I remember reading Christine when it was a new book decades ago) and just from the plot synopsis this seems like not a standard King thriller, so maybe it really doesn't count as "reading a Stephen King book." There is very little of the supernatural or otherworldly horror here, that is, once you get past that time travel portal between 2011 and 1958.  And that is both the strength and …
review by . February 13, 2012
A great novel with a number of mental and moral quandaries...
   While I end up liking most of the books that I read by Stephen King, he isn't an author that I salivate over when something new comes out. I'm not sure why, as I like the genre and the style of writing. Perhaps I'll chalk it up to having too many other things to read. :)  Anyway, 11/22/63: A Novel caught my interest in terms of what it might be like to go back and prevent an event in history that changed the world. Once I started reading, I was pretty much hooked. King …
review by . July 19, 2012
'Anybody can direct but there are only eleven good writers.
Did you ever wish you had the power to change history?      Stephen King's tour de force, "11/22/63,"  describes that happening and when history is changed it creates unforeseen ripple effects.      Jake Epping is a high school teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He earns extra money by teaching GED courses in adult ed. He's particularly moved by one of his student's papers. Harry Dunning, the school janitor, walks with a limp …
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About this book


A portal in time sends Jake Eppling to the Year 1958 where he plans to prevent the JFK assassination

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, ...

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ISBN-10: 1451627289
ISBN-13: 978-1451627282
Genre: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Scribner

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