11/22/63: A Novel

Stephen King
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. A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.


Reviewed: 2022-01-12
Interesting premise and it's refreshing to read a book written by someone with a command of language and and appreciation for sentence structure. But still.....Too Damn Long. And ultimately not very satisfying.

I am a fast reader so I didn't spend a lot of time on this book but I can't say I'd recommend it to anyone else.
Reviewed: 2021-04-22
For once, a Stephen King novel that ends as strong as it had been throughout.
Reviewed: 2020-02-14
A truly great book that you don't want to put down because you MUST know what happens next; but oh how you hate that the end is getting closer!
Reviewed: 2018-04-12
It's not about JFK assassination, really
Reviewed: 2015-07-15

This book could lead into a review half as long as the book, so I will do my best to keep it simple. Before I say anything else, I would recommend this book if you are a fan of 'the mind of Stephen King'. I don't think anyone could have written this story better, but it was not without flaws as far as I'm concerned. The flaws came later in the lengthy book, too far in to make me choose to put it down. Overall it was good, but it could have been shorter. Much shorter. Where he went to great pains (and many words) to describe the past, from every detail of the little run-down apartments, to quite a few references to the same little girls jumping-rope, I felt tied up loose ends in record time. About 2/3 or 3/4 quarters of the way through, I found myself skipping over long passages of almost repetitious description and sometimes even the internal thoughts of 'George Amberson', in order to move the story forward. In the last 50 or so pages, I found myself struggling (and re-reading) to keep up.

Although it was a good story overall, as I've heard said that even the best of speakers can hold a group's attention for 90 minutes before losing them, I think even the best of writer's have a limit. After reading this good, but overly meaty book, I would say that limit would have been in the vicinity of 600 pages. Max.

After I closed this book with a heavy sigh --it had taken me a week, but I've had gone for another month if I could--, I could see this was the work of a man who not only loved writing and storytelling, he is very much in love indeed. The love story in 11/22/63 is on par with the greats of history, especially in the ways of sacrifice. In that aspect it's been the first time King makes me openly weep. As for the main subject, this is a mixture of a spy novel entwined with scifi which is doubtless the best King has written. Steve, you had me a bit worried with From a Buick 8, but I can see your better years are still ahead of you.


Luego que cerré el libro con un pesado suspiro --me tomó una semana, pero habría seguido por un mes si pudiera--, podía ver que este era el trabajo de un hombre que amaba escribir y contar historias, pero que está muy enamorado a la vez. La historia de amor en 11/22/63 está a la par de las grandes de la historia, especialmente en cuanto a sacrificio. En ese aspecto, ha sido la primera vez que King me ha hecho llorar. En cuanto al tema principal, esta es una mezcla de novela de espionaje mezclada con ciencia ficción que es sin duda lo mejor que King ha escrito. Steve, me tenías preocupado con From a Buick 8, pero puedo ver que tus mejores años aún están frente a ti.
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