11/22/63 by Stephen King

November 29, 2011 Paranormal Fiction, Review, Science Fiction, Scribner, Simon & Schuster 19

  • Hardcover: 849 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; 1ST edition (November 8, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1451627289
  • Source: Purchased eBook

November 22, 1963 is a day that forever changed our country, the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. If you could go back and time & change this monumental day in our history?  Jake Epping was provided this very opportunity, to step through a portal to the past, with the promise that he would stop JFK’s assassination.  Each time he steps through the portal, he’s only missing from the current world for a matter of minutes. He could spend years in the past, but will return to the present the same day he left.

Before he decides to test the power of the portal by altering the events that took place on 11/22/63, he attempts to change the past of individuals who have made an impact on his life. He does so and learns that while he may have altered the past, the future that subsequently transpires isn’t necessarily a better outcome than the original. Fate and destiny play a key role in this epic novel.

I think I’ve made my fondness of Stephen King’s writing well-known. I admit, when I learned about the premise of this book I was a bit nervous. King, the master of classic horror, taking on time-travel and the Kennedy assassination? I can’t believe I ever doubted the man.

Fans of King’s previous works will appreciate the “Easter eggs” that appear in this novel. A good portion takes place in the town of Derry, Maine.  Fans will recognize this as the setting of a number of King’s novels.  Those new to King’s work won’t be confused by these “flashbacks” of sorts, however.

Additionally, 11/22/63 isn’t your typical horror, actually there isn’t a single element of horror in this book. There is a bit of violence (hello, Kennedy assassination) but nothing overtly gory at all. Most surprising were the emotions I wasn’t expecting to experience while reading this book: sadness, sympathy, and grief. The characters are rich in this novel; it’s nearly impossible to not form a connection with them.

A note on the book’s length: Yes, it is nearly 900 pages. But, with King’s other books, while there may be a few lulls here and there, I really can’t think of any part of the book I’d eliminate.

A note on the book’s cover: It’s gorgeous! The front depicts what transpired that fateful day in Dallas. The back shows the newspaper headline from the “altered” past.

Bottom line: Read it. It’s worth it. I promise!







19 Responses to “11/22/63 by Stephen King”

  1. Beth F
    Twitter: BethFishReads

    Humm — I’m just not sure. I like premise but I’m not sure why I’m not drawn to the book.

  2. Alison's Book Marks

    I WANT to read this booespinoza think I would love it, but I’m intimidated by the size. I need to put my big girl panties on and get it already!

  3. Alison's Book Marks

    I seriously have no idea what word my iPad just created up there…LOL!

  4. Natalie ~ the Coffee and a Book Chick
    Twitter: coffeebookchick

    At the risk of gushing yet again, I loved, loved, LOVED this book! I posted my review last night, in the fervor of just reading that last page and I was all hopped up on it! I miss the characters already, the way Jake Epping told the story, the way Stephen King writes this chunkster of a book….aagh…I want to go back and read it all over again!

  5. Karen - attack the stacks
    Twitter: attackthestacks

    Could not agree more! I was wary of this one because I’m not so into sci-fi/time travel and because of the length (even though I love Stephen King) but once I picked it up I had a hard time putting it down.

    Loved all of the little references to his previous novels, particularly a certain one that has given me nightmares for literally YEARS.

  6. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I think I’m #4 in line for the audio at the library, and I’m getting antsy. I love his Easter Eggs. In Under the Dome, he mentioned Jack Reacher (from the Lee Child series) which I love, and so does King. I almost flew into the stratosphere I thought that was so cool.

  7. nomadreader (Carrie)
    Twitter: nomadreader

    I am fascinated by this premise, but the length gave me pause. I’m glad to hear it’s worth the read. I hope to get to it during winter break!

  8. Amy
    Twitter: JustBookReading

    I’m only 250 pages into this book and loving it. It’s been a while since I’ve read King and I was a little nervous about all the great reviews it was getting so I put it off. I decided to buy it before Thanksgiving and so happy I gave in!

  9. Anita
    Twitter: anitalovesbooks

    I really want to read this one, but the audio might be a good choice, I might wait for Sandy’s thoughts. I have tons of family history with Dallas and JFK, so it would be a shame not to read. I’ve already told you the size scared me…LOL.

  10. Kristen M.
    Twitter: webereading

    I don’t really read Stephen King (I think I read The Green Mile and that’s it) so I was waiting for reviews on this one because it actually sounds like one I would like. You’ve sold me on it. I’ll try and fit it in next year!

  11. carol

    I don’t read much Stephen King, mostly because I don’t read horror, but this one has me curious.

  12. Lori Strongin
    Twitter: LStrongin

    hehe, it’s Stephen King–he could write an encyclopedia, and I’d read it!

    I’m actually surprised he *didn’t* tackle time travel prior to know. Think about it–King, the Butterfly Effect, and possible futures more horrific than we could ever imagine. It sounds right up his alley, eh?

    While I’m not a huge history fan of anything that happened post-Industrial Revolution, I do think I’ll be checking this one out. Thanks for the rec!