11/22/63

Fifty years ago, on 11/23/63, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. But what if history could be altered? What if someone could intervene, thwart Oswald and undo the tragic events in Dallas that day?

That’s the idea behind Stephen King’s novel, 11/22/63. Here’s the synopsis from the book’s really cool official website:

“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.”

11/22/63 book cover
To the critics who say Stephen King doesn’t know how to end his stories: read this book. To longtime readers of Stephen King: read this book. I’m told that past characters make cameos in “11/22/63.” I can’t tell you which ones because – including this book – I’ve read exactly three of his novels. With that confession I’ve probably offended King’s fans… what are his fans called? Do they have a cutsie name like Kingpins? Kingheads? King-ites or King-ophiles?

Of that short list of three books, this one is my favorite. It was actually 40 years in the making. King said he started the project in 1973 when he was in college, wrote about fourteen pages, then abandoned it because the memory was just too fresh. He likens 11/22/63 to this generation’s 9/11, as it was an event that changed everything.

It was worth the wait for this book. It was captivating and suspenseful. You should totally get it for your Kindle.

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