11/22/63 - Stephen King

Title: 11/22/63
Author: Stephen King
Pages: 864
Published: 2011
Challenges: 2012 Support Your Library, 2012 Chunkster Challenge, 2012 Historical Fiction Challenge
Genre: Historical fiction
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: 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.
  (via Goodreads.ca)

Thoughts: For the most part I really enjoyed the book, but I felt that the end of book, basically the last 50 pages, kinda fell flat.  I understand why King had to do what he had to do at the end, but it kinda seemed like a bit of a cop out, especially since he had spent so much of the book building towards the day of the shooting.

Enough of that.  What I loved about the book was the fact was that clearly King had done his research not only on Oswald, but he clearly had done his research on all the major players involved and also on the area surrounding Dallas at the time.  The fact that the details were paid attention to made the book that much more special, especially in regards to the era.  It made the time period that much more vivid, especially since he waited until the present day to write the book and allow the book to have the contrast between Jake's life in 2011 and the one he leads in 1963 makes it that much stark and how far we have come, at least in terms of technology.  

It was such an engrossing book that I almost felt like I was there with Jake as he moved from 1958 to 1963 and almost wanted to go back myself to a time when you didn't have to rely on technology so much and live in such a place.  Of course I could do without the busybodies, who seemed to poke in Jake's business all the time or it seemed that way.

Bottom line: I really enjoyed this book and I really think that most people would really like this book and even if they haven't read anything else by Stephen King, I would recommend it, especially if you enjoy books dealing with time-travel.  Its an interesting look at a time and era that really changed the United States.  Highly recommended.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pages for 2012: 5077

If you have read the book, I am curious as to what you thought of the book.


I've been hearing nothing but great things about this book. It's on my list but the size of the book is intimidating me at the moment.
Like Alexis above me, I hear such fantastic things about this book but I'm disinclined to commit myself to its length. I think King is a good writer, but I could do with a bit more editing.
Melissa Wiebe said…
@Reflections The size is intimidating, but once I got into the book, it felt smaller.

@Asthecrowflies Yes, it could have done with a bit more editing and portions of it could be edited down and it would have still been effective.
Great review! I enjoyed it as well.
Wendy said…
I rated and reviewed this book as you did - I loved it, but it wasn't perfect! Thanks for linking up on the Chunkster blog - I hope you'll stop by and join the discussion there!

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