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November 22, 1963

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3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  300 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
November 22, 1963 chronicles the day of John F. Kennedy's assassination. It begins that morning, with Jackie Kennedy in a Fort Worth hotel, about to leave for Dallas. Her airplane trip out of Dallas after the assassination forms the connecting arc for the book, which ends with Mrs. Kennedy’s return to the White House at 4 a.m. Interwoven throughout are stories of real peop ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Tin House Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Greg
Dec 05, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, tin-house
Towards the beginning of the book someone (the author? a narrator? some other interloper?) questions a motorcycle cop, who rode alongside the Kennedy Car. The inquisitor tries to coax the ex-cop into telling what he felt that day, before or after the assassination; he, instead, tells the story of riding alongside the car, of turning onto Elm St., and the moment when he heard the first shot of gunfire. The narrator, or whatever he is, explains the ex-cop was trying to avoid this moment. He wanted ...more
Lisa
Nov 21, 2009 Lisa rated it really liked it
Interesting take on the dividing line between history and fiction. Aside from what the book is ostensibly about -- the JFK assassination -- it's also very much concerned with what it is to be a historian and researcher, how much of oneself moves in and out of a fixed story. There are a lot of ways to read this, I think, which makes it really engaging. Also the book itself is very beautiful, with a lot of attention paid toward the design and feel, which enhances the feeling of it being an interac ...more
Emily
Jan 22, 2013 Emily rated it really liked it
This creative account of Dallas's darkest day is a balancing act, one that intermingles fact and fiction flawlessly.
Elevate Difference
Jan 10, 2009 Elevate Difference rated it it was amazing
I want the world to see what they’ve done to Jack.
--Jackie Kennedy to Lady Bird Johnson on refusing to change for the cameras the pink, Coco Chanel designed, bloodstained dress she was wearing when her husband was murdered.


This November, forty-five years ago, Jack Kennedy was gunned down in Dallas. You would think that by now every and any thing that could have been written about the murder of the president has been said a dozen times over, that there is now nothing new, useful, or of consequenc
...more
Erika Dreifus
Jul 11, 2010 Erika Dreifus rated it it was amazing
According to the Historical Novel Society, "To be deemed historical...a novel must have been written at least fifty years after the events described, or have been written by someone who was not alive at the time of those events (who therefore approaches them only by research)." Author Adam Braver may have been alive when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated: Braver was born in 1963. But he obviously does not remember the event, and he has approached it through a fascinating combination of ...more
Yolanda
Jun 30, 2011 Yolanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-books
I thought this book would be a quick read and it was, but it was also a hard read because it is Jackie's story of the awful day. Even though everyone who was alive on that day remembers it as painful, this books lets us experience this day through her eyes. I was a child when this happened, but now as an adult, it is hard to think about losing a husband to murder. And not only murder, but witnessing it right in front of your eyes! And then having to deal with all of the government stuff? Wow. Af ...more
W Keith
I stumbled across this book at Recycled Reads (public library thrift store) recently. Since i was a kid i have been curious about JFK's assassination. This book is written like a fictional narrative with tiny details. I love tiny details.
Katia
Feb 21, 2013 Katia rated it liked it
C’est un roman sincèrement touchant parce qu’humain, avant tout. En effet le président n’est pas placé sur un piédestal intouchable et inaccessible, mais au contraire il est ici présenté comme un homme qui s’est fait tué injustement. De même Jackie Kennedy nous est présentée comme une femme meurtrie, ce qui crée l’empathie du lecteur puisqu’on se sent concerné.

Mais cela n’est pas surprenant car Kennedy était un homme du peuple et il s’est toujours comporté comme tel.

Ce roman m’a appris beaucoup
...more
Jenny
Oct 17, 2012 Jenny rated it liked it
November 22, 1963 is a series of literary snapshots of the Kennedy assassination, from the point of view of Jackie Kennedy as well as others connected to the event: a motorcycle cop, the White House staff, the photographer at the autopsy, and others. There is a strong sense of nostalgia and of history-in-the-making. The atmosphere of awe and reverence around the president and his wife is striking; it resembles an attitude toward royalty more closely than one toward today's political figures.

I a
...more
Matt
May 10, 2009 Matt rated it liked it
I read _Mr. Lincoln's War_ a couple years ago, at a time when I was struck by its novelty as much as anything else-- the idea of recreating a historical experience from this fractured perspective seemed really exciting to me. Beyond that, I remember a) the chapter that sort of parallells the one in _Life of Brian_ when the two profane soldiers listen to the Gettysburg Address, and some other nonsense about the grieving Mary Todd Lincoln.

This new book, which reconstructs the scene around JFK's as
...more
9kareno
Dec 04, 2008 9kareno rated it really liked it
intriguing historical fiction. weaves the actual with the believably imagined to capture events and small details surrounding jfk's assassination that took place out of public view. engagingly told through multiple viewpoints -- his stunned and overwhelmed staff, the hospital personnel who performed the autopsy (against jackie's wishes), the distraught mechanic assigned to service the presidential limousine, the household staff charged with breaking the news to the children, and working feverish ...more
JDAZDesigns
Oct 28, 2012 JDAZDesigns rated it liked it
"God took one in the side that day. But it was the rifle in Dallas that finished him off. Lined him up perfectly in the scope of his time."

It's hard for me to say that a book about such an horrible event is good. It seems I should be more melancholy. But I didn't live through this event. I wasn't one of the millions seeing something tragic happen live and in step with each minute of the day.

How odd that during a time that was called out for the Centennial of the Civil War, another tragedy breaks
...more
Gary
Aug 21, 2014 Gary rated it it was amazing
I found this an engrossing read. Mr. Braver recounts the historic events leading up to the Kennedy assassination. The book begins with the 1960 Presidential campaign, the election and then Kennedy's fatal visit to Dallas for the 1964 campaign.

Even though I was in high school at the time, I had little idea of the rather sinister and wacky forces moving to Dallas that hated Kennedy: Neo-Nazis, ultra-right wing generals, the beginning of the arming of America. Kennedy's brother, Attorney General Ro
...more
Robbins Library
Oct 25, 2012 Robbins Library rated it liked it
Shelves: jenny-recommends
November 22, 1963 is a series of literary snapshots of the Kennedy assassination, from the point of view of Jackie Kennedy as well as others connected to the event: a motorcycle cop, the White House staff, the photographer at the autopsy, and others. There is a strong sense of nostalgia and of history-in-the-making. The atmosphere of awe and reverence around the president and his wife is striking; it resembles an attitude toward royalty more closely than one toward today's political figures.

I a
...more
John Blumenthal
Apr 21, 2015 John Blumenthal rated it liked it
Adam Braver's book came highly recommended -- I had been told that it was a documentation of the experiences of ordinary people who had, in different ways, been minor characters involved in the background of the Kennedy assassination -- the ambulance driver, one of the motorcycle cops who had accompanied the motorcade, the mortician who had dressed the corpse and so forth. And that part--the first third of the book--was fascinating, But then, Braver suddenly gets into the mind of Jackie Kennedy, ...more
Taylor
Jan 29, 2009 Taylor rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, historical
Interesting, very interesting. A book that follows Jackie Kennedy through out The Day - largely imagined but very well thought out. And written in a dry, detached style that adds to the pathos and tragedy.

Anyone who had memory in 1963 remembers where they were when they heard that Kennedy had been shot, and this book plays on that: on the people who encountered Jackie, the White House ushers who hastily assembled the trappings of a State Funeral, the White House mechanic feeling deeply accounta
...more
nicole
Feb 24, 2010 nicole rated it really liked it
I've been reading through the list of book club books a bunch of coworkers put together. This book was a total surprise. It was such a great mix of imagination, fact, research and storytelling. The author writes with such compassion and empathy that the reader is forced to live the stories through the characters wondering "what if". The level of detail with which Braver writes the emotion of the characters really drew me in. This book also makes me want to research a time in history I know littl ...more
Manda
Jan 17, 2009 Manda rated it really liked it
This book creates a story of one day by taking documented accounts along with imagined viewpoints of many people associated to events that took place on the day of Kennedy's assassination. From police officers, Abraham Zapruder, the Johnsons, the limo driver, the people performing autopsies, a man sharing a cigarette with Jackie, the staff person charged with informing the children of their father's death, etc. This book is all about the details of what was going through everyone's mind, and in ...more
Mark Cugini
Mar 03, 2009 Mark Cugini rated it liked it
braver’s examination of one of the most tragic events in american history pays no heed to the controversies of the jfk assassination or his adulterous history. instead, he focuses of individuals directly effected by the assassination, from jackie kennedy to abe zepruder to white house day care staff. although not lyrically gifted, it’s hard to read this book and feel incredibly empathetic. braver handles his subjects with white gloves, and the result is an incredibly emotional and touching narra ...more
Renee
Jan 27, 2010 Renee added it
Shelves: read-2010, new
This is a different sort of historical novel. It takes the facts of JFK's assasination and reveals some of the lesser known details that are often overlooked for the larger drama of the story. Those were the moments that left me spellbound.

I enjoyed the different points of view - a motorcycle cop, a White House worker preparing for the body to return, Zapruder, and of course Jackie. It showed me perspectives I had never thought about before. It is an achievement to find new ways to tell a story
...more
Doneen
Nov 18, 2008 Doneen rated it really liked it
I'm old enough to remember where I was on this day, and it made a lasting impression on my life. So I was interested to read this mix of fact and fiction about the assasination of JFK. It's a really skillful mix of the two--couldn't figure out which was which. The book covers only a very short period in the whole picture, but it was a true page-turner about a subject that I thought I knew a lot about.
Josh
May 08, 2010 Josh rated it it was ok
I love anything Jackie Kennedy related so I bought this book excited to read about the events of that day through the fictional Jackie character. I was highly disappointed, the author I felt lost me at times and I didn't know what was going on. The character of Jackie never seemed like we've seen her or as though she was the First Lady. Two stars because it was interesting, but just not my type of book.
Lisa
Nov 25, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a powerful book. I'm not sure I'm capable of reviewing it. It's so different from anything I have read before and so moving. This book is not for everyone - it will mainly appeal to people who have an interest in the Kennedy assassination. And it is graphic (in a very clinical way, with the purpose of exploring how profoundly the assassination affected those involved). But I will be thinking about this book for a long, long time.
Lou Cordero
Nov 19, 2008 Lou Cordero rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Not much to say really. Not as powerful in the end as it seemed in the beginning. I think it wanders around a bit to much. I thought if they had focused more on Jackie, it would've been much better. It was still a worthwhile read. I thought the most touching moment was when Jackie puts the hearse driver at ease by asking him where he is from and then bums a cig off of him.
Rose Ann
I did not finish this book, even though it was very well-written, because it was just too painful for me to keep reading. You see, I have vivid memories of the day President Kennedy was murdered, even though I was just a child. When I could not see the print because of my tears, I closed the book and put it away.
Lisa
Dec 22, 2008 Lisa rated it did not like it
This is one of those books that takes a significant event in history and tells a fictional story based on the people involved. I slogged through this hoping that the author would offer something new. He didn't. Instead, he tried to guess what the major players were thinking and he introduced some minor characters and didn't do much with them. Overall, an unsatisfying read.
Amanda Fleming
Nov 23, 2013 Amanda Fleming rated it really liked it
I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this novel from Goodreads First Reads. Reading it on a trip to Kenya, I was transported through time and space to the side of Jackie Kennedy. Braver did a wonderful job conveying emotions and situations in away in which they could be experienced fully by the reader. Short anecdotes and stories brought this fiction to life.
Chris
Jan 27, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
I had previously enjoyed Braver's Mr. Lincoln's Wars, and this slim book examines the Kennedy assassination from a variety of angles, principally Jackie's perspective in the aftermath. Lots of great stuff here in the minutia - what happened to the car, the lost payment for the original casket, etc., marrying the historic with the mundane.
Joan
Aug 05, 2012 Joan rated it really liked it
Personal, fictionalized account of the memories of people who saw and interacted with the Kennedys on the day the President was assassinated. As interviews were used it forever muddles fact and fiction even more. However, as a voyeuristic recounting of an event, very readable, but certainly very sad. It puts you right back to the date.
Sandy
Nov 28, 2010 Sandy rated it it was ok
Intriguing, but a somewhat disturbing fictionalized account of JFK's assassination. Our book group had a lively discussion about it, but it was most meaningful when the group shared our memories of hearing the news of JFK's murder (only one person in the group was born after that time). That personal sharing made the book more meaningful. It's all about perspectives.
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ADAM BRAVER is the author of Mr. Lincolns Wars, Divine Sarah, Crows Over the Wheatfield, November 22, 1963, and Misfit . His books have been selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover New Writers program, Borders Original Voices series, and twice for the Book Sense list. His work has appeared in journals such as Daedalus, Ontario Review, Cimarron Review, Water-Stone Review, Harvard Review, Tin Ho ...more
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