Tori's Reviews > 11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King
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Nov 17, 12

bookshelves: fiction

This book was worth the wait. I had been wanting to read it ever since it came out. I'm not necessarily a big Stephen King fan, but I AM a big fan of the possibilities of time travel. I have only read one other of King's books, which I also loved: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. I don't like creepy books, or violent stories, but the Tom Gordon book was well written and a great story, and not creepy.

11/22/63 was also really well written. I marveled at how effortlessly King writes. Some authors appear to TRY too hard to write, but I think the words just flow in perfect sentences from King. It was interesting to note, too, that at the end of his book, he mentioned that he wanted to thank Jack Finney, author of Time and Again. He considered that book the "great time-travel story." I just read that book this summer, and have to agree completely!

Anyway, this book was really LONG. I like long books, as long as they are well written and interesting. this one definitely was. It is the story of Jake Epping, a Maine teacher, who is told about a "rabbit hole" into the future - into 1958 Maine, that is. He is convinced that he needs to go back., and try to prevent JFK's assassination in 1963. Evidently, when you come back from that time period, no matter how long you are gone, only two minutes have passed in the present. But, the past also has a kind of "reset" button, in which, if you go back again, everything will have reverted to its original nature. Epping changes his name to George Amberson, and begins living a life that's very different in some ways from 2012. As he says, "Two things about the Land of Ago: there's a lot less paperwork and a hell of a lot more trust." He accomplishes a lot in those years, including falling in love with Sadie. And there are a lot of decisions to be made, including which world he would want to stay in.

It was interesting to think about his idea about how the past doesn't want to change - and it continually threw "roadblocks" at him - ways to prevent him from changing things. And how things tend to harmonize - people's names, streets, cars - things from one life were very similar in another life. As he said, "...life is a song and the past harmonizes. Usually those harmonies meant nothing (so I thought then), but every once in a whlle the intrepid visitor to the Land of Ago can put one to use."

There was a bit of graphic violence in the book, but not constant. I had no idea how the story would end, but I thought it was quite thought-provoking. I'm glad I read it!
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