Julie's Reviews > 11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King
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May 16, 12

bookshelves: best-of-2012, past-and-present-setting, read-2012
Read from April 27 to May 05, 2012

It's such a funny thing when you tell someone you are reading a (GREAT) Stephen King novel. Eyebrows arch and the voice pitch is tight and high when they respond "Oh, really?" You know what they are thinking.

One of the last King novels I read was "It". Winter break, freshman year of college, 1987. I had the flu and this terrifying and intoxicating story filled my feverish nights with horrific dreams. I had already worked my way through the King oeuvre during junior high and high school and after "It", I lost my taste for blood-spattered spills and thrills. In fact, King's are the only I've read of the horror genre. It's never been my thing.

But Stephen King deserves a category all his own. He always has. He is a freakishly brilliant writer. That he has made a name (and fortune) terrifying generations of readers will probably always keep him apart from the scions of literary fiction, but no one, no one can can deliver the goods- the story, the characters, the pacing, the originality-like SK.

I didn't know much about what SK had been up to since "It", until I read "On Writing" last year. I suffer my way through books by writers about the art and craft of writing, but this one - a combination memoir and fiction-writing instructional - I couldn't put down. King shows us it is the story that matters. He tells us that writing what you know is a rotten old chestnut. Rather, you should write what you want to read, what you love to learn about. So, he succumbed to his intellectual and emotional destiny and set out to write the best horror/speculative/fantasy fiction he could.

11/22/63 brings me back to the writer that I discovered in The Stand. A dense, detailed, thickly-plotted "What if?" There are heaps of reviews if you care to learn more about the plot, the characters, the drama. I won't do that here. It's not horror, so don't let that possibility scare you away. It is a fantastic read with characters who will pull at your heart and suspense that will hold you fast to the page.

First-rate writing from a stand-up guy. "I just want to tell you. I'm your number one fan." ;-)
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Reading Progress

04/30/2012 page 275
32.0% "I read "IT" 25 years ago, but I recognized Bev and Richie right off. SK, you are a wicked good storyteller." 6 comments
05/02/2012 page 375
44.0% "Insomnia was welcome last night..."
05/03/2012 page 450
53.0% "The greater the insomnia, the more pages I turn!"
05/04/2012 page 650
77.0% "AAIIGGHH!!!!! I must study I must study I must study. Today is it. I have class all day tomorrow, exam Sunday morning. And this damn book is CRYING out to me from the nightstand. AAIIIIGGGHH" 3 comments
05/05/2012 page 849
100.0% "And she's done." 3 comments

Comments (showing 1-9)




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Julie Well now, here's a pickle. Just got word that this is waiting for me at the library. How perfect - just in time for the long weekend getaway we are taking, starting tomorrow. My library branch, however, is atop a very steep hill. Given the snowstorm, I will not make it up the hill in our car and it would be about 6 mil round trip walk (including that hill). So close. Yet so very far.


Julie Jeanette wrote: "You don't have snowshoes in the closet? ;-)
I'm surprised that your library would even be open. We got over a foot of snow last night, and that's on top of the several inches that were already on t..."


You all got hammered down south and it sounds like a bit more is on its way tonight/tomorrow. It's tapered off here- I just came back from a long walk. We HAD snowshoes, when we lived in Ellensburg! But I still have my snow boots, ski pants and YakTrak- thank goodness.

I think libraries were on limited hours today- when I got the e-mail I was trying to figure out a way I could connive Brendan to running me up there after work, but he probably won't get home before midnight- so many people couldn't get in- he'll probably have to close the store..
Driving is impossible, anyway...

Be safe, you.


Julie Just got word via Twitter that all Seattle libraries are closed today because of ice storm. SK will have to wait.


Julie How 'bout these apples? After the days of library closures due to snow, the impossibility of getting up to my SPL branch atop Qu. Anne & having to work yesterday when the library was at last open & accessible, my hold on this book expired. Yesterday. So, I'm back in line. 693rd to be precise. Ah well, it's not as if I don't have plenty of other pages to turn.


Julie What a colossal mistake to begin this now- one week before my massive wine exam for which I should be doing nothing but conducting epic cram sessions. But I am a woman who lives life on the edge. Or who cannot resist temptation. Take your pick.

If I don't pass this exam, SK, you will have some 'splainin' to do...


Julie Only 740 pages to go!!!


message 3: by Suzanne (new) - added it

Suzanne Sold! With so many people impressed, I am going to have to try this. And the concept is so intriguing. I still remember an old Twilight Zone episode, which might be my favorite TZ ever, on the subject of someone from the future going back and preventing the JFK assassination (it turned out to be not a good idea). I need a good page-turner and should re-visit King. It's been decades.


Suzanne Couldn't wait any longer! I'm 94 pages into it and hooked!


message 1: by Liz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Liz I'm glad you said that. Everyone I talked to I said, "I'm reading this incredible stephen king book!" And people do give you THAT look! You have to sit there and say, "no, really...lemme explain..."


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