Kathy's Reviews > 11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King
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Feb 14, 2012

really liked it
Read from February 14 to 28, 2012

I wouldn't say the wheels fell off the bus at the end of 11/22/1963, but I was disappointed when the last 100 pages didn't live up to the first 750 (yeppers, 850 pages, it is a bear to read in bed).

The story of Jake Epping and his travels back in time to try and stop JFK from being assassinated was well done, well written and fun to read. The majority of the secondary characters were fleshed out and felt real.

All in all, I liked it a good deal. It is just, when you devote yourself to this many pages of a book about time travel, when you get to the end, you want an explanation about all the whys and wherefores, not just the lame expression "butterfly effect" over and over.

Still, even with that frustration, I would recommend 11/22/1963. It was a fun read.
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Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Kathy Rob, yes, I think you'll like it. It is a behemoth, but reads quickly. I read and listened in tandem once I got to about the halfway mark (listened to the first half).

Snotchocheez MaN I'm really askeered to try this one...if you've read any of my reviews of his recent novels, he's not gotten any more than 2 stars from me ("Under The Dome" was the 2-star...everything else 1 star) I don't think I've truly liked anything he's done since "it" or "the Tommyknockers"...I think it might be just me and my taste changing since then. It's especially painful since I really've enjoyed his criticisms it EW; some of his recommendations have been spot on perfect (witness his fave list this year having both "Skippy Dies" (!) and one of my favorite TC Boyle novels ("Talk Talk")...not to mention his shout-outs to Microwave Dave and the Nukes AND hip-hop mashup god Girl Talk (who I HIGHLY recommend if yer ever in a dancy mood.). It's hard to reconcile my feelings that I've not liked his novels, but almost universally agreed with his tastes (and most probably, his politics). I'll give this one a shot, though.

Kathy I really suspect you will like a good deal of it. I cannot imagine the ending won't piss you off though (but you like being pissed off, so no problem). I don't read many King novels, but I love his short fiction and despite this being nearly as thick as it is wide, it really felt more like his short fiction than his novels (at least in my limited experience).

Snotchocheez ...(but you like being pissed off, so no problem.)...

Um...no. Can't say I'd list pissed-offed-ness as one of my fave emotions.

Kathy How about like writing scathing reviews of books that piss you off?

Snotchocheez Yeah, that I do like...it's kinda cathartic. In general, though, I'd vastly prefer to not be pissed off (or, even, pissed off by a crappy book) (or, even, pissed off by an asshole character in an otherwise good book (which see my review of "High Fidelity" forthwith.)

Sharon Griffitts Kathy, I agree that the end of the book was a bit disappointing. After 700 pages of detail, it seemed that his editor might have been standing over him with a whip saying "Finish this thing, dammit, we've got to get to press!" I did like the idea of the "butterfly effect" however. How often do we think if in our personal lives one thing had been different, one decision made the other way. . what if we'd taken the other road? We do not consider that life would have been a WHOLE LOT DIFFERENT and maybe not better after all.

Kathy Sharon, I agree with you that the choices we make impact our whole lives and that little changes can have far reaching effects. What drove me crazy was not the idea of the butterfly effect (I loved It's a Wonderful Life, after all), but the lazy way it was used to explain away things. I really wanted more concrete answers as to why some things were as dramatically different. I agree with you about the editor though - "My God, King, you've got 700 pages just say the words butterfly effect a few times, type the end and let's get this puppy to market!

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