Cecilia's Reviews > 11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King
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Jun 04, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-faves, book-club, alternate-history, mystery-thriller, time-travel-books
Read from January 05 to 08, 2012 — I own a copy

I'm a huge Stephen King fan, have read almost everything he's put out--the good (IT, The Stand, 'Salem's Lot, Needful Things), the bad (Tommyknockers, Insomnia), and the rest (still only halfway through the Dark Tower Series, but I've hit almost everything else). Nobody--nobody--can write a story like King. 11/22/63 is, by far, my favorite thing he's ever written.

11/22/63 is a King book for non-King fans. It's not so much a "horror story" as it's a time travel story, a love story, a political thriller, a spy novel. It's a story for all ages, a story for all times. Even at its massive size (over 800 pages) it absolutely roars along.

The main plot is that protagonist Jake Epping finds a door to 1958. No matter how long you stay there, you come out exactly two minutes later in 2012. If you go back in the door, it's the exact same moment in 1958, and all that you did in the past has been erased. Jake goes back to 1958 in order to do the one thing that probably all people of that generation would do if they could--save JFK. For Jake, this means living for 5 years in a past that will do all it can to thwart him (a major theme of the books is that "the past is obdurate").

But the plot is secondary to King's world building. King immerses the reader in the world of 1958--not just the idyllic nostalgia-tinged version, but also the racist, sexist miasma that existed at the time. There's a lot to love about King's 1958, but a lot to be glad that we're past.

11/22/63 is the one King book that I would recommend whole heartedly to fans and non fans alike.

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