Judith's Reviews > 11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King
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really liked it
bookshelves: adult-fiction-book-club

I approached this book warily. It is very long. It is by Stephen King, whose novels I have never read, but who I associate strongly with the kinds of books (gory) that I never would read. Perhaps my low expectations helped, but while I was reading this book, I felt compelled to recommend it to almost everyone I know. The premise - a mix of historical fiction what-if, and time travel - intrigued me enough to pick it up, but it was the mood that carried the day. King made me feel like I was in the 1958-1963 America and I loved being there. There were a thousand details that worked in concert to make the reader feel the air she was breathing was air from 50 years ago. The go-back-in-time-to-save-JFK plot was interesting and kept this reader guessing. The romance-with-Librarian angle didn't hurt. I liked the idea that the past is obdurate, even if this led to some of the more far-fetched plot elements. I learned a bit about Oswald and background on the assassination. The ending, when it arrived, took me by surprise and was a little over the top for my taste. After 800 some pages, I was left feeling that hope lies not in changing the past, but embracing the present. It's not 5 stars because it's a little too long, and occasionally heavy handed, but it's at least 4 1/2.
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