11/22/63 11/22/63 question


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The Yellow Card Man
Eva Pohler Eva Sep 08, 2012 11:43PM
I was expecting to discover that the Yellow Card Man was Jake. I liked the idea of his older self hanging out near the portal waiting to warn his younger self not to go through. That's why the man would ask "Who the fuck are you?" to everyone who entered. He wasn't sure he'd recognize his younger self, and living near the portal was making him lose it.

The identity of the Yellow Card Man was my only dissapointment. I loved the book otherwise. Did any of you have something else in mind for the Yellow card Man?



I just finished the book, very enticing! It had me emotionally drained by the end of it...as well as heartbroken for Jake (George). About the Yellow Card man, did anyone else make a connection with this?

As Jake comes through the portal the second time, the Yellow Card Man is now the Orange Card Man. He never knows why, but goes back to tell Al that his color changed. After finally meeting Jonny Clayton later in the book, we read that he has dyed his hair to orange to not be recognized. As I read this, I instantly thought that this was some sort of "harmony" that keeps happening. And when he ends up cutting his own throat, like the Black Card Man (on trip 3), I definitely thought there was some connection. Thoughts??


I though that also, but wasn't dissapointed at the final reveal. Keep in mind Kyle mentions they are not policemen but gatekeepers.

Another plot twist I though I saw coming and then idt didn't was Jake meeting Oswald at the Book Depository and finding out Oswald is another time traveller intended on killing Kennedy to prevent the apocalypse his presidency would bring on the world. Up until Jake begins to spy on him and confirms he´s a bad person, Oswald's movements might fit with an alternate Jake's journey: going to URSS to save another Durning, then back to the USA to save another woman, unexpectedly finding love in the way...

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Michael Henderson If you consider King's politics, you'd know he'd never make Kennedy a villian of any kind. ...more
Apr 12, 2016 12:21PM · flag

I am glad that YCM wasnt Jake...that would have been waaay too easy for King. In some ways, I guess YCM was sort of a low-ranked Guardian of the Beam, if you can catch my Dark Tower drift (wink).


Is there is a potential sequel based on the YCM? I kept asking myself if he were some lieutenant from the far future, in a time capable of building 'time tunnels?' If so, Mr. King, are there...'time architects' in 2063 who identify various turning points in history and then chose to 'tweak' them by 'enticing' time travelers closer to the era in question...for the sake of continuity, to enter the tunnel and make the changes...or not? What gives here? Hmm, the YCM monitors the changes for continuity. There could be a whole series here...The defeat of the Spanish Armada, financial stabilization measures-1929-2008...A quiet conversation with Richard Nixon, J Gordon Liddy and Henry the K...Orson Welles, Citizen Kane and Hollywood's hold on the American imagination...the mind boggles at the possibilities.


I thought that, too. And I thought that bookie Chaz Frati was a fellow time traveler. When he introduces himself to Jake in the bar, he makes two comments that I thought were anachronisms: something about Carter's liver pills (I thought it was a reference to Billy Carter) and malls as the wave of the future.

Anyway, Jake as the yellow card man would have been a horribly tragic ending. It wasn't as bad as I expected. At least he got to see Sadie one more time.


This book was so riveting that it only took me two days to read it. I loved this book so much...! And I do not like Kings regular fare.


same here, and that would have been a far better ending than the psuedo-time police bubble explanation. it would have added a nice nightmare end to things had jake stumbled through another bubble and ended up further in the past and having gone mad simply hung around the original bubble location to warn folk off


This was my first Stephen King novel and I loved it. I think it would make a terrific movie. I couldn't put it down. I had no problem with the YCM. Wondering what other King books that die-hard fans would recommend.


Eva wrote: "I was expecting to discover that the Yellow Card Man was Jake. I liked the idea of his older self hanging out near the portal waiting to warn his younger self not to go through. That's why the man ..."

I was for sure the Yellow Card Man was the Man in Back or Randall Flagg.. But I was pretty close considering he was some sort of a guardian for these time portals. Which reminds me of the Dark Tower.


Kandis (last edited Sep 13, 2012 06:19PM ) Sep 13, 2012 06:18PM   0 votes
I would agree that the YCM was, in the end, my biggest disappointment as well. I don't feel there was a real need for a "time police." I enjoyed the idea that lingered in the back of my mind "could this really happen and if it did, would it be like this...", but it suddenly dissipated as soon as the "time police" were brought in. I am sure there could have been a way for Jake to have come to the grand conclusion of space and time all on his own...

That was literally the only thing I didn't like about the book though. It really was a spectacular read.


But having live as the younger Jake, wouldn't the Yellow Man therefore have recognized him self?


Me too. I thought Jake would be locked up in the past since he changed too much. I was really positive about that especially during the events "time" released to prevent Jake from his plans. Man, so close...


Eva that would have been a great way to tie in the yellow card man. Makes much more sense. I loved this book.


I agree Jake as YCM would have been 2 easy; liked that YCM was available to explain the "reset" aspect, and give food for thought about concurrent alternate realities. LOVED the book, hard to put down!


The yellow card man had me puzzled too. When I found out there was more than one, and they were gatekeepers, I wasn't all that surprised.


I wonder if King was nodding to Oscar WIlde in the use of Yellow Card and Yellow Book. In the Picture of Dorian Gray the Yellow Book is given to Dorian as a talisman to guide him in his tragedy. Same with the Yellow Card?


YCM wasn't so much of a dissapointment for me. I liked the idea of a mysterious person protecting the portal/doorway, albeit the local raving looney.

The dissapointment for me was the beginning with how he came to be a time traveller (the whole doorway in the larder of a diner, didnt seem right to me.


I thought that too! From his first mention I really thought that the yellow card man would turn out to be Jake, or another main character.


I was also under the impression that the Yellow Card Man was Jake but was too much under the effects of time travel to communicate it properly. And that the Jimla comments by the Yellow Card Man were a prelude to that, even though I didn't think this until much later in the story.

In the afterword King writes "My Son... thought up a new and better ending. Joe you rock". So maybe Jake being the Yellow Card Man was the original ending and very much a standard King twist however with the advice it was changed to the current version.

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Randy Auxier Oh my gosh that ending is so much inferior to the one Joe helped him think up. Joe, you rock.
Nov 09, 2015 03:27PM · flag

I'll chime in to note that Randal Flagg did have a tangential connection with Oswald when he took one of his pamphlets about leaving Cuba alone. That's described in The Stand, when Flagg appears for the first time. Did he have some influence on Oswald, perhaps? Could account for Oswald's demonic behavior at the TBR.

Of course the timeline of The Stand and 11-22-63 aren't compatible, one might think.


If you watch the end of the tv show, captain trips is mentioned in the apocalypse, so Flagg might be linked


I too thought the YCM was either Jake or Al...and maybe the bubble to the rabbit hole had closed for them at one point; because of how they changed the past & future. I did not see the YCM as a disappointment; only different from my theory. All in all a 5 star book for me.


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