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Book of The Month Discussion > 11 22 63 - March 2016

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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt | 150 comments I hadn't heard of this book before, other than seeing an poster for the TV show adaptation on some website. But after reading the synopsis, I was intrigued.

This will actually be my first Stephen King book, although I've seen some of the film adaptations. I will be interested to hear how other people think this compares to other King novels.

The page count looked a bit daunting, so I got the audiobook on Audible. I'm in Chapter 3 now, and so far I really like it. Not a lot has happened, per se, but King's writing style and Craig Wasson's narration have kept me interested.


message 2: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 34 comments I read this when it came out. I really enjoyed it. But, without spoiling anything, I was disappointed with the ending.

The Hulu series is pretty good as well.


message 3: by Jeff (new)

Jeff (jefflaneaudiobooks) | 3 comments I am a huge King fan. I can't said I've read every book in his catalog, but a good percentage. Though his Dark Tower series will always be my favorite "work" of his, 11/22/63 is my favorite stand-alone novel. Can't wait to hear the discussion.


message 4: by Matt (new)

Matt | 150 comments how's everyone doing on this one? it sure is a long book. I realized that the audiobook would be the only way I'd finish in a month. I'm a little over halfway through, so at this rate I should be done by the end of March. I am loving this book. There's a lot of swearing, which I'm not used to in books, but it doesn't bother me that much. (it does impact whether or not I recommend it to friends/family, though.) King's take on time travel is very interesting. through other books, movies, and tv, I've encountered many time travel stories. this one uses some of the ideas, but a lot of the mechanics are new. without getting overly spoilery, the ideas of the past being obdurate, and also harmonizing, are very interesting. it also gives the sense of some kind of divine intervention, without really outright saying anything. part of that might just be my own background. Does King play with any spiritual themes in any of his other books?


message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole  (co984life) | 115 comments Mod
1. What was the purpose of the Norman Mailer epigraph? Do you think it stated Stephen King’s personal politics?

2. Al Templeton, the owner of Al’s Diner, told Jake of a door that led back in time to 1958. He then showed Jake the door and told him to see for himself. Jake went through the door. Would you have? Why or why not?

3. It isn’t enough to step back in time, Al wants to change a watershed moment – he wants to stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Do you think this was a good idea or a bad idea?

4. What is the butterfly effect? Taking in consideration the positive and negative possibilities of the butterfly effect in regard to the JFK assassination, would you have gone back in the portal to change history?

5. Did Al corner Jake into going back in time? Did Jake have time to think about if he should act on the time portal?

6. If you had gone back in time from 1958 – 1963…what events would you have wanted to witness?

7. When Al and Jake both walk through the portal, the Yellow Card Man greets them. Who is he? Why is the Yellow Card Man there? What does the color of his card represent?

8. When people step through the portal are they going to the past they know or to something else?

9. Why does the Yellow Card Man/Green Card Man say it is bad to go through portals?

10. Early on, Jake said of Derry, “there was something wrong with that town, and I think I knew it from the first.” (p. 121) Jake says it was a town that kept secrets (p. 149) Can an entire town be “wrong”? How does a town keep secrets?

11. Stephen King has a tendency to subtly (or not) connect his novels and stories. Did anyone notice any settings or characters that were references from other works by Stephen King?

12. Were you surprised by how long it took for Jake/George to truly start tracking Lee Harvey Oswald? Why did it take him so long? How did Jake kill time in the past?

13. When did 11/22/63 start to grab you? Did it ever lose you?

14. Were there any moments that shocked you?

15. Why did Jake want to save the Dunning family from slaughter? Was it personal? How did it relate to him then saving the President?

16. Was Harry Dunning’s sister grateful that Jake saved her family from slaughter (the first time)? (p. 240)

17. Jakes usually paints the past as better – better prices, nicer people, even the root beer tasted fuller. Are there ever any instances Jake points out to show how the past is not better than the present? (Ex: race issues, women’s equality, pollution, medical technology)

18. Jake/George falls in love with Sadie. Was this a good idea? Would you have allowed yourself to do this?

19. How does Jake’s mission to stop JFK’s assassination interfere with his relationship? (pg. 408)

20. How do Jake and Sadie get back together? (p. 523)

21. Jake/George invites Sadie to the future (p.620). How did Sadie answer? How would you have answered if you were her? If you were Jake, would you have offered?

22. What is Sadie’s reaction to learning that Jake was attempting to save President Kennedy from assassination?

23. Do you think people today would still react as strongly to a United States president being assassinated as they did when Kennedy was shot? Why or why not?

24. What was your first impression of Lee Harvey Oswald? Did your view of him ever change?

25. As Jake spies on Oswald, he is witness to Oswald beating his wife. Does he ever step in to help her? Why or why not? What would you have done?

26. Jake states that the past is obdurate. Give some examples of the past not wanting to change.

27. Was there a reason for the past not wanting to change?

28. Jake is constantly seeing parallels of people and settings on his quest. What are some examples of parallels or connections he sees? (Ex: The bookies were alike, the pharmacists were alike, Sadie was a Dunning, etc.)

29. Why did Jake hold back from Sadie that he was regaining his memory? Was this a good idea?

30. Did Jake end up saving the president? Did he do it alone or with help?

31. What happened to Sadie?

32. What happened to Oswald?

33. Would you describe Jake as a hero? How would you describe him?

34. Did saving Kennedy make Jake’s original world a better place?

35. Who alerted Jake to the history of the future that he created?

36. Why were there so many earthquakes?

37. Does Jake end up ever getting to see Sadie again?

38. Did you read Stephen King’s afterword? What did you think of the opinions you found there? Are you going to read any of the books he mentioned on the Kennedy conspiracy?

39. Have you read other books by Stephen King? Is this the kind of book you expected out of the author? Will you read more by him?

40. Are there any events that you would be tempted to go back in time to change?


message 6: by Nicole (new)

Nicole  (co984life) | 115 comments Mod
Feel free to pick and choose from the above questions for the upcoming show.


message 7: by Matt (new)

Matt | 150 comments wow, lots of good questions there. thanks. is there a scheduled date for the show yet?


message 8: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 4 comments In response to question 25, I think it is interesting that Jake does not step in as Oswald beats his wife and yet he steps in for so many other people's lives. He recognizes the butterfly effect and yet allows himself to fall in love and make relationships, essentially changing the course of people's lives. I know that Oswald was his main priority and he felt he needed to be sure if Oswald as the sole shooter, but he has no way of knowing if the people he did interact with would effect Oswald's plan in anyway. As challenging as it would be, if I were in that situation, I would have empty head down till the time to stop Oswald, probably.


message 9: by Nicole (new)

Nicole  (co984life) | 115 comments Mod
It was tweeted out that it'd be the 23rd time to be announced.


message 10: by Rodney (new)

Rodney | 208 comments Mod
Reminded everyone show tonight for unbroken and 11/22/63. Email Goliversereads@gmail.com with thoughts on either if can't listen live


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