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Book Buddy ! > 11/22/63 - Stephen King - November 2011

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Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments 11/22/63 by Stephen King 11/22/63 Stephen King ~Stephen King

Here is the thread to discuss 11/22/63.

SPOILER WARNING
The book is divided into 6 parts, please indicate which part you are discussing. Also use page number and write SPOILER at the top of you post if you are giving anything major away. Thanks !


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I love everything about this book, the characters, their interactions, and although it is a big stretch of anyone's imagination, all I can think is what if???

What if Kennedy had lived? How would our lives have been different?
This book does seem a bit different for King I think. It has not the "scare" element involved. I am about 250 pages in and finding it hard to put down.

Do you think our wanting this to have happened makes this book so relevant to those who lived through that time.


message 3: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 19, 2011 08:47AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote: Do you think our wanting this to have happened makes this book so relevant to those who lived through that time.
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I think the idea of a rabbit hole in time is enticing. The idea of parallel worlds.

Yes, I agree, and like a lot, that this isn't a spooky King book. I would say it's more of a thriller.

I think the black & white photos he uses at the start of each part are excellent.

I haven't read about the Kennedy assassination since Oliver Stone's movie. I think I read the book and saw the movie. But that was 1991 so I don't really have a memory of the details.

Part 4

For example, I don't recall the names of George de Mohrenschildt or General Edwin Walker.

I see from the interest they are real, not SK fiction.

I'm on page 490. I haven't been able to read due to a cold. I hope to start up again today or tomorrow.


message 4: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 19, 2011 08:51AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments I also find SK's idea of the "past is obdurate" interesting.

I recall when I read, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope~~Jonathan Alter that it seemed as if destiny placed FDR at that point in history. There were just so many things that seemed to conspire to help him along to be the right man and the right time. The Defining Moment is a terrific book by the way, and one I would highly recommend


message 5: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 19, 2011 09:02AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Something like Truman as well... Right time, right place...

As we go through this time period one can tell that King relished the experiences he had in the sixties. He has brought it vividly back to me as well and I have to wonder if we more mature readers are getting more from having lived this time?

Don''t you love his characters? He really shows such good people, (well I have not bumped up against Oswald yet.) King seems to be holding back from letting us see him up close and personal. I am just starting Sadie and The General and as I looked at the picture on the right I thought I recognize that man.


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Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote:As we go through this time period one can tell that King relished the experiences he had in the sixties. He has brought it vividly back to me as well and I have to wonder if we more mature readers are getting more from having lived this time?"
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A few of the 60's things are going over my head.

As you start the Sadie section, she comments on his use of unfamiliar slang, (some that is unfamiliar to me too ! ). Why didn't he just say it is the slang that is used in the part of the country that he is from? That part I thought was a bit weak.


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Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments King was on Book TV last night. Did anyone catch the show? He was winning an award. It was held at a college.

I think it was the first time I've ever seen a warning for language go on the screen at a Book TV event. :-O


message 8: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 20, 2011 02:28PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Was it any good? I have seen him on interviews but not recently.

I am just up to the part where the Oswalds are moving in. Not sure yet, what I think of the Sadie part. In a way it was a good way in which George became a bit more real to us and a man who was liked and need by his students and his friends. Perhaps, King was trying to say that people can do brave things even if they have to give up the life they love.


An interesting interview with June Oswald


http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/ind...


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Oh, btw the New Yorker has a slight bit about the book and the wave of alternate history novels of recent years.


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Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote: Not sure yet, what I think of the Sadie part. I
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I can't believe you wrote that ! I was just going to ask you what you think of the Sadie part. So far, I thought it was the weakest part of the book. It picks up again with the Oswalds.


message 11: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Thanks so much for the June Oswald interview, Marialyce. It was fascinating. I can't believe her secretary was such a b**ch. Why do something like that to her? She was just an innocent kid.
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"My secretary in my last job put two and two together based on one of those articles. She copied it and put it on all my staff's desks."


message 12: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 20, 2011 03:21PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote: "Was it any good? I have seen him on interviews but not recently.
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It was ok. I only watched the part where he gave a talk. It was a bit rambling, but interesting.

When he did a Q&A, (they wrote questions on cards and someone read them to King ) one person wrote a question that went something like, How is your biography of Thomas Jefferson going? I thought that was really rude. He is the tops at what he does and doesn't need to appologize to some college kid for it. SK handled it with grace.

He did mention the Norman Mailer book and all the research he did on the book. Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery. I'll have to put that on my list. Mailer is a very good writer. His book The Executioner's Song was amazing.

Awhile back I nominated Libra~Don DeLillo. DeLillo writes really well, too. Unfortunately, it did not win our group read. I think it would have provided a lot to talk about.

I see my library request for Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero~~Chris Matthews is in. I'll have to pick that up in a few days. And I am sure there will be holds on it so I can't renew it. I'll have to read it after Stephen King.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Great NY minds think alike!


I like that thos book has real people in it. I sat with my iPad this afternoon and looked up the names of the various people. It was fascinating! I wonder of we will ever really know the true story...?


message 14: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 20, 2011 03:36PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Tonight starting at 7pm on Nat. Geo is the lost JFK tapes.

National Geographic’s New Special to Uncover Mysteries Behind JFK Assassination

National Geographic Channel’s new documentary, JFK: The Lost Bullet, includes digitally restored crystal-clear HD film that reveals new details never before seen and aids experts in their quest to uncover the mystery behind the missing bullet.

It has been almost fifty years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and the country is still left with questions that have yet to be satisfied. Was Lee Harvey Oswald alone in his terrible act? Was he even guilty at all? Exactly when and where were the shots fired at JFK? And whatever happened to the third bullet, which missed its mark and was never recovered?

This Sunday, November 20, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, National Geographic Channel will present a documentary that includes digitally remastered footage from Dealey Plaza in higher resolution than ever seen before. The Towner film, shot by a 13-year old eyewitness, has been restored to pristine condition with dust, defects and scratches completely removed. The iconic Zapruder footage can now be seen with an astounding level of clarity. Even the footage in the sprocket areas, which was previously unclear, has now been brought to light. And unlike any other documentary, National Geographic has integrated the films with one another, closely examining the interconnected features. Could these newly revealed details help us solve the mystery behind the crime of the century?

Max Holland, distinguished historian and author of The Kennedy Assassination Tapes: The White House Conversations of Lyndon B. Johnson Regarding the Assassination, and other expert investigators will examine the restored footage frame by frame on a search for clues. “This is extremely exiting because as far as I’m concerned, this is a new film about the assassination that’s never been able to be viewed or evaluated – because it’s never appeared with such clarity,” Holland has said.

Even more astounding is what crucial new details Holland believes he has uncovered through NGC’s crystal-clear footage. According to Holland, this new resolution gives us a glimpse at Lee Harvey Oswald for the first time from the sixth-floor window within seconds of the first shot. Now, Holland and his team have reenacted the scene at Dealey Plaza and measured the trajectory of each of the three bullets.

Additionally, a U.S. retired Secret Service agent, who participated in the first Secret Service investigation of the assassination and hasn’t addressed the incident since 1967, has stepped forward and spoken about that fatal day. With his key account as well as other eyewitness stories, archived photos, and the newly restored footage, Holland believes he has provided an explanation of what happened to the missing bullet fired by Lee Harvey Oswald.

http://www.thefastertimes.com/news/20...


message 15: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 20, 2011 03:38PM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Here is a link to the Nat. Geo channel link for the show. It has the new photos.

http://channel.nationalgeographic.com...


message 16: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 20, 2011 04:02PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Oh how this brings it back...I feel like the child of nine which I was at the time....do you think we will ever really know? It ALWAYS makes me sad...

I would be ever so happy to read the Libra as a buddy read whenever....
Many of these books you cited were mentioned in the New Yorker magazine article.

It is like those books in which you know the ending but just wish....that you could change it.


message 17: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote: "It is like those books in which you know the ending but just wish....that you could change it.."
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Yes, I think that is one appeal of the novel. The notion of a parallel universe or worm holes that we could go back in time and change things.

At the end of the Nat. Geo channel they said something similar to what SK said on the Book TV show. Something to the effect that we don't want to believe that something so history changing could be done by a lone person like Oswald.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) It is true. We just can't seem to think that such tragedy was caused by a single, not very bright man.

I guess we think of the if only ideas.

If only Oswald had been arrested for wife abuse for one....

It just always seems as if there were too many loose ends. There seem to be no neat answers.

I read a little anout Marina Oswlad. She seemed to be a bit wacky as well, first telling one thing that Oswald did kill Kennedy and has retracted that and now says he didn't . Seems like she has been always looking for her 15 minutes of fame back.


message 19: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote: I read a little anout Marina Oswlad. She seemed to be a bit wacky as well, first telling one thing that Oswald did kill Kennedy and has retracted that and now says he didn't . Seems like she has been always looking for her 15 minutes of fame back.
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In the link you posted, the daughter noted that the mothers poor English skills sometimes led to misunderstanding. I wonder if that is part of the confusion.

I have to check Amazon. Do you know of any books, by reputable authors, that focus on Marina and the kids? I can't imagine what it is like to grow up under such circumstances. Knowing that your father committed such a heinous crime, must be unbearable. I often think of that when reading about terrible crimes. What happens to the innocent family members left behind. It's one reason I liked,
Columbine~Dave Cullen.
He didn't demonize the family like the press did at the time.


message 20: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments I've been meaning to mention the Nova program that is currently airing The Fabric of the Cosmos staring physicist Brian Greene. It's quite interesting. And makes you think that SK's "rabbit hole" in time is not so far fetched. :)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/physics/...

The Fabric of the Cosmos (Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality) by Brian Greene The Fabric of the Cosmos
Brian Greene Brian Greene


message 21: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 21, 2011 09:15AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I thi k it is probably not such a strange idea. I will try and take a look at that program.

I, too, thought Dave Cullen did an excellent job with Columbine.

I am up to the part where Oswald is planning the shooting of the general. I have to look up some things on it as I don't recall it at all.


message 22: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote: I am up to the part where Oswald is planning the shooting of the general. I have to look up some things on it as I don't recall it at all.
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I'm up to page 612.

I don't recall the General either. However, I looked online and it seems to be based in fact.


message 23: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments I'm not reading the book with you but wanted to mention that the attempt on General Walker's life didn't seem major to the citizens. It helped give the city its reputation for danger, however, for those in government/politics. It's only in retrospect that the weight of the attempt seems significant to the rest of us. At the time my parents, avid newspaper readers in Dallas, barely took note of it, or so dad told me.

deb


message 24: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Madrano wrote: "I'm not reading the book with you but wanted to mention that the attempt on General Walker's life didn't seem major to the citizens. It helped give the city its reputation for danger, however, for ..."
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In the book it is intimated that Oswald may have been the one who attempted kill him. And in the novel it is key to see if Oswald is a lone wolf or others are in on it.

It's interesting, deb, when you can talk to people who actually lived through that time.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Actually the Warren Commission said he was the one who attempted to kill Walker.


message 26: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Marialyce wrote: "Actually the Warren Commission said he was the one who attempted to kill Walker."
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Good to know. Do you have a lot of faith in the Warren Commission's findings, Marialyce ?

Me, I don't know enough to really form an opinion on whether Oswald was a lone wolf or part of some conspiracy. I go back and forth.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) No, I don't......
I do the same and go back and forth with what I think, although I really am
Leaning towards there being some kind of something....maybe not a conspiracy but definitely something....
I just can't seem to think this guy did it all by himself without any kind of help at all.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I was just sitting and reading and then it hit me that tomorrow is the 48th Anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Kind of eerie to be reading this book in a way.

I will be traveling back to NY tomorrow and hope to finish it up on the train.


message 29: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias Reader wrote: "Do you have a lot of faith in the Warren Commission's findings..."

I hope ya'll don't mind me nosing in on your discussion, even though i'm not reading the King book. (I think Libra by Don DeLillo turned me off reading fiction about Oswald.) The topic is of interest to me and i've read a couple of books about the findings.

My grandparents were farmer/ranchers in Oklahoma. I never associated reading books with them. However, when the Warren Commission was printed they bought it & read cover to cover. It was their reading and questions which led me to doubt the veracity. Since then i've only reconfirmed my agreement with my grandparents. Funny how stuff like that is passed on to generations.

As an aside, i'll add that when we first moved back to Texas my dad took my brother & me on a tour of Oak Cliff. For those who don't know, that is where Oswald lived, where Officer Tippett was killed and where Oswald was caught. Dad worked in OC at the time and knew the area well, as he was in charge of newspaper distribution there.

He walked us through Oswald's afternoon on November 22, 1963. His conclusion was that Oswald was headed toward Jack Ruby's apartment, which was almost a straight line from Oswald's rental. After killing the police officer, he altered his route & turned toward the movie house. Interesting but all conjecture. Still it was fun to see the area through my dad's 1963 eyes.

deb


message 30: by Alias Reader (last edited Nov 22, 2011 09:03AM) (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments Madrano - deb - wrote: I hope ya'll don't mind me nosing in on your discussion, even though i'm not reading the King book.
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I don't mind at all, Deb. This is really where I hoped the discussion would go. Not so much Kings book, but the topic in general. All are welcome to join in the discussion.

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deb wrote:
He walked us through Oswald's afternoon on November 22, 1963. His conclusion was that Oswald was headed toward Jack Ruby's apartment, which was almost a straight line from Oswald's rental. After killing the police officer, he altered his route & turned toward the movie house. Interesting but all conjecture. Still it was fun to see the area through my dad's 1963 eyes.
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That is interesting. I wasn't aware Ruby's apartment was near there.

I always found it odd how incompetent the Dallas police seemed to be. They actually had Oswald in the book depository and let him go, because they were told he was an employee. So what? Why not check everyone out in that building. That is where they felt the shots came from.

I realize it was a different time, but you let people hang out of windows as the president goes by? In a town where there were many threats against his life? They didn't even check out the building before hand. If they had they would have seen his lair.

And what the heck were all those people doing in the police station when they led Oswald out? They obviously didn't check who they let in. How could they be so lax after an assassination?

I don't know how I'd feel going to see where Kennedy was shot. I know it is a big tourist thing and it is history. I say this because I was a bit uncomfortable going to Fords theater and the rooming house where Lincoln was killed. It made me feel a bit like a gawker at someone's misfortune. I know it is history, but I did feel uncomfortable. It's hard to explain.

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deb wrote:
I think Libra by Don DeLillo turned me off reading fiction about Oswald.)
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I didn't know you read Libra. I usually don't care for historical fiction myself. I don't want to be confused by the intertwining of fiction and facts.
However, I do enjoy DeLillo's White Noise a lot. I bought the book years ago for a group read that never materialized. So since I have it, I will read it one day.


message 31: by Alias Reader (new)

Alias Reader (aliasreader) | 16820 comments I finished the book today. I enjoyed it and gave it a 4/5 rating. I'm also glad it didn't have the sappy ending I thought I saw coming.

Here are the GR links for the books King mentions in the afterword.

Case Closed by Gerald PosnerCase Closed~~Gerald Posner

Legend The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald by Edward Jay EpsteinLegend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald~~Edward Jay Epstein

Oswald's Tale An American Mystery by Norman MailerOswald's Tale: An American Mystery~~Norman Mailer

Mrs. Paine's Garage And the Murder of John F. Kennedy by Thomas MallonMrs. Paine's Garage: And the Murder of John F. Kennedy~~Thomas Mallon

The Death of a President November 1963 by William Raymond ManchesterThe Death of a President: November 1963~~William Raymond Manchester

Marina and Lee by Priscilla Johnson McMillanMarina and Lee~~Priscilla Johnson McMillan




message 32: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 22, 2011 05:24PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I finsihed it also. It was ever so weird finishing up this book on the very day Kennedy was assainated

I thought the book ended quite well, too. I did not think it was a cop out, am easy out etc. It was thought provoking and all. I was in Barnes and Noble today wasting time until the train left and there was two books by Brian Greene on the table. I will prob get them on my way back to DC this Sunday.

I also rated the book a 4. I thought it was wonderful and kept me super engaged from the get go. The only part that was slightly bogged down was the Sadie part, but I loved the
way things ended with her.

I have to say that Stephen King certainly got his groove back with this novel. I read that
he wanted to write about the assaination for over 40 years and felt now was the right time. I would have to agree with him and say that he picked a right time at least in this reader's mind.


message 33: by Madrano (new)

Madrano (madran) | 3732 comments Alias Reader wrote: "I always found it odd how incompetent the Dallas police seemed to be. They actually had Oswald in the book depository and let him go, because they were told he was an employee. So what? Why not check everyone out in that building. That is where they felt the shots came from. ..."

I agree. There was plenty of flack about their fumbling even before Ruby was shot. Afterward, all reservations were down. On their side, though, i suspect it was a madhouse. Apparently (and rightfully), all sorts of police agencies horned into the investigation, whisking witnesses in several directions, which didn't help. However, just the search for the assassin was a mess and that mishandling is solely with the Dallas police, imo.

For a long time i felt a ghoulish association with the Texas Schoolbook Depository, too. And, believe me when i say that i've yet to meet a visitor who didn't want to make certain they drove by there. Then & now, btw. There is a museum now, which is rather well done (we went there when a Minnesota friend visited). I think people just want to reach into that history, right in the place, and attempt to recreate the day in their minds. Maybe.

Re. the deLillo novel. I'm with you on historical fiction & the "what's real?" feeling. I read Libra with that old AOL group whose title seemed to have something to do with late night reading. I think there were only 3 or 4 of us in it. LOL!

Leo Sauvage, a French author, wrote a book titled The Oswald Affair in the late 60s. It was the best book i read on the subject. Part of my reason for thinking so, as well as part of the reason i feel he failed with some points, is that he was foreign. This led him to ask questions which were obvious to me because they were part of US criminal investigative procedures but which baffled him.

http://www.amazon.com/Oswald-affair-e... (GR has no link for the book.)

deb


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