21st Century Literature discussion

This topic is about 11/22/63
2012 Book Discussions > 11/22/63 - Parts Three and Four: Living in the Past & Sadie and the General (March 2012)

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message 1: by William (last edited Mar 01, 2012 01:09PM) (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) For discussion through Part Four: Sadie and the General

message 2: by William (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) Whew! We've encountered Oswald finally, caused all kinds of mayhem, and fallen in love.

Some questions:

#1: Do you think he should have tried to kill Oswald earlier than he seems to be planning to?

#2: How do you feel about his life in Jolie? I know that I would have personally given up...I mean your mission was important and all, but man...Sadie is pretty nice!

#3: Part 3 is a great happy story, but ends on that amazingly chilling note of "Jimla". What does that mean, and if only a reference to the Student, why does that word pop up elsewhere?

James (zampana) I loved parts one and two. I thought the book cooked, a callback to the old Steve King. Over the first one-tenth (where are page numbers on the kindle!!) of part three, I was on board. When you read King you accept that there will be tangents, sometimes very long. And generally they're good. Sometimes, the tangents become the main story and you almost regret when the A-plot comes back into focus.

But parts three and four are all relationship, with the Oswald plot deep in B territory. I understand that stakes need to be built for Jake not to go through with the big event, but it doesn't need two-fifths (damn you Kindle) of the book to do it. And so the book is too long after all. A good editor could have gotten this part of the book down to under 100 pages, max. For sure.

And it's when the story goes off the rails that I begin stumbling over language. The cliches. My god, the King use of cliches. Yes, this is the King in every character but every cliche someone spouts, and they're endless, I stumble and choke a little. I feel like Sadie is... meh. She cute and nice and it's sweet that she's so clumsy, but... I suspect the main problem for me is there's very little dramatic tension in these two sections. The stalking of the Oswalds isn't nearly engaging enough to hold the story together.

Yes, there was the possibility of Sadie discovering Jake's secret, but as much as it's referred to, it's not developed. And there was the ever present possible threat of Sadie's husband coming back on the scene, but again, that plot line didn't come to a slow boil; it sort of exploded, like an a-bomb.

In the end, these two sections of the book were all about romance, and for me, it all didn't matter all that much. Too bad, because the book was rocking!

message 4: by William (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) A lot of people approach it as a love story, with a little time travel.

message 5: by James (last edited Mar 10, 2012 11:04AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

James (zampana) Interesting -- the first 1/3 of the story didn't have anything of the love story, so it played to me as a b-plot when it first came in. Early in his career King did love quite well, but now it feels a little like I've read it before. Not sure there's anything new between this couple. IMO of course...

message 6: by William (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) So what do you all think about the love story part of the book at this point? Done well? Medium? Rare? (ha)

Does he take too long to develop it, as James suggests? I personally give King a little more credit here, and I found the tension between Jake's two lives engaging. I'd love some other opinions though, or supporting arguments for the first two.

Alana (alanasbooks) | 26 comments This part didn't drag at all for me, honestly... I'm listening to it, so maybe that makes a difference, but all the plot development just feels like it's leading up to something, so it works fine for me. The biggest problem I have is with the whole butterfly effect thing.... how many lives is he changing--perhaps even preventing from being born--by having this life in this small town and having a relationship with this woman?

I flew through this section so fast that I didn't even remember to come read comments until now, so I'll race off to the end and post my final thoughts when I'm done! :)

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