21st Century Literature discussion

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2012 Book Discussions > 11/22/63 - COMPLETE BOOK and Parts Five & Six: 11/22/63 & The Green Card Man (March 2012)

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message 1: by William (last edited Mar 01, 2012 01:10PM) (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) For Discussion of Part Five through Six: The Green Card Man and the book as a whole.

message 2: by William (last edited Mar 07, 2012 11:03AM) (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) Some questions *WARNING, READ THE WHOLE BOOK FIRST!*:

#1: general thoughts about the ending?

#2: What did you think about the timeline Jake discovers from the neo-harry in the alternate future? King worked with noted historian and author Doris Kearns Goodwin to work up a worst case timeline for it.

#2: Considering the reference to Oswald as Ozzie Rabbit, does calling the portal "Rabbit hole" reference him as well as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

#3: What connection DID George de Mohrenschildt have in the real life history, if any?

#4: A film will be made of this book, directed, written, and produced by Jonathan Demme, winner of the Academy Award for Direction on his adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, and King will serve as exec. producer. Filming to begin this fall. What do you think, good movie? Will you see it?

#5: In a book with this subject matter and scope, making tiny errors is impossible to avoid, but can still provide a fun pastime for readers! Did you notice any? As a lifelong Chicago Bears fan, I did notice ONE. Catch it?

#6: In the afterward, King credits his son Joe with a new ending, which is what made it into the final book, and for me personally, MAKES the book. Are you curious about the ORIGINAL ending? If so, fear not, my question is actually a clue! Mr. King allowed the orig. ending to be posted on his site: http://www.stephenking.com/other/1122...

Oh, and a bonus question #7: What connection can you find between the date the reactor blows in the alt-future and Mr. King's life?

Deborah | 983 comments I know that we've talked a lot about King's lack of literary flourishes, but I wondered if the use of the jump rope girls was a nod to Macbeth.

Am I just reaching?

Deborah | 983 comments I thought when he called Lee Rabbit it was a reference to the mnemonic jog of his middle name.

message 5: by William (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) hmm, I had not considered the witches as a reference there. I did a search, and his website had:
as a suggestion they were also the Fates.

But I didn't think of either til just now!

James (zampana) I finished a couple weeks ago and had to brood on it. When I was a teenager I was a huge Stephen King fan. I really didn't read anyone else. Oh, Louis L'amour too. Anyway, I fell off the King train somewhere in my early twenties, but I come back to ride the King express every few years. It's good. It's fun.

And I'm really glad I read this one. It was too long, way, way too long. The romance, for me, didn't work, because like so many of King's women, his leading lady here (I've already forgotten her name) was too shallow and sweet and perfect. And because Jake could always reboot time (until he couldn't anymore), there wasn't any jeapordy to her death. Jake didn't feel anything when she was shot and nor did I, because like he said, he could always come back and fix it.

I thought the big climatic scene in the book depository was a little disappointing. The stumble was classic goofy King. Too easy. Everything was too easy. Even the twisted results on returning to present day. You had to know that saving Kennedy would be the worst possible thing for mankind.

Maybe he doesn't work on his books long enough? Maybe that's why the language is always just functional and never inspiring, and also maybe that's why his books are full of cliches, not just in the writing but also in the plotting and characters.

Also, when Jake fully realized he wasn't going to be able to go back and fix things and reconnect with his lady, I was disappointed that this realization didn't play as emotionally painfully as it should have. Although, the very very end of the story, going to dance with his 80 year old lady, that was a sweet touch.

Maybe I'm just an old grump. Maybe I'm too much of a book snob now and I need to reconnect to my twelve year old self, lower my expectations and just enjoy the ride. The first third of the book was wonderful, and I think that's where King always shines. I'm glad I read it, but I can't help feeling a little sad. Like so many of his books, there could be so much more.

message 7: by William (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) A very good comment! I guess I felt a little more than you did at her death, and the realization he wouldn't be able to reconnect, and as I posted earlier, his son came up with the ending, and I posted the orig. ending. But overall, I have to agree about what else you said.

message 8: by William (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) I was hoping some people would answer questions 4, 6, and 7! So anybody who finished the book, what do you think? Will you see the movie version? Thoughts about making it into a movie?

What about the ending? Did you follow the link and read the orig. ending? I wonder myself what other changed endings are out there, and wish I could see the draft versions.

And did you notice the date of the reactor? Oddly specific, right? Catch the meaning of it?

message 9: by Andrea (last edited Mar 25, 2012 07:37AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Andrea | 3 comments As I was reading this, I kept thinking I bet this will be a movie and I bet it will be very good. I'm looking forward to the movie,but it will no doubt pale in comparison to the book. Let me start with I have only read one other king book before, "Christine" and I hated it...of course I was only in middle school,but it was enough to sour me against reading any king. Now I do love the movies "Green Mile" and "Shawshank Redemption" so I was happy to give this book a chance which I would not have read if not for the group read ...so I thank you there. I loved this book in my heart I knew there was only one way for the book to end, at times it felt like watching the movie titanic you know it's going to hit the iceberg, you know that's the way it has to be but you still get wrapped up in the story and the characters wishing it could be different, but knowing it can't. I read Sadie's death very differently I was very emotionally connected not only when she died, but when Jake realized he had found his true love but could never be with her the way he had been with her in the past. I felt the heartbreak.

message 10: by William (new) - added it

William Mego (willmego) Yes, I know that a lot of commentators online and in newspaper reviews said they didn't feel the urgency of the love affair because he could always go back (according to them) but none the less, I felt that connection as you did.

Andrea | 3 comments I don't think he could go back though. Even if it didn't destroy the future I don't think he would be able to have Sadie fall in love with him again. The reason I believe this is that he is constantly being changed , and they both evolved together, but if he comes back changed as he is already and her the same as when he first met her I truly believe that she would not fall in love with him again. I think he would be expecting too much from her too soon or would know too much about her; which would ultimately make her push him away. So I never felt like he could go back at anytime and start the relatinship all over. Maybe that is why I felt the urgency and connection.

Alana (alanasbooks) | 26 comments Andrea wrote: "I don't think he could go back though. Even if it didn't destroy the future I don't think he would be able to have Sadie fall in love with him again. The reason I believe this is that he is constan..."

This is how I felt as well. He COULDN'T go back, not really. Not and have the same relationship with her. It was the mystery of it all that built their relationship to begin with. He knew nothing about her, so the relationship could develop naturally. My husband and I met in college, but didn't get together until many years later (after I'd gone through a painful divorce with someone else). If I had the chance to go back and skip all those years and get us together sooner.... I wouldn't, because it wouldn't be the same relationship, healing after pain, having the same life experiences, etc, that ultimately brought us together. I just don't think it would have worked, even in fairy tale land, as Jake imagined. And I think he knew that. The "residue" of his changes, with Sadie feeling a connection with him in her old age, I think worked out for the best.

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