Monday, October 22, 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

A very famous date...if you are old enough, you know exactly where you were that day and moment when you first learned that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.  Stephen King's latest novel, 11/22/63, is about that time!  What would the world be like if that moment could be changed?  What would the world look like now if Kennedy had lived?  Very interesting to ponder.

Jake Epping was an English teacher who also taught GED classes in the evening.  He had his GED class write an essay about a life-changing event that had occurred to them.  One of the students wrote about his father killing his family over fifty years ago.  Jake couldn't get the event out of his mind.  Soon, Jakes' friend, Al who owned a diner, confided to Jake that the diner had a portal that led to the past...time travel. Al said that the portal led to 1958.  Al wanted to return to prevent JFK's assassination.  But Al was dying and could not carry out his "mission", so he asked Jake to take it on.  Jake realized that he could change the circumstances of his student Harry's life-changing event.

Jake entered the portal in 1958 and began his life as George Amberson.  He set out to make things right, first for Harry, his GED student, then to study Lee Harvey Oswald, so that he could prevent the assassination in 1963.  Jake starts out in Maine (where he was from), then traveled to Florida for awhile, then on to Texas.

This is a great story.  I will have to add, however, in warning, that the novel is 842 pages long.  It is a LONG book!  My only complaint about the length, though, was that the book would get really physically heavy to hold!  There aren't many books that I have ever complained about that before.  But here's the just can't put it down!  The story is that good...the writing is that good...the whole thing is that good!  As one of my daughters said of the book "I inhaled it."

So many people (and for a long time, myself included) avoid Stephen King novels.  Too scary or whatever.  But the thing is...he is an outstanding writer.  I have read only a few of his books, and each time, I am amazed at what a great writer he is. 11/22/63 is not a scary is about time travel.

Hey, you don't even have to take my word for it... 11/22/63 won the 2012 Thriller Award for Best Novel and was also named as one of New York Times Book Reviews Top 10 Books of 2011.

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