Cartoonish villains, weak motivations, and a ho-hum supernatural-style ending almost kill this book. Pro tip: Never reference the plot of significantly better books while the plot of your current novel plods along (“Oboy! A killer clown dragging children into storm drains?! That sounds...wait...Is he just referring to ‘IT’?”)
The reviewer, or normally mystery reviewer for Publishers Weekly, Peter Cannon, says: - - " Bugliosi, who makes an overwhelming case in my view that the Warren Commission essentially got it right, covers the same ground as a book King does mention, Gerald Posner's Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Assassination of JFK (Random, 2003), then goes on to destroy the arguments of the conspiracy theorists, with wit and ridicule as weapons." - - Obviously and most certainly, reviewer Cannon has NEVER EVEN READ that dreadful pile of offal, the Warren Commission Report, yet sees fit to comment on a pile of contradictions, massive discrepancies, and pathetically never followed up questions, such as Oswald was supposed to have gone through training at Keesler AFB for air traffic control/radar, yet Rankin (chief counsel and formerly J. Edgar Hoover's personal attorney) mentions that Oswald went through military training at Monterey, which every military vet knows is the Defense Language Institute (i.e., language training)! I would be more than happy for anyone to debate me (having read all 26 volumes of that flotsam and jetsam), on each and everyone of the numerous contradictions and discrepancies and major variances (so Mayor Cabell of Dallas knew Jack Ruby (a k a Jacob Rubenstein, formerly an investigator for the House Un-American Activities Committee) for many years - - how so, and in what capacity? If one has never read the sources being commented upon, one should refrain from sounding like a complete and utter simpleton!
I truly enjoyed this Stephen King novel; it reminded me of some of his great oldies! Yeah Uncle Stevie!
A patron review from the Adult Summer Reading Game: If you've never read any King before pick up this book. It isn't scary at all and really showcases the talent he has in crafting a story and realistic characters. Yes, it's a tale of time travel of sorts as the protagonist is on a quest to save J.F.K. but ultimately it's a love story.
Really enjoyed this, so much so that in spite of its length, I was sorry when it was over and wished there were more! It was great fun to "live" in the past with the main character (though I'm glad I didn't have to breathe all that smoke along with him). Like the thought of the past and the future in strings. Like how the past resists being changed. Like the "harmonic convergences". Like all the what-ifs and how King keeps us guessing what will happen next through much of the book. I'm not a fan of horror and gore so hadn't read much King before this - only On Writing and The Stand, both of which are incredibly interesting and enjoyable, just like this one. Think I'll still stay away from books like Carrie, Cujo and Christine, though...!
Excellent read. Would highly recommend especially to someone who has never read Stephen King because they think he is to spooky or scary.
a thousand or so pages (large print) and I couldn't put that book down ! There was lots of things I liked about it : time traveling, historic facts, love story … perfect receipe !
What a wild ride! I was impressed! Different kind of Stephen King novel for sure, but it delivers in every way. I could not put it down.
After reading this book, the reader, if not already familiar with, should read the following: "Battling Wall Street: The Kennedy Presidency" by Donald Gibson, "Brothers" by David Talbot, "JFK and the Unspeakable" by James Douglass, "Thy Will Be Done" by Gerard Colby with Charlotte Dennett, plus a number of others.
This is his best one yet!!!!
This is by far one of the best Stephen King books I have read yet.
My first full-length Stephen King novel, I'm told that it is very unlike his other stuff. I really liked the story and the protagonist. I'm a little ambivalent about the ending. In a bit of fate that Jake Epping would call "harmonics," I read this book while also listening to Jackie Kennedy's recently released interviews about her life with JFK. It is so tragic that someone with such promise and vitality was killed before he could reach his potential. I feel the same about the other two famous 1960s assassinations: RFK and MLK.
Well done, Mr. King, well done!! A fun book to read
Great book. As in many Stephen King novels, the main character is an author himself - actually a high school english teacher/instructor. Probably my second favorite King book, following only Bag of Bones. 11/22/63 comes highly recommended. The only downside is the fact that this book is so long, and if you're like me and will be checking it out from your local library, you might not have adequate time to read it before the return date.
Like a lot of Stephen King books this is a big book; however don't let that deter you as once you start you will race through this book. Also don't let the fact that is a Stephen King book deter you either. This is not his usual horror story it is an amazing time travel story that has so many underlying themes: love, fate, evil and good. Jake travels back in time to stop Kennedy's assassination, but is history meant to be changed and what if we did change it – would it be for the best?
I'm not a big Stephen King fan, but what caught my eye about this one is that it seems different than his usual work. Once I got started, I had a hard time putting it down when I needed to. The way King mixes history with science fiction made it all work in a way that it really makes you stop and think "What if...?" with various situation. And I was amused by the references to other works of his that he threw in. It actually made me rather sad for it to end because I wanted it to keep going (even though Jake had accomplished everything he realized he needed to). I returned my copy to the library and actually had to buy a copy of my own to read again and again. I now recommend this book to anyone I hear saying that they are trying to decide what their next book will be.
This was a great read. I enjoyed this thoughtful and amazing novel more than I expected. Stephen King has a talent for making time travel understandable and exciting. The impact of being able to change what was to what is and the Butterfly Affect`s outcome was excellent. His story line intertwining with finding love and doing the right thing was compelling. His story will stay with me for a very long time. This book is unique!!!
This is my first experience with Stephen King and I truly enjoyed this book for many reasons. First of all, the main character Jake comes from Maine ( so does the author) as does my family. References to Bangor, Auburn and Lewiston brought back a lot of memories for me. This is also a time travel novel which is always fascinating. King does an excellent job, however, of explaining that tampering with the past would only cause problems in the delicate balance that is the universe. Finally, the wonderful love story emanating from the 800 pages is absolutely wonderful. In the end, George chooses the right course of action to save his Sadie's life.
The JFK assassination will always catch the interest of a huge cohort of dedicated conspiracy theorists. As such, this lengthy book could have been improved by spending more time incorporating bits of those theories into the story. Instead he softens the impact of a potentially great premise i.e. aborting the Kennedy by focusing on a love interest that was unbelievable and boring. A broom on the bed? Come on, really? I was hoping that his time in the past was similar to Lee Harvey Oswald's in that he too was being used as a patsy and possibly being implicated in the assassination. Also, I hoped that the changes he made might result in saving the life of the terminally ill man who sent him back. Instead we witness the emotional times of a man who admits he cannot cry and yet becomes googally-eyed over a blind date. On the positive side there are things about Oswald's background that provide compelling insights for anybody with an interest in the JFK shooting. Because this book is long and physically weighs 5 kgs. I recommend it to anyone who is waiting for a ferry or plane and wants a bicep workout at the same time.
I loved this book, puts a interesting spin on the American dream
Awesome, could not put it down. So well written and amazing...will be thinking about this book long after I return it to the library!
I was never a big fan of Stephen King until now! This book was excellent, a big, compelling read.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It reminded me how excellent and often underrated Stephen King is. I was absorbed from the very first sentence. Give it a shot even if you think that mild sci fi is not your genre. It's about so much more than that - including reinventing yourself and changing the past (which does not want to be changed...). One of the best books I've read in awhile.
Fun, quick read but it appears that Stephen King has never been to Texas or seen a map of the state. If you're from Texas, you might be annoyed if I was. If not, you won't notice.
This is my favorite book this summer. I love time travel and Stephen King makes it more than amazing.the texture of writing here is beyond words. I read this in 2 day's I could not put it down. READ THIS BOOK!
While the book lags in the middle, and suffers through some rather bizarre plot twists (why were the kids from It in here again), the real heart of the story lies in the love story between Jake and Sadie and the undeniably sad ending. Like It, the book ends with the revelation that the only thing that can stand up to the inexorable march of time is the indomitable power of love. For God's sake, Stephen King, can we have a happy ending for once?
Simply superb, without a wasted page which is saying something at 800+. I loved it, the characters were believable and three dimensional, their choice involving and sometimes heartbreaking. Wonderful writing from someone unfairly lumped into the horror genre. I'll read it again and recommend it to anyone.
Really enjoyed this book. I have never read S. King before and wonder now if there are any of his other books which do not contain the mainly horror element. Felt it was well written. Read it in a week.
I'd never read anything by Stephen King before, so I hadn't realized how well he writes. Yes, this is a L-O-N-G book, and yes, it drags in the middle. Still, it's quite readable and an interesting exercise in "what if?"
This book started out great, but quickly became a chore to read by around the 250th page. When I start skimming pages I know it's time to put a book down. I love King's work (Dark Tower), and have been a fan for ages, but he sometimes gets a little long-winded. This is the case here. The plot just kinda fizzles, and what started out as a serious page-turner morphs into a 'how many more pages is this chapter' kinda thing...
I felt that a nice balance of plot development, character development and reflections on character and culture was achieved in a thoroughly readable novel. There is something here for the time travel story lover, but also includes a great story with deliberate and satisfying engagement with the protagonist and his motivations, which are very human and very believable, even given an unbelievable premise. There is enough spooky and uncanny to remind you that this is Stephen King, after all, but with a greater emphasis on existential realism and morality than I think most sci-fi or horror writers would discipline themselves with. Bottom line: a page turner, somewhat dark, but ultimately redemptive.
Stephen King is the master of suspense. In this time travel story, Jake's goal is to prevent the assassination of Kennedy, but he falls in love along the way. It's an engrossing tale and my only quibble is that I think it could have been editted down from the 900 pages it is. Nonetheless, this is a good read for those who love King's storying, but want something with less gore and supernatural elements than he normally includes.
This is the first Stephen King book I have ever read and what a pleasure. It was one of the best books I have ever read. Fast moving and could not put it down. Very well written.
Started reading it and could not finish it. I guess I never gave it a fair chance. I never read a Stephen King book before...perhaps I will get it again and try to continue where I left off.
A good read, but, given the book's title and cover photo, a big tease. This, unfortunately, is a love story. I was hoping that Sadie's overdose would be fatal, but, alas, the love story intesified.
I loved this book. Yes, it's long, surprise, Stephen King wrote it. I think you are either someone who enjoys long sentences or you are not. I love King's writing. I have read many of his novels and the non-fiction book On Writing as well. I love this story, I love how Jake grows into George and how he changes along the way. I love how things never work out the way you think and how assumptions can be so horribly wrong. I like the ending. I love that Sadie is such a cool hip woman and that Jake finds her again.
King meticulously researched the subject matter for this book, and his attention to detail makes his story come alive. Easy to read, though plodding in the middle. (fans of It will recognize the town of Derry as being eerily familiar).
This is a different kind of story for Stephen King, a time travel novel back to the pre-Kennedy assassination days of the late fifties and early sixties. Jack Epping is the thirty-five-year-old English teacher who steps into the world of George Amberson, a man from the future intent on stopping the Kennedy killing and changing the course of history. King has done his research on the era. For someone who grew up in these days, it is a nostalgic trip back to the not-so-perfect good old days. Try explaining to your girlfriend, who is living in the pre-civil rights days, that where you come from “the Cold War is over and the President is a black man.” No wonder George/Jake is so reluctant to talk about his past. What I liked best was the heart-racing suspense with events to which you know the ending, but now might change. Nothing would make you put this book down during George’s last minute charge up the six flights of the Texas School depository building. It is how we all wish, at the worst of times, life could be. I also enjoyed the tender love story of George and Sadie, so different from Jake’s real life story. From the start, I could not imagine how this novel would end. In his afterword, the author reveals that his son suggested an alternative ending, which he then adopted. He chose a good one. I enjoyed this book cover to cover.
I have never read Stephen King before, but this one intrigued me and I'm glad. I highly recommend it! Stuff I enjoyed/found interesting: writing was excellent, the history, suspence, romance, trip down memory lane (I was born in 1950), the small town stories and relationships, the great humor King put in the mouth of Jake/George, imaging what it would be like to go back to 1958-63 and what it would be like for someone from cir. 1960 to suddenly be in our 9-1-1, 9/11, internet world, the description of racism back then (we should not forget!). I'm going to be thinking about and talking about issues it raised for quite a while. Don't let the length stop you from reading it!
this book is huge; i'd rather have the e-version.
I've been reading King since the early '80s -- read his first 8 or 10 books, then got tired of him, but from time to time I've picked up a novel or collection of stories. I think this is one of his stronger books. It's got a lot of familiar elements -- vivid, earthy depiction of ordinary American life, '60s nostalgia, moments of shocking violence presented with tremendous gusto, suggestions of supernatural menace -- within the framework of a well thought out time travel story.
Just finished reading it, and I have got to say that this is one of my favourite books by Mr. King. While reading through it a was soo interested and curious on how the book will end, since there was soo many possibilities! I had to say that the ending was a bit disappointing, but it still ended off just right. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good Stephen King, or who loves a good read!
I hadn't read a Stephen King book in a long time. For me his stories are either hit or miss. This was definately a hit. My knock against it was that the middle of the story meandered a little too long but overall it was a great read.
Looking forward to reading it!
This is really good Stephen King. I was a huge reader when I was younger and I'm having a bit of a King revival with this book and more recently 'Under the Dome'. These two are the best of his books that I've read since 'The Stand', and there are many.
Pretty long but a good, fun read. More about the main character getting to 11/22/63 than the actual day.
One of my favourite King books to date. You're in for a real treat with this one. As another poster wrote, you don't even have to care about the whole Kennedy assassination plot to enjoy the book. It's a wonderfully told tale and will keep you engrossed throughout. One of those books that makes you feel sad when you reach the end because it's such a good read.
Don't worry if you're not particularly interested in the JFK story - that's just on the sidelines of this story. A real page turner - a delicious read that will have you shunning your social life and minor obligations and reading long after lights-out time. So entertaining. SK is brilliant storyteller & just keeps getting better.
A very captivating read, but the ending left me asking a lot of questions...probably one of the only positive ways to end the story, though.
I am not a big Stephen King fan but this was a page turner. I don't know how else it could have ended.
For the most part I really enjoyed the book, but I felt that the end of book, basically the last 50 pages, kinda fell flat. I understand why King had to do what he had to do at the end, but it kinda seemed like a bit of a cop out, especially since he had spent so much of the book building towards the day of the shooting. Enough of that. What I loved about the book was the fact was that clearly King had done his research not only on Oswald, but he clearly had done his research on all the major players involved and also on the area surrounding Dallas at the time. The fact that the details were paid attention to made the book that much more special, especially in regards to the era. It made the time period that much more vivid, especially since he waited until the present day to write the book and allow the book to have the contrast between Jake's life in 2011 and the one he leads in 1963 makes it that much stark and how far we have come, at least in terms of technology. It was such an engrossing book that I almost felt like I was there with Jake as he moved from 1958 to 1963 and almost wanted to go back myself to a time when you didn't have to rely on technology so much and live in such a place. Of course I could do without the busybodies, who seemed to poke in Jake's business all the time or it seemed that way.
Stephen King at his very best. I couldn't put the book down.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe there was a movie with the same theme about a history professor who went back in time to save JFK from assassination, starring Robert Hayes and Catherine Hicks. I wonder what the name of the movie was. Nevertheless, 11/22/63 is the best book written by Stephen King. Not his usual genre. Hard to put down. Recommend it highly.
Probably the best book of the year. And. I'm not Stephen King fanatic.
His best in years. Had me riveted from start to dramatic finish. His previous short story collection made me hunger for something more substantial, and this weighty novel did not disappoint. King is a master at pulling you into his world, and turning the screws, not unlike another Steve (Spielberg).
I must preface this by saying Stephen King is my favorite author. That fact notwithstanding, I haven't loved all of his novels, but I would have to say I liked most. This book had me going from the minute I started. King is a MASTER of characterization; a MASTER. Almost every book I read makes me feel I PERSONALLY know the characters. This book was a fun twist on time travel - sub-plots, amazing characters (did I mention he is a master?) and his unbelievable ability to italicize dialects so you HEAR the person speaking... northern Maine accent? Texas? doesn't matter, he's got it.I loved these people, and very few books bring me to tears. Jake (George) and Sadie did. READ IT!
Definitely one of the best books i've ever read. This book is less about the time travelling aspect and more about the character Jake Epping( George Amberson), but if you are a fan of sci-fi, you will love the time-travel aspects of this book. Great read and highly recommended to readers of any genre, whether you love general fiction, love stories, sci-fi, or even non-fiction.
Really enjoyable, even though nothing can quite top the Red Dwarf take on taking on the Kennedy Assassination via time travel. But this is a thoughtful, engaging tale, maybe one of King's best in a long time. I'm not even inclined to say it should have been cut by a hundred pages or so, because the meandering bits of the plot add warmth and depth instead of just wordcount. An interlude in Derry is both creepy, Derry being Derry, but a pleasure to see some familiar faces from the past. A clear-eyed perspective on all that was wrong in Ago cuts the nostalgia by just the right amount. Recommended to more than just fans.
Well to start, I had trouble with the way the whole time travel thing was handled but then again, I suppose there is no believable way for an author to deliver that. After I was firmly planted in the 1950's I let go of that and started to enjoy the story. This book was overly long. The story just went on and on but it was interesting and it held my attention for the most part. It does capture the people and the politics of the late 50's and early 60's and those who grew up in that time will enjoy a walk down memory lane.
It's the first King book that I've actually liked since his accident. I personally think that King actually died in the accident and a ghost writer has been writing his books (a la VC Andrews). None of them have been as stellar as his pre-accident ones. But I digress. This book was good, nice story. But again, not really King-esque. The end was a let down, I really expected more.
I have never read a Stephen King novel, but I couldn't resist the premise of this one. I expected it to focus much more on the Kennedy assassination than it does. I was surprised to find that in essence it's a love story. The main character, Jake Epping, is very likable. I have finished the book now and am sad to leave him, but as with any good book, I am glad to have known him.
Wonderful story with great characters and impressive historical research as background. The story drives forward for the most part, with a few pleasant meanderings in the narrator's new life. The scene setting was very good - I believed I was back in the late 50s early 60s with the frequent mentions of public smoking, race problems and treatment of people. Makes me want to read all about Lee Harvey Oswald and the assassination. I love the newer Stephen King novels - Lisey's Story, Duma Key, Under the Dome - fantastic reads!
Would prefer to read this on my ereader but it isn't available at the library in the format. Like many of King's book, it's huge! Also - why are bookstores charging the same price for the ebook and the hardcover?! ($19.99) An ebook requires no printing, warehousing or transportation costs, and should definitely cost less. Just a money grab?
Brilliantly written book. For those who lived throught the Kennedy assasination period it revives old memories and draws you into the 60's very gently while at the same time puts you closer to the scene once more. A must read!!!!!
Soooo goooood, gonna re-read it again some day.
The good news is: this was written by Stephen King. The bad news is: this was written by Stephen King. It will (deservedly) be read by his ardent followers but will probably be ignored by those who have already dismissed his writings as sophomoric. Indeed, in this science fiction novel he can't quite resist sprinkling little bits of horror which do nothing for the plot or even the mood of the story. It's almost as if they were missed in the story editing. For example he makes reference to a fallen smoke stack as appearing evil (who cares?) But this is a minor point. More disappointing is the hurried, sketchy description of the future where Kennedy survived. This is an excellent Stephen King book - it is even a very good book by any author. Definitely worth reading. After reading it please read time travelling works by pure science fiction writers. Don't be afraid.
A great story...Hard to put down.
This is by far my favorite Stephen King novel. I am a real sci fi fan, particularly when it involves time travel and parallel worlds. That said, this novel brought me back to my own teen years. I really had trouble putting it down. Some parts made me wonder what was going on in the rest of the country (I grew up in NYC) -- I entered high school in September of 1959 and read Catcher in the Rye my freshman year, and I went to a Catholic school. On the whole, though, King had a good sense of time and place. I would recommend this book for its sci fi, philosophic, and nostalgic content. A really great read!
I am into this book for 150 pages and loving it. I always love how King make the characters really pop and in this one I am totally vested into the hero. The look back to the late 50s is also fascinating.
An excellent book by Stephen King. Like his last book Under The Dome(1100), this one is only 849 pages. Parts are very addictive and fast reading, but some parts seem to drag along. The story of a time "rabbit-hole" in which the main character Jake, is shown the world of 1958 from his current 2011 life. He is talked into going back to live for 4 years with his ultimate goal of stopping the Kennedy Assassination. Many sub-plots and side stories abound with an end-twist about anyone who would dare to re-write history. It took King from January,2009 to December 2010 to finish this book and it's well worth it!
While I have absolutely no interest in the whole Oswald side of the story, the overall book was a good read. It became a little predictable and there were few real plot twists. In the end, I wouldn't need to ever read it again.
decent read..not the typical king horror thriller..if you arent a horror reader,this might be the book for you.i thought it was a little long, the story is basically you can go back in time and change something..per example the story is basically ,,would you, could you stop the kennedy assasination..it was fairly easy to fit yourself into the main character and feel everything he goes through..was a love story for those interested in that type of book..the osward years was maybe a little more involved for me and personally could have done without a 100 or so of those pages..(849 page)..read almost all of mr kings work...my review,it was ok. i didnt dislike the ending(like i have with many of his stories)..i would put it on my bookshelf..hope this helps anyone whom is wondering about reading it
Fnished 11/22/63 last night...just in time. It was due back December 1st. It wasn’t what I expected--given the title--but it was a good book. More of a love story than a time travel story. Could have used a touch of editing, but those 800 plus pages went quickly. I did find one teeny-tiny error...in the last complete sentence on page 712. The velvet collar--and trim--on Jackie Kennedy’s pink Chanel suit was navy blue, not black.
It was interesting to learn more about the JFK assassination. I grew up in the 60's it it has sparked an interest to find out more about the history of that era. Stephen King has put an interesting slant on what could have been and I liked how it wasn't his usual horror flavour. I couldn't put it down.
This is a reaaly good book. I especially enjoyed the ending. I dont want to give too much away so all I'll say is pick this book up and enjoy.