A narrative master, King takes on the "what if" scenario in the JFK assassination by mixing historical fiction with sci-fi. Jake inherits a time travelling portal that always leads to the same place and time: a small Maine town in 1958. After experimenting for a while, Jake decides to tackle the historic Dallas assassination, but he'll have to spend 5 years living in the past to get to the critical moment. Is it even possible? How will the course of history be changed if he succeeds?
Serving suggestion: meat loaf, scalloped potatoes, peas and Coca-Cola followed by pineapple upside down cake.
Although I thought his point could have been made in under 500 words, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.
I pretty much only read time-travel books and Stephen King books, so this was a no-brainer for me. Terrific book and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves either time-travel or history stories. Over 1000 pages of pure reading heaven that is very hard to put down once you start it.
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!