King, S. (2011). 11/22/63: A novel. New York: Scribner. 9781451627282
Reasons for Reading : I read Stephen King’s The Dead Zone a few years ago after reading King’s memoir On Writing. In The Dead Zone, teacher and coma survivor John Smith asks “If you could kill Hitler, would you?” When I saw 11/22/63 on the NYT Bestsellers List, I realized King took this same question in a different direction. I added my name to the waiting list for a copy from HCPL. Later, I purchased a copy from the Friends of Freeman Library Bookstore.
Summary: Jake Epping teaches English at Lisbon Falls High in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He also earns
extra money by taking on GED courses. Reading janitor Harry Dunning’s essay about the horrific night when Harry lost his family and gained a limp fifty years prior moves the normally dry-eyed Jake to tears.
Soon after Harry earns his GED, diner owner Al shares a secret with Jake; there’s a portal outside his supply room which leads to September 1958. Thus, Al enlists Jake on a mission to save JFK from assassination.
What I Liked : I appreciated the short segments which allowed me to read a little bit at a time. I also enjoyed the whole “What if?” aspect. I liked how King limited some of the possibilities by creating a 1958 portal instead of putting Jake into a time machine that could go anywhere or anytime.
What I Disliked : As a Texan (a Houstonian), my familiarity with state geography is above average 🙂 . I wouldn’t describe Dallas and Killeen as being all that close. Also, Killeen has two “L’s” unlike how it’s spelled throughout the book. Then, there’s the whole saying “Everything’s bigger in Texas.” That’s because the state itself is the second biggest in the USA. Having gone to college in Waco which is in Central Texas, I can attest to the fact that I could not smell the oil fumes from Midland and Odessa. Lastly, I didn’t think this book should’ve been over 800 pages!
Four Out of Five Pearls
Setting : Maine, Florida, Texas
You might also like:
- Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
- The Dead Zone by Stephen King
- Pastwatch: the Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card
- Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
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