By Stephen King
Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
11/22/63 is unexpectedly different from King’s typical writing genre, but it is still utterly amazing, and I would encourage everyone to go out and buy it. Just know going in that it isn’t at all a “horror novel” and instead more contemporary adult fiction.
The book begins with Jake Epping, who lives a relatively normal life as a teacher, frequenting a diner, and otherwise just doing his thing as any other man would. And then….. it all changes. Jake learns from his close friend that there is a time traveling rabbit hole which brings you back to the 1950s. Reluctant at first, Jake finally feels forced to undertake the mission which his friend had left for him: save JFK from assassination.
In a way only King could possibly do, this book seems completely realistic, is full of twists and turns, historically accurate (to the best of my knowledge) and has amazing human relationship stories that would cause me to read the book even if it wasn’t a King novel. As Jake struggles to right the past, he is confronted by the haunting difficulty of changing what doesn’t want to be changed, and overcoming the time barrier that separates himself from the people around him.
When this book first came out, I was so, so excited; Stephen King is my favorite author ever, and I love historical fiction (yes I know that’s kind of weird) so I thought this would be perfect. And it didn’t disappoint. I could never predict what was coming next in the plot, which gave it an air of reality and suspense that wouldn’t have been present otherwise.
Besides the plot, the entire piece was full of character building and development. Jake isn’t perfect– not even close. And neither is he awful. You root for Jake, mourn his failures, and feel close to him solely because he seems like a real person. Jake is trying to be the hero, but he certainly isn’t heroic. He’s the fairly intelligent, average guy, who becomes distracted by girls, decides to give up when things get tough, and eventually fights to overcome all odds. The other characters, even those that only arrive for a minute or two, are equally as well developed and exciting to read about. There aren’t any characters that have you rolling your eyes like I typically find in novels which utilize stock characters.
This book also makes a HUGE point about the stability of our world today, and the impact of yesterday, which I think is really really cool. I won’t say any more to avoid spoiling it, but please read the book.
One thing that I would warn you about when reading is that it’s not super focused on JFK’s actual assassination. It definitely comes up, and it’s the main goal of the narrator, but the main plot is created because he has to live in the past for 5 years before he can even attempt to save him. If you want a historical book on JFK, this really isn’t for you.
I 10/10 would recommend to everyone! Plus, it’s a Hulu series, so you can get twice the fun. I haven’t watched it yet, so let me know what you think. I don’t want to spend the money if it’s not worth it.
I want to know your opinion
Have you read this book, or any others by King? Can you recommend any other books about the JFK assassination?
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