Book - 2011
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On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? The author's new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. In this novel that is a tribute to a simpler era, he sweeps readers back in time to another moment, a real life moment, when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history. Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students, a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night fifty years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane, and insanely possible, mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life, a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
Publisher: New York : Scribner ; Gallery Books, 2011
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781451627282
Characteristics: ix, 849 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Eleven twenty-two sixty-three


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ArapahoeAlice Aug 27, 2019

It's a great suspense time-travel story with a wonderful romance. I learned things about the Kennedy assassination that I've never heard before. Beyond the finely-tuned descriptions, the characters are completely engaging. Definitely one of my all-time favorites of Stephen King's books.

Jul 20, 2019

I've read very few of King's novels - just this, Dolores Claiborne, The Stand, and Different Seasons - but I consider myself a fan because I love his non-fiction On Writing and his magazine work. While there were things I liked about this book (after all, I did read all 850 pages), in the long run, I was disappointed.

This was about Jake, who gets the privilege?/duty? to travel back in time to alter history by preventing the assassination of JFK. I liked the early part of the time travel when Jake is in Maine and the history-altering he does there, and then the relationship between Jake/George and Sadie. Could you read this book and not love Sadie? (The answer is no.) Other than that, I didn't like too much. I found everything about Oswald pretty non-engaging and it seemed I read an awful lot about apartment complexes in 1960's Texas. (Now Oswald lived here, now Jake/George moved there, and on and on and on...) The inherent complexities in time travel weren't handled either particularly well or innovatively. And there were three ends: the end of the "mission" (so to speak), the end of the after-mission, and the very end (sorry to be so cryptic; I don't want to be a spoiler). The after-mission piece - where the results of everything that's come before were revealed - was utterly and laughably ridiculous. Why would any of those things have happened? However, I did like the very end/coda.

How would Steven King's character have ever been able to have prevented the multiple assassins who actually killed President Kennedy? Well, I guess in fiction, anything is possible, even with a Praetorian Guard involved.

Nov 19, 2018

Time travel from 2011 to 1958 makes this a science fiction thriller with historical accuracy and my favorite Stephen King read so far. You can't help but root for Jake Epping as he steps out into 1958 and sets out to change the past -- his most important goal to stop the Kennedy assassination. No matter how much time Jake spends in the past only two minutes will pass in 2011. Every time he returns the past resets, but residue remains. As Jake waits for the fateful day, he meets the new school librarian -- Sadie. Loving Sadie will make things easier and harder and give us final scene that is movie made. I have confidence that J.J. Abrams has done this book justice in his Hulu miniseries. Can't wait to check it out!

Oct 17, 2018

I decided to read 11/22/63 after becoming interested in the conspiracy of the Kennedy assassination and watching the Hulu limited series based off of this novel. There are some major differences between the series and the book, but not in a way that disappointed me. Both the novel and the show are well-paced and exciting in their own way. The size of the book was daunting to me (I have never read another Stephen King book before), but I was pleasantly surprised to find how quickly I was able to get through it. The only aspect that was somewhat of a let-down was that this story just goes along with the "Oswald acted alone" line that the public has been fed. I was expecting King to go deeper into the conspiracy of the assassination. Overall, though, this was an exciting read and watch. I cannot recommend it enough.

Aug 26, 2018

Interesting premise for a novel but it is very, very long novel and the ending was rushed and disappointing.

Groundhog Day and Back to the Future get serious and take on a story out of The Twilight Zone, only longer than a thirty minute show could handle. Highly entertaining! Once in every few years I get the hankering for some Stephen King, and this book does not disappoint. Being from Texas myself, I enjoyed the local color. Four stars.


Who set up the Yellow Card Men? Why don't they just close down the portal, or force a time traveler to turn around and go back to his own time? All they do is complain and argue until they go crazy. It's said they have to keep track of all the different time strings mentally, and it drives them nuts, but why do they have to do that, they never do anything about it? Dr. Who could clear up this situation, PDQ, I think.

Feb 14, 2018

One of King's better books in recent years. Has all the good and bad qualities of a Stephen King story: Captivating concept, tons of well-realized characters, needlessly long, and an ending that completely comes undone and makes the first 900 pages of the book nearly mute.

He does an impressive job transporting the reader back in time as well as capturing a beautiful love story in the process.

Feb 12, 2018

Great book. Really outstanding time travel tale that left me wanting more.

Oct 04, 2017

// On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas . . .\\
WRONG! ! ! King has done a pathetic lack of research on a most important and epochal subject [the murders of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., completely altered the progressive arc this country was on] and it blatantly shows throughout this poorly written fiction based upon fiction.
21 days . . . After October 11, 1963, when President Kennedy signed NSAM 263, allowing for the withdrawal of US military advisors from Vietnam, President Diem of Vietnam would be overthrown in a military coup and he and his brother would be most horrifically murdered [too gruesome for the details here] - - 21 days after that, President Kennedy would be killed in Dallas, TX, in another staged coup. And 21 days prior, during that coup in Saigon, fired CIA director, Allen Dulles, and CIA station chief in Italy, William Harvey, would meet in Dallas, TX, to set the stage for 21 days later on Nov. 22, 1963.
If only King could have written a fictionalized account based upon the truth . . .
[And for the record, far more than three shots rang out, but since those 3 or 4 Mannlicher-Carcano rifles were fired almost simultaneously, witnesses correctly identified 3 different points of origin, depending upon where they were situated, and the Secret Service agents correctly described a crossfire that day.]

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Aug 06, 2019

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