Book Review: 11/22/63

My favorite effect that reading has on people is that words have the ability to temporarily transport us to a different universe. Your pain, your stress, your problems, they all go away for an hour or two. Stephen King’s 2011 novel 11/22/63 did just that for me.

Here’s the plot: One day, newly divorced English teacher, Jake Epping, stumbles into the world of time-travel. He has the ability to go back in time to the 1950's and basically alter his present-day life in not only Maine, but the entire world. What does he want to travel back in time to prevent? The assassination of JFK. He also fills the pain of his divorce with finding a brand new love with a school librarian, Sadie Dunhill, a woman who is technically almost twice his age in 2011… but not in 1958 ;)

Does Jake find the love he’s looking for? Does he stop Harvey Oswald from killing president John F. Kennedy? Oh, and be ready for the thrill of what happens along the way! So open up this book and read it… After you read what else I have to say. The only negative to this book (and several King novels) is that it is long. 849 pages. Gasp! But do not fear! It is hard to put down and easy to pick up.

One thing King is really great at is the ability to create a story to engage his reader and keep that readers attention the entire story. King will never be described as, “basic”, “predictable”, or “dull”. Also, King gives great life lessons within his twisted and sometimes extremely gory stories. With that in mind, I’d like to grab a few quotes that really stuck out to me (though better in their context):

“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.”

“I’m one of those people who doesn’t really know what he thinks until he writes it down.”

“Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?” He stared at me, baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?”

These three quotes kind of tell a little about the story, a little bit about King’s style, and a little bit about me. “We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” This is talking about the butterfly effect. What happens in the past could potentially alter the future. An insect gets stepped on, 9/11 happens. Drastic example? Yes. Possible? Who knows! That’s the trill!

“I’m one of those people who doesn’t really know what he thinks until he writes it down.” Boom. Me. Hit the nail on the head.

Lastly, “Yeah, but what if you went back and killed your own grandfather?” He stared at me baffled. “Why the fuck would you do that?” I love a book with a little sense of humor. SPEAKING OF. If you want to read a good young adult book that’ll make you laugh out loud every single chapter, I highly recommend Me, and Earl, and the Dying Girl. Back to business now. I love King’s twisted and sick sense of humor, mostly because I’m the same way. He isn’t always politically correct, which engages me more and makes his writing THAT much more genuine and real.

SO! Go get the book on amazon or your local library and eat your hearts out! Enjoy being transported to the year 1958!

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