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Search - 11/22/63

Author: Stephen King
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination -- a thousand page tour de force. — Following his massively successful novel Un...  more », King 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 50 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.

A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best. 
ISBN-13: 9781451627282
ISBN-10: 1451627289
Publication Date: 11/8/2011
Pages: 849
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 278 ratings
Publisher: Scribner
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 41
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

perryfran avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 912 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I had kind of given up on Stephen King - I believe the last novel of his I tried to read was "Lisey's Story" a few years ago which I couldn't finish. I loved all of his earlier works including "Salem's Lot," "Carrie," "The Shining," "The Stand," and on and on, but some of his later stuff just didn't do it for me. But when I first heard about "11/22/63" and its premise of going back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination, I had to read it! I got a copy as a Christmas gift and I was not disappointed. This has to be one of King's best books since "The Stand" - I loved every word of it (and that's a lot of words - almost 850 pages worth)! I was 13 in 1963 when Kennedy was killed and I actually remember thinking at the time that it would be nice to go back and prevent the killing - it really was like a bad dream. King's book uses this idea and the resulting novel is all that you could ask for in a time travel story. Some of it was reminiscent of the "Back to the Future" movies including using known sporting events results as a betting tool to make money. It also reminded me a little of "It's a Wonderful Life" and how changes can effect other events and people's lives. Along the way in this novel, King takes us back to Derry, Maine and the events of his novel "It". He then provides a myriad of information about Lee Oswald and his wife Marina, and the events leading to 11/22/63. The novel also includes a great love story and the ending I thought was near perfect. This is the first book I have read in 2012 and I doubt I will read a better one this year - very high recommendation!
Chocoholic avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 291 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This is one thick book, coming in just shy of 850 pages, and I won't lie, it's not my favorite work by Stephen King but an enjoyable read nonetheless. The story is about Jake Epping, a single schoolteacher who finds a portal to 1958 in the back of a diner and sets out on a mission to save John F. Kennedy's life on November 22, 1963. There's a love story running right through the center of the story, and this I think is one of the only faults in the book, because the love story part runs a bit on the long side and bogs the main tension line down. The ending is somewhat unexpected and bittersweet--what is with Mr. King writing tearjerkers of late? On the whole, a good book with some surprises, good, bad, and ugly.
ASJ avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 337 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
It was better than I expected. Main character Jake/George was well written. Book was way too long could have cut 25% and not missed much. Worse thing was I had a pretty good idea how it was going to end. Last chapter was charming though. Read Stepehn King's afterward at end of book it was very interesting.
AZmom875 avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 608 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I dont read horror, or graphic violent books, but I have read a few of Stephen King's earlier novels: Carrie, The Stand, The Green Mile, and Pet Sementary. I am not a devoted King fan. I thought he kinda became a formula horror writer. I won this book in a the WLVB in a contest here on PBS. (Thanks Richard) That is the only reason it came into my hands.

I offered this book in another swap game, and it seemed a shame to not read it before I mailed it off. I read many other posts that said despite its 850 pages, it was a fast read: 200 pages a day fast read. I tested that theory and found I read it in 3 days. So dont let the length scare you off.

I am a big fan of time travel, and butterfly effect books, and movies, so this was right up my alley. I love our main character,Jake/George. Even thought I was a not a big King fan, I caught the connection between the clown in IT and the town of Derry, Maine that our character soon finds himself in.

This book doesnt try answer some of they WHYS of time time travel, so that makes it easier to read. Some readers hated the love story. I found it to be the best part. Because when you think about it, this is a love story. Love your country, love your friend, love a woman, even love yourself. Too many choices...if you can have only one.

I loved the book. I think you will too.
readnroks avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book was well worth the read. I had never read a Stephen King book, but loved the writing style and the unique storyline. Don't let the size of the book scare you, it is a fast read.
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kopsahl48 avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 181 more book reviews
Schoolteacher Jake Epping is about to learn to most stunning secret ever. After being summoned to Al Diner he is told of a portal aka the rabbit hole that will take him back to 1958. Als lifetime obsession is to prevent that assassination of John F. Kennedy and he has compiled a book full of Lee Harvey Oswalds movements up but he is missing the keydid he act alone or not. Now cancer has taken the opportunity for Al to find out and he must confide in one man who is young enough, smart enough and doesnt have many ties to go back thru the portal and hang around until 1963 to find out and possibly stop Oswald from committing the assassination. Als time is short and he needs Jake to believe him so he sends him thru to test the waters. Jake does have one thing he would like to change about what happened to one of his adult students, coincidentally, in 1958, and decides to test the rabbit hole. Even after somewhat successfully achieving his goal and coming back, Jake is hesitant but Al does something to force his hand and Jake has no choice but to head back under his fake identity that Al created for him, George.

Having to wait around until 1963, Jake/George starts to become bored and wants to teach again and begins to form attachments to some very interesting characters all of which he was warned not to do. Each new character ends up playing an intricate part in what he came to do. 11/22/63 wouldnt be the novel it is without all the trials that Jake/George endures during his time in the past. The reader becomes deeply invested and wish for a happy outcome even though fate has another idea on what is to become of those that meddle with the future. History does not like change and even though Al warned Jake/George about this, it still takes all of us by surprise.

I loved every page of this 842 page novel. King had me quickly flipping pages to find out what happens next and then he left me raw and broken at the end. The time travel aspect is real basic. The portal takes the person to the same day every time and each time you enter it will reset all that was changed that last time someone went through. Though you may be gone for months or years, in your future time you are only gone 2 minutes. The blending of fact and fiction is one of Kings strengths and it is showcased brilliantly in this remarkable read. If you enjoyed Under to Dome you will love what King has in store for you in 11/22/63.
NYbooks avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 92 more book reviews
SciFi/ Historical Fiction. * * *. An aging Diner owner entrusts to a middle aged teacher the secret of a time portal located in his Diner in the hopes that the teacher may finish a job the aging owner was too sick to finish himself: travel back in time and stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. At least thats what the book jacket says. That summary is really the backstory; the motivation, if you will, that propels that protagonist's actions.

Jake Epping establishes a second life in the past as he awaits the day he must act. As time passes, critical decisions must be made; decisons that, ironically, were unforeseen; such as, HIS future in the past. The book really asks: Can you live in the past when you know what the future holds?

The book could have been about two hundred pages shorter. Jake takes an initial jaunt as "practice" that really don't affect the rest of the story, if only to establish how the hidden time portal works.

Without divulging whether or not Jake succeeds in his mission, I will say that King's use of time teleportation and its butterfly effects add realism to the conclusion.
theatregirl avatar reviewed 11/22/63 on + 2 more book reviews
I LOVED this book!! I'm not even a "die hard" Stephen King person. I have absolute respect for him as a successful author - no doubt - I just don't get everything that he does. I've enjoyed some of his work though, I even made it through "Under The Dome", which I thought was okay. It was good enough to get me through all 1,088 pages but I wasn't super excited about it.

I loved 11/22/63 though. It really makes you wonder what life would be like if one thing had or hadn't happened. There are so many of those "watershed moments" in all of our lives, some affect a smaller circle of us, some affect the entire nation and spread to the rest of the world like the assassination of John F. Kennedy and 9/11. We immediately think if only those things didn't happen, life would be great, but would it? What would you do if you had the power to change fate? Would it really make things better or worse if things didn't follow the way they are meant to be?

This is really a GREAT book for a book club. You can really get into some wonderful, deep discussions. Books that get you thinking and talking afterwards. Love that!!

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