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AUTHOR: Stephen King
Overall: ★★★★★ (5)
One of the Ten Best Books of The New York Times Book Review
Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Now a miniseries from Hulu starring James Franco
ON NOVEMBER 22, 1963, THREE SHOTS RANG OUT IN DALLAS, PRESIDENT KENNEDY DIED, AND THE WORLD CHANGED. WHAT IF YOU COULD CHANGE IT BACK?
In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.
It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
Buy the book HERE!
MY 2 CENTS:
WRITING: I love reading, and I’ll be the first to admit that if the story is good enough bad writing doesn’t necessarily ruin the experience for me. Because of this, some books may receive a higher rating from me simply because the story was fantastic… maybe as a reader you don’t agree with that method, but I feel that creativity in a story should outweigh the other flaws one might find. HOWEVER, this was not one of those books… This one topped the charts on writing, story development, character development, back story, flashbacks, structure, etc. etc. etc.
Stephen King is a master when it comes to creative writing. He develops characters that are more believable than the people you live next door to… but, with this story, he weaved together a fine thread of life. Creating fictional characters and weaving them into a reality with real life historical figures can’t be easy, yet King makes it seem seamless.
STORY: At first glance, looking at the cover, one might think this book focuses on the assassination of President J.F. Kennedy. In reality, this is a time-travel novel. Sure, it involves the Kennedy assassination, but that is not the primary focus. This book focuses on Jake Epping, a man of 2011 who travels back in time to 1958. We get to see how his actions in the past affect his life and the lives of others. It shows how the butterfly effect can have both positive and negative ramifications on the world and the course of history. It begs the reader to think about what he/she might do in a similar situation, or to think about the decisions you make in your every day life that seem mundane or harmless… How do those small decision affect the greater good?
CHARACTERS: As with all of King’s novels, I loved getting to know the characters. I enjoyed reading the details of Jake’s realization of what was happening and the weight of the responsibility that was placed on him. His journey takes him through struggles we can only imagine. He grows, learns, fails, succeeds, falls in love, and endures unmeasurable loss.
APPEARANCE: The cover is simply perfect.
MY FAVORITE QUOTES:
I’m an author, so of course I loved this one: “When all else fails, give up and go to the library.”
“Sometimes the things presented to use as choices aren’t choices at all.”
“When you put on a clown suit and a rubber nose, nobody has any idea what you look like inside.”
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Did you know that Hulu turned 11/22/63 into a mini-series? It did… Want to know my thoughts about the mini-series? Check out my blog post HERE! Blog Review of the mini-series will be active on Sunday, April 14, 2019.
You can also check out my YouTube review of the mini-series below (video review will be posted on Sunday, April 14, 2019: