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11.22.63 [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We Must Begin to View Stephen King Differently Nov. 20 2011
By Jeffrey Swystun TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
All of King's books carry high expectations given his prolific record of entertainment. Personally, I could not wait for 11/22/63. The premise of time travel and the incredible event the author chooses to explore make for an engaging premise. Mix in the fact that King first envisioned this book in 1971 and one can not help but be intrigued. However, I found enjoyment less in the time travel, Presidential assassination, and conspiracy aspects than I did in his descriptions, tone and atmosphere of the period he captures and the characters he builds and so effortlessly makes to interact in authentic and believable ways.

Having read King's reviews and views in Entertainment Weekly, I know he and I share an admiration of author Richard Russo. The characters Russo brings to life could easily be people we know or bump into in our daily interactions. And I believe that King has comparable skills in this area but is often not recognized as we all debate his horror plots more than we credit his admirable writing skills. He is extremely self-deprecating in this regard having been quoted as saying, "I am the literary equivalent of a Big Mac and Fries."

The metaphysical time travel aspects of the book may slightly disappoint. The JFK assassination will always fascinate even though King is clear on his view of a broader conspiracy. So those two aspects are worthy reasons alone to read this book, however, the value and entertainment are found in King's exploration of human motivations, frailties, and relationships. His true skills are often over shadowed given his subject matter of vampires, haunted hotels, alien encounters, malevolent evil, and other dimensions. I am hopeful that when his career is viewed in the aggregate, it will be debated and discussed for its true contribution in exploring the balance of good and evil and how that conflict roars in each and every individual.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 11/22/63 Jan. 28 2012
Format:Hardcover
Stephen King is a master storyteller. We all know this. So I should not have been surprised to have been swept away from the get go and taken to the Land of Ago, but I was. I was! I walked with Jake Epping through the 50s and 60s and into my own past.

11/22/63 as the title implies is a story centered on one, of the far too many, watershed moments of our lives: the assassination of John F Kennedy. Jake Epping, a middle aged high school teacher reads a story by one of his adult students, a gruesome, heart wrenching, true story, that brings him to tears, not a common response; no wait an extremely rare, response from Jake. Shortly thereafter Jake receives a call from a local diner owner, who has a portal to the past to show him and a story to tell. He also has cancer and is enlisting Jake to act on his behalf, go back in time and save John F. Kennedy. But this is King so there are rules and Jake now has his own little bit of history that he would like to see changed.

I was taken on a journey by the King's own hand, held captive from cover to cover. And beyond! I'm not going to go in to this story. If you want a fantastic experience read it for yourselves, because it is King's story that you need to hear. Let me just say that in his masterful hands you are transported in time to the late 50's, early 60's and that he is spot on! Everything is slower, simpler, a time of Glenn Miller and swing, with 59 Chevy's and fins that went on forever! Cleaner air, unpreserved, delicious home cooking, friendly, trusting people, no cell phones, pre -Vietnam America! Camelot! Of course there is the other side of this era, from which King does not shy away: racism, domestic violence, cold wars and every ounce of oxygen polluted with first and second hand smoke.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 11/22/63 Dec 4 2011
By JulianF
Format:Hardcover
I am a fan of Stephen Kings. A Constant Reader if you will. However I do admit to enjoying some of his books more than others. This book, 11/22/63 is one of those books. I began reading with no expectations and was delighted. I found myself engaged by the characters and the lived world of the people in the story. I was curious about how the story would end but not so much that I wanted to skip to the end. This is one of his best books. Like the main character I learned about this time period in my history class in high school and now I am curious to know more. If you have a teenager who is not really a reader and has a history project this book might spark his/her imagination. It did mine. I definitely recommend this book - even to non-fans. The supernatural element is minimal, secondary even. I actually cried a little at the end (and not over the assassination or time travel). Won't give away the plot. ;-)
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King's best in years Jan. 7 2012
By Samantha TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Don't let Stephen King's reputation for horror keep you from reading this. Nor the time travel. It is neither horror nor traditional sci-fi. It is a well constructed, thoughtful story of "what if". It has a fair amount of violence after the first 500 pages, but nothing like The Stand or Under the Dome. It is necessary violence, even when it seems superfluous. Keep reading and it will make sense. I was, once again, stunned by Stephen King's ability to write perfect sentence after perfect sentence, while bringing the characters and setting alive in a few words. The plot is highly creative. I enjoyed it heartily but started getting a little antsy a couple hundred pages into it when I realized that foiling JFK's assassination was not the main focus for the foreseeable chapters. It seemed a side story was taking over. However, once I got over that, I sat back and enjoyed this whopping good yarn about the adventures of an English teacher who travels back to 1958 from 2011, and the four years of his life leading up to the Kennedy assassination of 11/22/63, which he intends to stop. The small town of Jodie, Texas, early 60's, is where much of the novel takes place. A love story develops between the English teacher from the future and that town of the past. I found myself hoping the teacher never has to leave Jodie, because I liked it there. Of course, with élan, and at just the right time, King brings the crazy Lee Harvey Oswald to life in vivid colour. Kennedy's fate then looms largely. Although a book of fiction, King's portrayal of Oswald is based on fact, so it was interesting historically. Those parts of the book dedicated to Oswald and his associates were sometimes a bit bland, but, I promise you, the pace picks up. The last hundred pages or so are quite a ride. Apparently King tried writing this tome in 1972. I'm glad he waited until now. Personally, I needed the 50 years distance.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars he did it again
Great read history and fiction melded into a gray story. King is king for a reason. Read them all and this is in my king top ten
Published 23 days ago by Maryannec
5.0 out of 5 stars It was a trip to my past.
He took me back. Never thought I could make the trip like that. It was remarkable. King captured it all, even the smell. Probably one of the best books I have ever read. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pockets
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Gift for a King Fan
I have not read the book, personally. It was a gift for my wife who is a big Stephen King fan. I asked her what she thought and she said that she really enjoyed it.
Published 1 month ago by AlbertaRob
5.0 out of 5 stars Ėmouvant!
J'ai 67 ans et ce retour dans le temps m'a grandement ému. C'est le premier livre de Stephen King que je lis et je m'en veux un peu de pas avoir démarré plus... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jacques Clément
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting
Loved this book - very early Stephen King-like - I raced through it and will probably re-read it very soon..
Published 2 months ago by dufferingirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King 11/22/63
Stephen King never disappoints.
This is right up there with The Stand in my personal opinion.
Highly recommend this read.
Published 3 months ago by Andrew Fairbrother
5.0 out of 5 stars heartbreak
Amazing story. Though truly heart breaking.especially from the master of horror. I fell in love with Jake.I wished the ending could have been happy.
Published 5 months ago by christina
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story
Its one of my fav books! I love the atmosphere, setting and story. Liseys story is my number one and this is the second. You will love the characters.
Published 6 months ago by Weldon Klassen
5.0 out of 5 stars Contented consumer!!
This is a departure for King, a time travel tale that he had in mind many years ago. I'm glad he pursued the idea because it is a very well-told and compelling story. Read more
Published 6 months ago by cherrylynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Great novel
I love Stephen King and this novel has all the great character development and intriguing, weird plot twists I love so much. A great book. I'll read it again.
Published 6 months ago by Shannon Darby Jane Witham
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