Book review: 11.22.63 by Stephen King. One of the best time travel books, fiction
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Hard to believe, I know, but I have never read a novel by Stephen King. While I read a lot of books every year (200 in 2019), across most genres, I avoid horror. I can take a gruesome murder mystery, but don’t add in supernatural creepy crawlies. Nope.
But isn’t Stephen King the ultimate horror story writer? I mistakingly assumed every single one of his 61 published books fit this genre. A lesson not to make assumptions.
Last year I picked up King’s memoir On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. It was a spontaneous purchase in my favorite local bookstore, Run for Cover. A handwritten note card recommending it intrigued me. Well, King’s memoir way exceeded my expectations. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the book, but I grew to admire and like King as a person, based on the experiences he shared in the book. I still equated him with horror books, though, but was starting to open up towards reading one of his novels despite my horror aversion.
Goodreads challenges push me out of my reading comfort zone, in a good way. One of my favorites is Around the Year in 52 Books where readers complete 52 unique book challenges. Because this year prompt 52 is a book related to time, the rest is history – or should I say it is how to change history because that is the book’s theme.
I love space-time continuum stories. I’ll admit, I am a Trekker (not a Treckie, check here for the difference) and when Star Trek went time traveling I was all in. King trumped Star Trek with 11.22.63 – it is the ultimate time travel novel. And it is epic – more than 800 pages epic. Or over 30 hours ofAudible Gold Annual Membership
I was a little concerned about making such a commitment to a book I might not like, but I don’t know why I worried. 11.22.63 won a bajillion awards the year it came out and has a commendable 4.32-star rating. All deserved.
I was enthralled by this book (I listened to the Audible version). I loved it! The story had fun twists and turns and diversions leading up to the main event, but they all tied together well. The twists and turns worked to build up my connection to the characters.
After reading King’s memoir I could see where he pulled on personal experiences to flesh out descriptions and characters. That added to my enjoyment of the book. I was so engaged in this book I pretty much binge listened to the entire book (most of it during my road trip to take my van Eve in for her Glampervan maker-over). I can’ think of a better road trip read! One of the best time travel books in fiction today!11.22.63 by Stephen King
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on July 5, 2012
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Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.>