August 7, 2012

Review: "11/22/63" By Stephen King

Whee-Doggy!  This was a great novel from start-to-finish!  A real barn-burner of a book!  Over the years I have come to conclusion that Stephen King may very well be the modern American equivalent of Charles Dickens, and 11/22/63 has only reinforced that notion.  The man sure knows how to write about the human character--both good and bad. 

11/22/63 is not a mystery, it is not a tale of horror, nor is it fantasy.  In my humble opinion, this is simply one helluva good story about a whole bunch of interesting characters inside one humdinger of a plot.  I started this early one morning and in about 48 hours I'd plowed through all 850 pages.  You just can't put this damn thing down once started!

In a nutshell, here's the premise of the novel--

If you could go back in time are there things that you'd try and change?  In 11/22/63, the protagonist, Jake Epping, has just this opportunity, and he goes back in time in an effort to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.  The only catch is that he has to go back in the Fall of 1958--so, he needs to integrate himself into the America of the late-50s for nearly five years before that fateful day in Dallas in 1963.  What one learns during the course of reading this incredible novel is that the past is obdurate to change, and that there are always unintended consequences to all of the actions, be they in the past or present.  I am not going to say any more about the plot of the novel, other than it is one of the more thought-provoking plots I've encountered in a while.  There were a lot of 'Whoa!' moments as I read this book.

After reading a lot of Stephen King's fiction in the 70s and 80s, and especially after reading his magnum opus "The Stand", I kind of stopped reading his work.  I think it was because I just felt that The Stand really couldn't be topped, and that I wanted that novel to be my standard of excellence associated with his body of work.  Well, I gotta say that 11/22/63 is right up there, and I think is destined to ultimately be considered a true classic of 'time-travel' fiction.  I highly recommend this book, you won't be sorry.  Finally, I have to say that I think that this book would make one terrific movie!


By Stephen King
Scribner, 2011
Hardcover, 849 pages


  1. "11/22/63 is not a mystery, it is not a tale of horror, nor is it fantasy. In my humble opinion, this is simply one helluva good story"

    Definitely. I was recently trying to describe the book to someone who was suspicious it would be horror when they saw the author. "Helluva good story" is really the best way to describe it.

  2. I loved this book too! I've only read The Shining, but I was blown away by what an excellent writer Stephen King is. Interesting comparison to Dickens--I would have to agree with that sentiment.

    I also agree that it will make a terrific movie--can't wait!