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 listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it. It begins with Jake Epping, a 35-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 50 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.
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Stephen King On Writing is one of my favorite books, and I read it every couple of years. Half memoir, half writing “how to,” it is absorbing and delightful. I recommend it to my students and suggest that they read it every year.
However, that is the only one of King’s books that I’ve been able to read. I’ve tried many times, but kept getting bogged down after 20 or 30 pages. The stories were okay, but couldn’t hold my interest because the writing seemed too heavy handed, brutish, like he was typing with his fists.
So, after days of consideration, it was with great reluctance that I downloaded 11/22/63. The reviews were good, glowing, in fact, and I’ve learned to trust the opinions of Audible listeners. Plus, the book is more than 30 hours long, which the bargain hunter in me always finds attractive.
I just finished it tonight. It is a wonderful and fascinating story, based loosely on an English teacher’s obsession with Lee Harvey Oswald and the possibility of going back in time to prevent the Kennedy killing. I also enjoyed the love story, which the author handles with charm, humor and honesty.
The writing is wonderful, masterful, vivid, compelling. The characters are rich and deep, genuine, involved, and I find myself thinking about them and their lives often throughout the day. Life in small-town and big-town 1958 up to 1963 is mesmerizing, much as I remember it, with the constant but subtle hint of mysterious dangers to come.
You’ll get no more details from me, only a hearty endorsement. Well worth every minute, made doubly valuable by the excellent and interesting reading by Craig Wasson. Totally believable, wonderfully surprising, and, well, I was going to say something about the ending, but you'll want to find that out for yourself.
NOW YOUR COOKING WITH GAS Well researched historical fiction, great romance, an old story done in a new way, teasers, small horror, action, but mostly a movie theatre experience is what you get in this long, but short book. THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES Have you experienced a movie so good, so well done that you feel you are in it? When you walk out of the theatre it takes you a while to get your brain back to reality. This books is so well written and so well narrated, you will lose yourself in it. You will feel you are watching this on an I-max screen in 3D with surround sound. Compared to King most other authors are ALL HAT AND NO CATTLE. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU, to immerse yourself.
IF YOUR IN LOVE, SMALL POX SCARS ARE AS PRETTY AS DIMPLES. At least one reviewer has put down the romance. I am not a fan of romance novels, but I could not help falling in love with the main female character and wishing her all the best. I wanted so much for there to be a happy ending and I will not tell you how it ends. It may have been ROMANCE AT SHORT NOTICE, but when she says HOW WE DANCED, I cried. I am a macho man, so I will deny this, DON'T ASK DON'T TELL. I HAVE POUND CAKE.
MY OLD MAN DRIVES A SUBMARINE The book is thoroughly researched, down to the price of a root beer and the rhyming games of jump roping little girls. I love historical fiction and welcome King to the genre. A BLAST FROM THE PAST, A PLATTER THAT MATTERS.
YOU AIN'T FROM AROUND HERE. In this 30 hours plus story that goes by too quickly, King also touches on several themes that are near and dear to my heart. He talks about cities or towns with personalities. I moved around a lot as a child of a military family. It is something I noticed even as a kid. Today I deliver to several grocery stories and I find they have personalities all their own, even chain stories. I find empathy varies greatly in different people and charm can go a long way in a persons career. Lots of times it is not how smart you are, it is how charming you are that gets you ahead in life. IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS PAY CASH.
TOUGH TITTIES I did have a few issues, most of them minor. The book had a few teasers, I found annoying. This story is way over done. Grimwood has a great book called Replay, written in the 70's about when King was thinking about writing this story, that is pretty damn good. A lot of time travel books have been written and those written by authors of King's generation love to go back and try and save Kennedy. They seem to think that had he lived, life would be so much greater now. I also think that King took the 5th on this and did not answer the question. It seems to be the main question of the entire book and after thirty hours he does not answer it. I did not care for THE PAST HARMONIZES, aspect of the book and felt it detracted from the story. I also worry about glorifying the past. I remember when people in customer service type jobs totally sucked. I remember dreading going to the Dept. of Rev. cause of the mean hateful old ladies that worked there. You would stand in line for hours and when you got to the head of the line they would tell you, you needed to go to another line. When you walked into a hamburger joint the teenager behind the counter, would usually make it plain she rather be anywhere else then taking your order. Companies today have trained their people to be better in customer service and most seem to be happy to help. I remember bias ply tires and cars that broke down after 100,000 miles. In my day you better know how to change a tire. I have shopped at Western Auto stores, I much prefer Lowe's. I won't even go into civil rights, Women's rights, less freedom of speech and the cast system that was much more pronounced in the old days. We are better today then we were in the 60's. ASK ME NO QUESTIONS AND I'LL TELL YOU NO LIES.
YOU NEED TO DIG OUT YOUR EARS. This narrator is excellent and I loved the secret voices he added. Listen carefully and tell me if you don't hear, Burt Lancaster, John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and John Houseman. Oh, they may not be perfect, but I liked them. PUDDIN' TANE, ASK ME AGAIN AND I'LL TELL YOU THE SAME.