Thursday, May 9, 2013

SHS Book Club: Stephen King's 11/22/63

I've never read a Stephen King book before. Isn't that crazy? I know it. It's like telling people I don't know what Facebook is.

11/22/63 by Stephen King is an awesome book. I loved it! Be warned though, it is long. On my iPad Mini, it was 2000+ pages of reading. The typical book on my iPad is about 500 pages so it was long.

The date, 11/22/63, is the day that John F. Kennedy was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald. The book centers around a character named Jake Epping, who is a time traveler that attempts to go back and prevent the assassination of JFK.

I won't give away anything so no spoilers here. The idea of time travel in itself is always intriguing and always brings up a million questions for me. I remember watching Back to the Future when Marty took the picture of his family from the present to the past and would look at the picture to see if his family members disappear to know whether he was doing the right things in the past so as not to change the future. Stephen King did a wonderful job of setting the scene for the late 50s and early 60s and made me nostalgic (I wasn't even born yet!) for those simpler times.

As most time travel books or movies go, I always have questions. I kept notes with questions as I read so that when Brian reads the book, I can ask him his thoughts about my questions. I think that King did an awesome job of not leaving any gaping holes in his time travel saga. For instance, the character Jake understood there would be huge repercussions to the future when he brought his cell phone back to the past. It's those little details throughout the book that King made sure to emphasize that bring to light just how profound "the butterfly effect" really is or could be.

Mixing the time travel idea with such a huge event in our nation's history made the book even more fun to read. As with other historical fiction that I've read lately, I found myself Googling the characters to see what they really looked like such as Marina Oswald (Lee's wife) and their daughter June. King did his homework. He really captured all of the details surrounding all the conspiracy theories as well as the details of Oswald leading up to the assassination. You definitely feel like you are right there in the middle of life-changing events.

The book doesn't only focus on Jake's quest to save the president. He arrives in the past in 1958 and has to wait five years for that key day. In those five years, he meets people, lives life, and even meets a woman. This then leads me to think about how in "real life," he isn't even born yet so in his real time, this woman is very old. Oh time travel. You do know how to mess with me!

I highly recommend this book. Apparently is not a typical Stephen King book so I'll have to go and read one his more typical books. If you have any interest in JFK's murder, if you find time travel mind-bending and fun, if you want a book that will keep you interested the entire way through, if you have a long vacation and want a great book, this is a good one! This book was on the best selling list for 17 weeks. It won Best Mystery/Thriller award from the L.A. Times in 2012.

If you have read this book, tell me what you thought about it!

After reading such a mind bender, I had to pick up a chick-lit book. I'm now reading How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal.


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JoKnows said...

I need to start reading more of the hundreds of books around here! I don't recall if I've ever read a Stephen King book, but this one sounds intriguing! He certainly does write long ones, doesn't he!

盛豐 said...