11.22.63 by Stephen King

Rating 9.0/10
A compelling tale of alternate history and time travel

11.22.63 finds Stephen King on top form. A compelling tale of alternate history and time travel showcasing King’s skill as a storyteller as he effortlessly weaves together fact and fiction, highlighting the benefits of meticulous research.

Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, finds himself able to journey back to 1958. He goes from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a world of Elvis and JFK, and of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. His life now transgresses the normal rules of time and he must decide if he is willing to change the course of history and prevent the assassination of JFK.

Stephen King is a great author and when he is good, he is very, very good. 11.22.63 finds the author of IT, The Stand, Salem’s Lot, The Green Mile and a plethora of other critically-acclaimed novels right at the top of his game, announcing to all that his writing powers are still firmly undiminished. For some reason not all authors get better as they age, maybe they simply run out of good ideas but King’s imagination remains as fertile as ever and his talent for regaling readers with a great story and great characters still potent.

The skill in writing a book containing both alternate history and time travel lies in making it credible. This King manages thanks to meticulous research, the unerring accuracy of his portrayal of 50's America and his inherent understanding of human nature and causality. The author has put much of his own love into this book's pages and this is clearly found in the fondly-remembered America of his childhood and in the joy with which he imbues the chapters in which teaching high school children is a focus. After reading one of King's novels it is difficult not to like America just a little more than you did previously.

11.22.63 is full of suspense, nostalgia and historical insight. So put yourself in King's increasingly more capable hands and get your hands on a book that simply urges you to turn its pages. This latest book is every bit as good as anything that King has written before and fans of IT will be delighted to revisit the Derry of 1958 for a brief encounter with Richie Tozier and Beverly Marsh. This book's excellence bodes well for fantasy fans, with the release of The Wind Through the Keyhole only 2 months away. Highly recommended to all, especially those who may have avoided King's work in the past due to its connections with horror. This is a book that should not be missed.

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11.22.63 reader reviews

from Australia

9-stars

Immersion is something that a book can rarely lay claim to truly possessing. It is rare in the sense that so many other things- be it pacing, characters, language, setting, and relatability (to name a few)- all factor into its success. This book though is one of those rare examples. With King it is usually hit or miss with me but there is no denying that this book is the work of a master storyteller. 11/22/63 is not just a book but is also a fully fleshed-out experience that itself acts as a portal to the past. It biggest selling point (much like IT) lies King's ability to form a connection to the reader emotionally which is strengthened by the sense of nostalgia that he always seems to deliver with such a seemless accuracy. With all that said, there is very little to fault this book on. However, the one thing I did have difficulty with is the political side of the book (specifically in regards to Oswald) and that is only because I know that King himself supports the view he presents within. Regardless of this small issue there is no denying the greatness that this book accomplishes.

9/10 from 2 reviews

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