Book: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Pages: 849; Hardcover; Published by Scribner

It’s been years since I’ve read Stephen King, so when this book popped up on my recommendation list, I decided I needed to read it. 

11/22/1963 is about Jake Epping, a man who goes back in time to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. 

I thought it was just okay.  But when did Stephen King stop writing horror/supernatural stuff and start writing novels that are more science-fiction?  His stuff always had a hint of science-fiction, I suppose, but for some reason, it seems like he’s more science-fiction than horror.

Back to the actual book though.  It was well-written, but most of the book focused on the 5 years leading up to the assassination.  There was a lot of build-up for something that didn’t last very long in the book.  And with the element of time-travel thrown in, the main character goes back to his present time, only to learn that the entire country has been living in a nuclear winter.

It’s not as suspenseful or as thrilling as I would have expected, and it’s more about Epping’s long lost love than the Kennedy assassination.  There’s not enough conspiracy theory in it for me.  The book doesn’t really delve into how the Kennedy assassination would change the course of history, and when we finally got to it, it felt rushed.  Almost like King forgot what he was writing. 

It had a good start, with a boring middle and rushed/anti-climactic ending.  The ending wasn’t what I expected, with Epping having to choose between staying in present time and letting it all be done with, or going back and trying to change fewer things.  Either way, it was a let down, because why go through with trying to change it?

It could have been a really interesting book, but I think going back to 1-2 years before the assassination (at most) would have been nice.  5 years before was just too long of a time.  And if it had focused on how an attempted assassination changed history instead of the events leading up to it, I think it could have been a lot better and a lot more interesting.

I give it a 2 out of 5.  Slightly disappointing- it was just okay.

2 thoughts on “11/22/63

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