Author: Stephen King
Narrator: Craig Wasson
Published: 2011 Pages: 842
Audio Duration: 30 hours; 44 min
In Short: Jake Epping, a school teacher in a sleepy town, is persuaded to enter a time portal by a dying man who has just returned from the 1960s in an attempt to prevent the assassination of JFK.
Why I Read It: Work book club. I could tell you that I would have read this one anyway, but it probably would have taken me years to actually get to it.
Thoughts in General: A 5/5 rating is elusive for me. A book has to have something and it’s hard for me to define what that something is but this book definitely has it. I could rave about how well defined the main characters are—I felt as if I knew them personally and I grew to love them (plus a bonus for not having too many characters). I could go on and on about the writing and how King has a tendency to sweep me up in the action of the moment. I could talk about how the pieces—the nuances and the details—of this book all fit together perfectly. Not to mention that the time travel, the prospect of saving JFK from assassination, and the potential changes to the future are all so dang fascinating!
But all of those things don’t add up to a 5/5 for me. Beyond the characters and the plot and the writing is an author’s ability to connect with the heart of his reader and Stephen King did this for me with 11/22/63. Reading 11/22/63 ended up being a very physical and emotional read for me. There were times when I was so anxious for what was about to happen that I couldn’t stand to read anymore…and yet I couldn’t put the book down. And times still when my heart ached for the characters and other times when my heart filled with love and laughter. While there were some droning parts of the book (some of you might argue these parts equaled more than half of the book), I loved every second of it.
Bottom Line: I highly recommend 11/22/63. Perhaps I am being too glowing in my review but I don’t care (dammit—those 5/5 books don’t come along often for me so I’ll gush if I want to). Not everyone will love this book, though I think that most of you will enjoy it. I have heard that some people hate it but I think that must mean they have a heart of stone. And if you’re afraid of the politics or the time travel, don’t be. This isn’t a political book and while the time travel is unusual it won’t make your head hurt too much (I say just go with it). Ultimately it is a story of love and who doesn’t love that? Ok—there’s that history bit for those of you who don’t love love.
I feel like this post is too short. Like I’m not doing my feelings justice. It was a beautiful book that will stick with me for a long time.
Note on the Audio: This was my first time listening to Craig Wasson and at first I wasn’t sure that his voice was right but a couple hours into the audio I had forgotten all about whether or not I thought he was right because I was so immersed. Wasson was passionate and emotional and his accents were realistic. I can’t say that this audio was as good as Steven Weber’s narration of IT, but it was pretty dang fantastic. And this is the first audio in a long time (maybe ever) where my mind stuck with the audio instead of thinking about this that and the other. I highly recommend listening to this audio.
By the way, 11/22/63 is still only $3.99 for the Kindle…
So what say you? Have you read this one? What did you think? Have I convinced you to read it yet? Huh Huh Huh???
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you purchase 11/22/63 or anything else through these links, I will receive an itsy bitsy (but much appreciated) kick back.