11/22/63 by Stephen King
11/22/63 by Stephen King is a story of “what if’s”.
What if you could go back in time? What if you were SURE who shot JFK? What if you could prevent it? What if you could prevent something else while you were back there anyway. But, what if you screw up?
Jake Epping is a recently divorced schoolteacher in Maine. While at the local diner one day Al, the owner, tells him he has been time travelling. Sure. A day later, Al looks like he’s aged considerably, and is dying. He tells Jake that it is because he has been living in the past for years, and apparently while years go by in the past, only two minutes go by here. Jake tests the theory and finds out Al didn’t lie, he arrived at 11:58 on September 9, 1958. There are rules. Apparently that’s where you always start. If you change something in the past and go back, it has been re-set, so whatever you have done hasn’t happened. However, the past doesn’t want to be changed, and roadblocks will appear every time you try.
Al has been collecting data. He wants to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Thus far he has delayed killing Oswald, because he wanted to make sure it really was Oswald who shot him, and that he was acting alone. Now it is too late. Al won’t live long enough to complete the mission. Jake agrees to take his place, using the information Al has discovered, and following the path. He is also hoping to change the life of a “student” of his, whose father had hit him with a hammer and caused him irreversible brain damage before killing the rest of his family.
On a “lighter” note, Jake finds love. Well, whether it’s everlasting….
Stephen King has once again created a blockbuster of a book. An enormous undertaking, and so much research to get the 1950’s and 1960’s “looking” like they did. The characters, well, they are classic Stephen King. Deep, real, and sometimes a little quirky. The story line, although far-fetched, is “somewhat” believable. For how big a book this was, it was a fairly fast read. It flowed so smoothly, and, as always with a King novel, it held your attention.
Great book. Makes you wonder, what if….
Favorite quotes from 11/22/63:
“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.”
“Sometimes the things presented to us as choices aren’t choices at all.”
“…women are better at keeping secrets, but men are more comfortable with them.”