Reviews · Sci-fi

11/22/63 by Stephen King

4 out of 5 Hoots

If you were able to go back in time to change a major historical event would you? This question has been asked in various movies and TV shows, for instance in Doctor Who they say that you can’t change a fixed point in time. In this book Stephen King takes the approach that time doesn’t want to be changed.

In 11/22/63 Jack Epping is given the chance to go back in time and stop the Kennedy assassination. The only catch is that the rabbit hole he jumps through can only take him to Sept. 9, 1958 and he will have to live in the past until the day assassination. If he makes a mistake he can come back to the present (which will always only be 2 minutes from the time he left no matter how long it felt in the past) and start over. Again, this rabbit hole starts on Sept. 9, 1958 so it is crucial that he doesn’t mess up. The only thing is that any tiny change that Jake makes can have repercussions for the future. Not only that the past will fight to balance itself.

Throughout the book there are moments where time seems to echo an event from the past. He helps raise funds to help a student have surgery to repair a scar on her face and the woman he loves gets attacked and slashed on her face in the same spot as the girl from earlier in the book. Other times, instead of there being an echo, time seems to just attack him instead. For example a bus he was in getting in a horrible crash in order to slow him down so that he cannot anything. There were so many small details that show the effects of time changing and fighting back, it was so interesting!

Overall, this book was pretty fantastic. I loved following Jack navigate through time in order to stop the Kennedy assassination. He stakes out locations, figures out a cover story as to who he is, and tries to find the best way to stop the assassination before it. But there is more to it than that, he ends up creating a life and falling in love. This ended up paying a major role in this story.

You can tell that King really did his research into this time period and all of the products that he mentioned. It really felt like you were pulled into that time period. As Jack fell in love with this world I found myself feeling the same way….well not ALL of it. You have to remember racism was still a prominent problem in the past and King didn’t shy away from that. He made sure to let you know that there was still ugliness back then.

The only reason this book did not get 5 stars is because some of the portions seemed to drag on. I understand that this happens when your book is trying to span 6 years and we had to get invested in Jacks relationship with his town and his girl friend, but still some parts dragged. I struggled not giving it 5 stars, but I felt that we could have done without some of the story. There were many sections in the book that were absolute page turners, especially when time began fighting back. It was always surprising to see how time managed to balance itself out or echo back. Everything seemed to have a consequence and the ending of the book reflected that. I was left in shock with what happened when Jack came back to the present, and heartbroken about Jack’s fate. If you love books about time travel you have to pick this one up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s