Thoughts  11/22/63 by Stephen King, Scribner 2011, 849 pages Hardcover.

You may already know this book is about time travel. You may already know that it centers on the idea of preventing the assassination of John F. Kennedy. You may have perceptions of Stephen King as being a horror writer and this means you either love him or dismiss him.


I am very impressed with Stephen King. I’ve only read three of his books:  Carrie (read it twice, actually), Lisey’s Story and his nonfiction book about writing, On Writing. I enjoyed them all. I think he is a helluva writer but I wouldn’t at all call him a favorite. I don’t like horror. BUT, his On Writing sold me and convinced me that perhaps he is actually a pretty good writer. Why I ever found out that he wrote On Writing and why I would be interested is curious. I think I read a back-of-the-book blurb he wrote about some book I did love (that was nothing like something I would expect him to read) and that’s how/why I gave him consideration. I now no longer dismiss him as ‘popular’ like I might with frantically produced paperback crap where the author’s name is in larger print than the title of the book. (I hate that.) I try not to be a snob but when that is the ONLY stuff some people read, I do judge. Shame on me, I suppose but READ SOMETHING ELSE, too!!  I know none of you are like that…

Where was I?

Horror-genre?  Nope. In fact, apparently there are references to past King characters that went write over my head and I never noticed so don’t let the King stereotype of his early works prevent you from reading this.

Dancing is life.

I loved this book about Jake Epping and how he travels back to 1958 to complete an assignment his friend Al didn’t live long enough to attempt. I loved his being a High School English teacher and taking on substitute teaching assignments while ‘laying low’. I loved how he fell in love! I loved the harmonies of time-lines and how obdurate that darn past proved to be.

I didn’t go into this with any expectations other than I am always intrigued with time travel stories.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. I couldn’t put this book down during the last half; stealing every second I could, bargaining with myself to find time and avoiding chores to get this darn book read.

Five slices of pie.

“Nice as pie,” I said, giving it the Texas twist: pah.”

If I wanted to think critically, I might be persuaded to agree that a few little things were either expected or typical or not fleshed out  in some way but nope. I enjoyed it too much!

So, if you want a different perspective AND to balance out this review with the last one I posted, I present Ti of Book Chatter’s not-quite-enthusiastic review of 11/22/63. Or is to be contrarian? Actually, Ti and I agree on books about half the time. I cannot use her thoughts on a book to predict whether or not I will like something but she always writes thoughtful reviews. We did agree on Model Home, Goon Squad and Owen Meany – that’s somethin’.  🙂

I liked Rhapsody-Jill’s review, too. She praised it.

BOOKS I WILL READ BECAUSE of 11/22/63:  Hardy’s Jude the ObscureThe Reluctant Wife, Time and Again by Jack Finney, The Lincoln Hunters – about time travel. Book I’ve already read that was mentioned which resulted in a SQUEEEE:  The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks.


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