11/22/63 by Stephen King
Unabridged Audiobook purchased at audible.com
Book Release Date: November 08,2011
Audio Book Release Date: November 08,2011
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed forever.
If you had the chance to change the course of history, would you?
Would the consequences be worth it?
Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life—a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
Explore the Possibilities…
I love anything that has to do with time travel. There is something wonderful about going back in time and cleaning up whatever mess you made and making things right. The problem is the “Butterfly Effect”. Based on Edward Lorenz’s “Chaos theory”, the Butterfly Effect basically means something as seemingly insignificant as the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane down the line. Now of course, I’m giving you the non-scientific quickie on the Butterfly Effect and I’m probably confusing you but you’ll just have to play along. So, if you go back and change ANYTHING, you are going to cause a series of events to occur. So, in other words, I can’t go back and decide NOT to go to law school since I’d probably end up dead from some mysterious rare incurable disease. Make sense? Good! Now REALLY onto the story…
Jake Epping has the chance to change the past. There is a portal that can go back in time and he can change the past. Al Templeton, Jake’s friend has been using this portal for years and is now dying of cancer. He wants Jake to use the portal to change the events of 11/22/63. The events in question? Al Templeton wants Jake to prevent JFK from being assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. Jake agrees and 11/22/63 is what happens when Jake attempts to change the past. That’s it folks. That is the entire book.
Now obviously, there is plenty more in this book and that is the problem. You have…
- Harry Dunning, his alcoholic father murdering his mother and siblings with a hammer
- “Yellow Card Man”
- his love for Sadie Dunhill
- saving Sadie from her ex
- saving the girl from being paralyzed by the hunter
- Oswald’s relationship with everyone
- and so on and so on and so on.
There was way too much going on and the side stories made me lose interest in the main story. At some point, I thought I was almost done and I was so excited. Only to find out I still had 25% left in the book!
Finally when Jake gets to the date in question, the book takes some interesting turns. The problem is, it came way too late in the game for me and by then, I was actually disliking the book!
Book Rating- 1.5 skulls or D-
Narrator Review: Craig Wasson was an excellent narrator. I marvel at male narrators when the manage to pull off female voices. Mr. Wasson did so with relative ease. In fact, his voice was what kept me listening to the book. His delivery was smooth, and oddly comforting. There was no quick inhales that you often get from narrators when they are delivering long dialogues nor was there any lip smacking or clearing of throat.
If there was any problem with Wasson’s delivery of 11/22/63 I would have to say is Wasson sounds older than Jake’s character. Initially, I kept trying to figure out how old Jake was even though I knew he was 35 according to the story. He just didn’t sound 35. However, it wasn’t long before I was used to Wasson and enjoyed listening to his voice regardless of his age.
Narrator Rating- 4 skulls or B
OVERALL- The narrator saved this book. Without him, I would have given up long ago.
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