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Book Review: 11.22.63 by Stephen King

11.22.63 by Stephen King

The premise of this novel is immediately intriguing. What if you could travel back in time and prevent President John F. Kennedy from being assassinated on November 22nd, 1963 – a watershed moment in history. If you could change history, would you? And would the consequences be worth it?

Jake Epping is an ordinary man living in Maine in 2011. He is divorced and teaches English. He has no idea that his life is going to change forever when his friend Al, who runs the local diner, tells him an extraordinary secret – his storeroom is a portal to 1958. Al is dying and convinces Jake to go on a mission to prevent JFK from being assassinated, thinking that this will make the world a better place (less involvement in Vietnam, Martin Luther King wouldn’t be assassinated – and they predict a host of other positive outcomes). Jake initially goes back in time with a test case. The high school janitor’s family was murdered in 1958, so he goes back to try and save the family. Then he takes on the larger case – of preventing JFK from being murdered. But he has five years before he can complete his mission and in this time he becomes attached to a community of people and falls in love with Sadie Dunhill, a beautiful high school librarian, with her own unique story.

11.22.63 is classic King – masterful writing, a wonderful sense of place and time, a slight air of creepiness in parts, but an unforgettable main character in Jake Epping and the love of his life Sadie Dunhill. But I can’t tell you if the Jake succeeds in his mission of preventing JFK from being assassinated – you will have to find out for yourself!.


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