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11/22/63


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#1 HuskerFan

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:23 AM

Finally got around to reading Stephen King's latest book, 11/22/63.

This is a different King novel in that it's not of the scary/horror genre he is best known for, although I guess it could be categorized as a bit of sci-fi.

The story is about a man who finds a time portal in 2011 and travels back in time - to Sept. 9, 1958 specifically. He's able to travel back and forth, and initially tests his theory about how altering the past changes the future (the butterly effect). For example, the man works as a high school teacher and befriends the school janitor who, as a reuslt of an brutal attack when he was a kid, now walks with a limp and is a bit slow-witted (I think this character was inspired by Jigga). The man travels back to 1958 and saves the boy from the brutal attack -- and then travels back to 2011 to see what became of the boy. Turns out the boy eventually was sent to Vietnam and was killed in action in 1968; so he saved the boy from a life as a janitor, only to have him die in Vietnam. A real kick in the pants.

The big plan, though, centers around the man's plan to stop the assassination of JFK in Dallas on November 22, 1963. Knowing Lee Harvey Oswald's movements leading up to his position on the 6th floor of the book depository along the JFK motorcade, the man is able stop Oswald from carrying out his attempt.

So, what effect might that have on present day 2011? You can read King's book to find out. Some good supposition about what life in America might be like had the assassination never occured.

I liked the book because King steps out from his usual comfort zone of terror/horror/super natural and delves into time travel, and explores how changing the past might affect the present day. It's an interesting premise. As usual, King is masterful at developing characters and the time period (late 50s, early 60s) and builds in enough suspense to keep the reader fully engaged.

At 849 pages, it will keep you reading for quite a while.

Highly recommended.

#2 mNhhh

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:29 AM

That one is on my list. I've heard several positive reviews.

Just trying to finish up the Game of Thrones series. The first two books started off very strong, but have gone steadily downhill. This last one, A Dance of Dragons, is the worst of the bunch, but so far into it I may as well finish.

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#3 RINGKONG

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:14 PM

That one is on my list. I've heard several positive reviews.

Just trying to finish up the Game of Thrones series. The first two books started off very strong, but have gone steadily downhill. This last one, A Dance of Dragons, is the worst of the bunch, but so far into it I may as well finish.


that's because he has ran out of people to kill, the only person left is the wizard who works at the 7/11 in the frozen wasteland.

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#4 mNhhh

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 02:15 PM

The ape japes.

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#5 Coop

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:52 AM

This will likely contain spoilers So if that bugs you, don't read this post.


I'm not sure I'd call this book sci-fi. It has time travel to be sure, but not much science other than the main character once referencing Einstein and his assumed amusement. The style was odd. I was bothered by the lucidity in the portions where the writer was not lucid. I understand it is assumed that it was written after the events when he's on his final trip, but he seemed to know too much during that time. The switch to a pseudo viewpoint from Sadie a few times also bugged me.

The characters were dumb. I don't mean poorly crafted, but stupid. You discover a portal to the past in your pantry and your first thought is this is a great place to buy hamburger? Seriously? Not dropping some stock notes in a safe-deposit box? Don't you think simply telling as many people that you can that Lee Oswald is plotting to kill the president would get the job done? Write it down and send it to everyone you can, someone is bound to pick it up.

I can look past that because, well everything's a lot simpler if they saw other solutions .Despite the inability of our time travelers to be creative in their plans, it was a fun read. Stephen King develops characters well, and can put together an interesting story. I thought it was paced very well too. The town of Jodie contrasted with Dallas was well done, if only exaggerated a bit too much.

But, where i was really let down was in the conclusion of the story. I thought maybe we might get some insight on what the rabbit hole was or the 'card men' were. But no, the best he could come up with was comparing time travel to a day old glass of ginger-ale? Really? I would have really liked to have this fleshed out a little more at least. I also didn't like the idea that him changing the past (this time) was causing reality to rip itself apart. I think that the more simple concept that his well-intentioned actions had negative consequences over the past half a century would have been a more elegant and profound conclusion.

Overall it's a decent read. Not his best, but not his worst.

#6 HuskerFan

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:04 PM

But, where i was really let down was in the conclusion of the story.


Agree wholeheartedly with this.

It seemed as though King rushed the ending, and in doing so missed a great opportunity to really flesh out the big point of time travel and changing the past -- how it impacts the future (or the present, once you return). I felt like King could've pared down the middle of the story a bit, espeically the interceding years between 1958 and late 1962, and focused more on the aftermath in the future (2011).

#7 RINGKONG

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Posted 28 March 2012 - 01:46 PM

I went to wikipedia, your right the ending sucketh. just like all of King's novels. he should stick to short stories.

Running has an uncanny ability to mellow the soul, to take the edge off hard feelings, and put things back into healthy perspective.
Yeah, it's a 50 caliber. They used to use it to hunt buffalo with... up close! It's only legal in two states. And this isn't one of them.

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