I’ve listened to extremely long books before so I know it can be daunting at times. For the month of May, my book of choice was 11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King. Well, the 30 hours and 45 minutes flew by and I was pleasantly surprised! Having not picked up a Stephen King book since the early 90’s (and even then having only read the popular horror stories, Dolores Claiborne, Misery, The Shinning and It), 11/22/63 was not at all what I was expecting.
Stephen King takes the listener on fantastic voyage through time back to the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, with the goal of preventing the assassination of JFK. But as our time-travelling hero takes multiple trips through the rabbit hole, he discovers that by changing one moment, one tiny little event, his life in the present time does not always work out the way he’d hoped for. For me, this book was a surprise to say the least. I was expecting some sort of horror elements. Nope! None to be found. I was expecting some elements of science fiction, as this is a book about time travel. Nope! King treats time travelling in a very straight forward manner: there are no mad scientists, or huge machines. It’s simply a man with a portal in the back of a sandwich shop that you have to walk through to be transported. What I did find in 11/22/63 was a tragic love story and the cold hard truth that changing the past does not always make the future a better place.
The story starts quickly and continues at a great pace throughout. This is partly due to the talents of the narrator Craig Wasson. I don’t think I could have finished a book this long if the narrator wasn’t perfectly cast. And thanks to this great first experience with Craig, I would not hesitate to pick up another book where he’s at the helm.
11/22/63, is so much more than a story about trying to stop the assignation of JFK. In fact, for me that was just a side story for the wonderful that Stephen King took me on. This book has something for everyone; mystery, history, politics, and romance. With 11/22/63, we are offered an amazing glimpse into history, so don’t let the extraordinary length of this book scare you off. It’s well worth the time.
Let me know what you think!