11.22.63 BY STEPHEN KING
HODDER & STOUGHTON (HARD BACK), 2011
BLURB FROM THE COVER
Jake Epping is an English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine; who makes extra money teaching in an adult education programme. One day, he received an essay from one of his students – a harrowing first person story about the night, fifty years earlier, when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed Harry’s mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer.
Later, Jake’s friend, Al who runs the local diner, divulges an extraordinary secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake to an insane – and insanely possible – mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
Inspired by his desire to put things right for Harry Dunning, Jake leaves a world of iPods and mobile phones for a new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars, root beers and Lindy Hopping. It is a haunting world 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.
I have never been what you’d call a crying man.
This was my second read through of 11.22.63. I loved it even more this time around. 11.22.63 is a brilliant novel, brilliant. 11.22.63 is an example of how great King can be. I was sucked right into 11.22.63 from the start when Jake read’s Harry Dunning’s heart-breaking essay to the end when he dances with Sadie, now an old woman with white hair. One of my absolute favourite parts is when Jake meets Beverley Marsh and Richie Tozier from IT in his first trip to 1958. Jake meets them after the loser’s club believe they’ve killed the monster but Jake senses something is very wrong in Derry. There are some sad moments in 11.22.63 that brought tears to my eyes. When Sadie is attacked by her ex-husband. All of the factors that try to stop Jake from being at the Book Repository as Kennedy drives past. The moment Jake realises how much he fucked the world up by saving Kennedy and needs to travel back and re-set the clock and lose Sadie forever. I love the concept behind 11.22.63 and King executes it brilliantly. One of my favourite stories is A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury which deals with the consequences of screwing with the past. 11.22.63 is a similar story on a much larger scale. This is one of my favourite King novels and one of his best.