Wednesday, December 12, 2012

11/22/63 by Stephen King

 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 teaches adults for extra money. One student submits a gruesome, harrowing first-person essay 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 11/22/1963 J.F. 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.

My take: 2 looks

I didn't hate this one, but almost. If I had not had to read it for my Bibliophile challenge, I would have put it aside a couple of hundred pages in. It's not that the story was a bad one; as a matter of fact, the premise is extraordinary. But the execution was extremely long, drawn out, verbose, etc. A veritable tome of minutiae that didn't make the story fuller, more robust or more enjoyable. There is a difference in providing rich detail and background, but King beats a dead horse in this one. I get the idea that his editors revere him as an author too much to cut the extraneous verbiage.

I am sorry, but I can't recommend this one.

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