11/22/63

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11/22/63 Horror
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Product Description

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King – who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer – takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it. It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away – a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life – turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession – to prevent the Kennedy assassination. 849p.

Editorial Reviews

King (Under the Dome, 2009, etc.) adds counterfactual historian to his list of occupations. Well, not exactly: The author is really turning in a sturdy, customarily massive exercise in time travel that just happens to involve the possibility of altering history. Didn't Star Trek tell us not to do that? Yes, but no matter: Up in his beloved Maine, which he celebrates eloquently here (";For the first time since I'd topped that rise on Route 7 and saw Dery hulking on the west bank of the Kenduskeag, I was happy";), King follows his own rules. In this romp, Jake Epping, a high-school English teacher (vintage King, that detail), slowly comes to see the opportunity to alter the fate of a friend who, in one reality, is hale and hearty but in another dying of cancer, no thanks to a lifetime of puffing unfiltered cigarettes. Epping discovers a time portal tucked away in a storeroom--don't ask why there--and zips back to 1958, where not just his friend but practically everyone including the family pets smokes: ";I unrolled my window to get away from the cigarette smog a little and watched a different world roll by."; A different world indeed: In this one, Jake, a sort of sad sack back in Reality 1, finds love and a new identity in Reality 2. Not just that, but he now sees an opportunity to unmake the past by inserting himself into some ugly business involving Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, various representatives of the military-industrial-intelligence complex and JFK in Dallas in the fall of 1963. It would be spoiling things to reveal how things turn out; suffice it to say that any change in Reality 2 will produce a change in Reality 1, not to mention that Oswald may have been a patsy, just as he claimed--or maybe not. King's vision of one outcome of the Kennedy assassination plot reminds us of what might have been--that is, almost certainly a better present than the one in which we're all actually living. ";If you want to know what political extremism can lead to,"; warns King in an afterword, ";look at the Zapruder film."; Though his scenarios aren't always plausible in strictest terms, King's imagination, as always, yields a most satisfying yarn. Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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