By Stephen King
A stimulating read, 11/22/63 kept me interested and entertained. I won’t go too much into the plot, you all know what it’s about, right? A "firsthand" account of the Kennedy assassination, and a take on a series of events that were the greatest fodder for conspiracy theorists since Jesus’ love child with Mary Magdalene.
Of course, the topic of changing the present and future through time travel has been a favorite fantasy of mine since I was small. The best part of 11/22/63 was the detailed description, almost understanding, of that nearly mythical anti-hero Lee Harvey Oswald. So often growing up, people spoke of the death of JFK, and I had to wonder “who was this Lee Harvey Oswald? WHY did he dare to do it? And why do assassins always have three names?”. Even though the book is fiction, King does his research, and you really feel that despite the novel being conjecture, he has backed up his views with documentation and real-life witness interviews.
I also loved the sense of urgency in 11/22/63 that kept my heart racing from page to page. If you’ve read anything by King, you know that he has a particular style and writing gambits that he uses in every novel. I found these only moderately annoying- i.e. insane carnival monsters and repetition of phrases. (I mean over and over and over “The past is obdurate”- what, was that on his “Word of the Day” toilet paper??)
The afterword reinforced my respect for King’s research. He pays homage to the late Jack Finney, whose “Time and Again” is fundamental literature for any time travel buff. (Believe me, if you’ve read “Time and Again” you’ll think of it “time and again” during this book.) Thanks Stephen, for a taking a genre that gets a lot of attention and making it your own!
11/22/63 is available at Mitchell's Book Corner, Nantucket Bookworks, and online at NantucketBookPartners.com
Alyssa Corry is the ACKList and Calendar Captain of NantucketChronicle.com. She is also calendar coordinator for the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and an ardent reader.