Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

11/22/63 by Stephen King

by Stephen King
Scribner (Simon and Schuster)
ISBN: 978-1-4516-6080-7
Buy From Indigo

Description: On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. If you had the chance to change 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 makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story 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 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

The Good Stuff
  •  Honest to god this is a truly spectacular book and I will not hesitate to say it is one of his best - Up there with The Stand and Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption (Two of my favorite stories of all time)
  • I wish I was more eloquent to express my love for this novel (You are now forgiven for Pet Semetary Mr King)
  • This is one that even if you hate King, you will enjoy
  • Heartbreaking, beautiful and honest - Jake is an exceptional character that I would be honored to have as a friend. The sacrifice this man makes is truly heartbreaking, I cried my eyes out
  • Two  secondary characters that are Librarians and they are feisty, strong and decent -- I want to hug you for this (Loved the part on Catcher in the Rye)
  • Exceptional character development and an engrossing mesmerizing plot
  • Even-though the story could have benefited from some stronger editing, Kings trademark and self described "Diarhea of the word processor"  wasn't as frustrating to get through as in many of his works (hope that makes sense, couldn't figure out how to explain this) His attention to detail and describing the smaller moments of life, actually really works with this story
  • Lovely moral lesson (Just because you can change the past, doesn't mean you should) The Past does not want to change and everything happens for a reason 
  • Sadie and Mimi rock -- ok, they are both Librarians - what do you expect
  • As a King fan I geeked out to all the references from previous books (tons of references to Derry)
  • Lovely nostalgic feeling at the same time reminding us that the 50/60's were far from perfect, especially if you were a women or black
  • Go Buy the book - you will thank me - When King is at his best, he is a brilliant storyteller - and he is at his best here
  • No really icky graphic descriptions (Which is one thing I never liked about King, I don't like the ick)
  • The last quarter of the book is non stop action with an exceptional ending -- which is not something King normally does not do well (Don't get me started on The Tommyknockers)
  • Lots of quirky secondary characters
  • Thoroughly researched
  • No evil pets or babies (Yup stopped reading King for 15 yrs because of Pet Semetary)
  • The part about Maine becoming part of Canada made me giggle
The Not So Good Stuff
  • Stephen, you know I love and respect you (Remember I drove through Bangor, Maine just to take a pic of your house & go to Baka bookstore and not bother you at all) but editing would take this book from Fantastic to utterly brilliant 
  • Book was so heavy my little girly wrists hurt while reading (Damn, this would have been a good one for the Kobo)
Favorite Quotes/Passages

"If I ever gave you the idea that 1958's all Andy-n-Opie, remember the path, okay? The one lined with poison ivy. And the board over the stream."

"She was one of those faculty members the kids remember long after graduation, and sometimes come back to visit when they are no longer kids. The kind who sometimes shows up in a troubled student's life at a critical moment and makes a critical difference."

"Life is too sweet to give up without a fight, don't you think?"

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Fans of King will love, love, love
  • Even if you are not a King fan, you WILL enjoy this book
  • Although I'm pretty sure most school boards will balk at this, I think this would be an excellent novel to discuss as part of an English course
  • Hopefully my nephew will like it, since I bought a copy not knowing that I was getting a copy to review (If he doesn't like it I'm making him give it back to me and will give it as a prize next year)

4.5 Dewey's

I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an  honest review (Cannot thank you enough for this one, I squeed when I got it in the mail)


  1. Great review! My husband really wants this book. I think I might get it for him for xmas!

    Thanks for your honest thoughts!

  2. I like Stephen King but the lack of editing does make the length a bit too long for me. I don't have that much time right now! (I realize that thinking I may find more time in the future is a bit delusional, but the hope is keeping me sane.)

  3. Stacy - you will get more time soon - at least thats what I keep telling myself : )