11/22/63: A Novel

Stephen King's #1 bestselling time-travel novel--now a limited series on Hulu starring James Franco!

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? 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--like Harry's, like America's in 1963--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.

So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there's Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
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880 pages

Average rating: 8.37




Community Reviews

Jul 06, 2024
8/10 stars
When I think back to attempt to pinpoint when I fell in love with reading, two authors stand out -- Carolyn Keene and Stephen King. I thought I outgrew them both, but I was wrong.

Stephen King tackles the age-old question "What if?" in this 800-plus page book. If we could go back and change history, should we? What are the pros and cons? What is the trickle-down effect of changing one thing? Could we live with the series of new events that we set in motion? Hindsight is not 20/20 in this thought-provoking read.

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Janet H
Mar 28, 2024
Fascinating thesis - what would the world be like if you went back in time to prevent the JFK assassination? Given SK’s history of not providing closure in his novels, mercifully this one does. This long book has many typical SK side adventures. Only recommend for his fans.
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Mar 04, 2024
10/10 stars
Loved every minute of this novel!
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Feb 26, 2024
4/10 stars
Did not finish it; it was too long-winded. Even for Stephen King.
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Jan 09, 2024
10/10 stars
This was my first Stephen King Novel, and boy did I pick a real winner to start with! This will probably be one of my most talked about books of 2022. I have very little interest in history, but this story was more about the modern day narrative than it was the JFK administration. I was hooked by the protagonist, and became deeply invested very quickly. The story had layers, but not too many that you felt like you were trying to keep up with everything and couldn't keep a storyline straight. It was an easy and captivating read. The ending was NOT the ending I wanted, but it was beautiful and I cried nonetheless. A lovely behemoth of a tale
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