11/22/63 by Stephen King
Gallery Books - Fiction/Time Travel
I need to get going on reviews and 11/22/63 is the freshest in my mind, so I'm just going to start there and work hard at emptying that messy sidebar.
Everyone surely knows what 11/22/63 is about, right? If not, the short version is, "Guy who is dying recruits high school English teacher to finish the job he is unable to complete: Save Kennedy from assassination by traveling through a time portal that leads to a specific date in 1958." Upon every return to the past, history is reset and anything the time traveler has accomplished is undone. When the time traveler returns to the present, a mere 2 seconds have passed -- regardless of how long he spent in the past.
I'm not as thrilled with 11/22/63 as most people. I enjoyed it but I thought it dragged a bit and I can't say I was in love with either Jake or the love of his life, Sadie. Stephen King lived through this time in history and I've been told it's spot on, as far as lingo. But, I was a little bemused by the amount of swearing. Would Sadie not have called him on his frequent use of the F-word? I didn't think it was so common back then. That was my only real complaint, though, apart from what I considered pointless love scenes. There was never a time that I felt like giving up on the book, so it must have been compelling enough. I really only loved the last 150 pages or so, but you really have to read the entire book to get to the exciting part and make sense of it.
The bottom line:
Liked it; didn't love it. Good storytelling, a bit too detailed for me in some regards but with an incredibly exciting ending. Since I never felt all that much love for the two characters in the romantic subplot, what may be an emotional ending to a lot of people just didn't resonate with me. There were definitely things I related to and enjoyed; I love time travel and I thought King's unique spin on the butterfly effect and the "rabbit hole" (time portal) was creative and plausible. I did think he tried a little too hard to be clever with word play and sometimes that got on my nerves.