TIME AND THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK: 11/22/63, STEPHEN KING

Don’t let the title fool you. This book is about a lot more than time travel, the Kennedy Assassination or any single thing. It’s about life, loss, change and human relationships. What makes it so brilliant is that all of these elements are bundled together into a book that will make you laugh, cry, and think. If you are of a certain age, it will also make you remember.

11/22/63 by Stephen King is so good it took my breath away. I’m not a Stephen King fan per se, though I have liked several of his books and stories. I never have a problem with his writing. He’s a great writer, but I don’t always like his subject matter. Horror is not among my favorite genres.

11-22-63 king

This is not horror. Although small sections of the book touch on it, it merely grazes the outer edge of familiar King territory. 11/22/63 is science fiction. It is as good a book on time travel as I’ve ever read. Considering that I have read everything about time travel I could find, that’s a big statement.

Stephen King does the genre proud. Beyond that, this book is beautiful. It is not merely well-written. It is eloquent, poetic, lyrical. My husband, is not a King fan — except for his stories about baseball and the Red Sox — was dubious when I handed him the book and said “Read it. You’ll love it, I promise!”

Typically, he makes faces and argues with me, but this time, he read the book. Once he began, he couldn’t put it down. He read portions of it out loud because he felt they were perfect and like poetry, deserved to be read aloud.

The story is rich and complex in the telling. A writer determines to go back in time and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. His attempt and travels in time produce many repercussions both for him personally and for our world. The “Butterfly Effect” has never been better illustrated.

Whether or not you usually like Stephen King’s books, if you are a science fiction and/or time travel fan, you owe yourself a trip through this wonderful book. King’s version of time travel is history-centric, omitting the technical details. I’m fine with this approach. He uses the classical dodge via the tried-and-true “hole in the time-space continuum” ploy. It lets him move his characters without explaining how it works. King does it well and makes it an interesting part of the journey.

Many of us feel this is the best book King has written, bar none. Granted that this is a subjective statement, but I guarantee if you read this book, you will not be disappointed.

This is a master story-teller at the peak of his abilities. Stephen King gives us emotion, poetry, depth, beauty, intelligence and does it without taking any short cuts through the complexities he creates. It’s an amazing book.

If you like science fiction reader, history, or are just looking for an exceptionally well-written book, you should read 11/22/63. It’s too good to miss.

11/22/63 is available from Amazon right now for just $2.99. It includes a 13-minute film, written and narrated by Stephen King and enhanced with historic footage from CBS News, that will take you back—as King’s novel does—to Kennedy era America.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Opinionated writer with hopes for a better future for all of us!

17 thoughts on “TIME AND THE ASSASSINATION OF JFK: 11/22/63, STEPHEN KING”

  1. Thank you for sharing it, I did not know about this book. I have read Stephen King since a friend in sixth grade introduced me to his work, I guess we should “not” have been reading such material, oh well what’s done is done. I have been fascinated by King as a writer and human who overcame trauma possibly through his writing and respect him for his ability to produce original material time after time as well as his commitment to the craft. I will definitely make time for this book now that I have read your review, thank you for sharing.

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  2. Read this when it first came out. You are spot on. Felt like I’d gone right back to reading the sci/fi “greats.” I am a King fan… not so much for the horror, but the skill of his gift for turn of phrase. He’s a super-talented writer.

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      1. I LOVED it! Not an avid King fan but this was a TERRIFIC read. I found myself reading sections back to myself. I haven’t done that in years!

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        1. I haven’t yet met anyone who read it and didn’t like it. Some people don’t want to try it because it’s so long (it IS long) … but if you can cope with its length, it’s one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time. Decades.

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  3. Your recommendation had me itching to read — book not available at my library, so thought I’d look it up on Amazon and it would be ridiculously expensive. Only $2.99 and it includes audio and video. Woot woot! 😀

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  4. I totally agree with you on that book. I’m not a King’s fan, although I admire his deserved success and got to drive past his home in Maine a few times. I have read his book on writing and I loved it a lot. But besides that book, nada. Yet I was offered 11/22/63 and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s a thick book and yet I read it very quickly. I gave it to a friend of mine for her husband who like me isn’t a King’s fan. I never saw the book again!

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    1. Garry is also not a King fan and neither am I. We are not fond of horror, not movies or books. Yet, Garry loved the book and so did I. As science fiction and time travel stories, it’s top-notch but even if you aren’t a science fiction fan, it’s a remarkable book. Beautifully written. The audiobook is superb too, by the way.

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  5. Some of King’s best books are not horror at all, that’s what makes him so good! I have been reading a great book on Kennedy called When The Past Came Calling. It’s not just about Kennedy, but the things surrounding the whole event. Larry Kaplan is the author, his site is larryskaplan.com. It’s a great read, I recommend it!

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    1. Thank you. I will check it out. I know King writes a lot more than horror because I’ve read most of it. I mostly avoid horror as a genre. It was nice that he wrote specifically a time-travel book since that’s my favorite form of literary mind bending 🙂

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