What would you change if you could turn back time? Would your life improve or would it just cause more unforseen problems? This butterfly effect is at the heart of Stephen King’s latest opus, 11/22/63.
On 11/22/63 I was a student teacher at Springfield Commerce High School when the principal came into the class to report that President Kennedy had been shot. When one of my favorite authors, Stephen King, wrote a huge book about that history-altering event, I wasn’t sure I was up to reliving that moment. But I did.
I should have known that King would use that event in time travel mode to entertain and engross the reader yet again. The book cannot help but be somewhat political as it involves in part Lee Harvey Oswald, his time in Russia and his growing dissatisfaction with the U.S. government and life in general. King includes Oswald’s relationship with his wife Marina and how she coped with a new country and a semi-deranged, abusive husband.
As though this is not enough drama and great storytelling, King’s main character, Jake Epping, falls in love with a school librarian on his trip to the past. Including a pretty good love story is a departure for King, but it works very well. The reader wonders how Jake is going to bring his love back to 2011 when he returns after his mission.
There are many wonderful, keenly written moments in 11/22/63, but I was struck by how nostalgic I became for the late 50’s and early 60’s. Sure, people were smoking a lot more then and there was pollution galore, but didn’t the frosted root beer taste great? Wasn’t the music outstanding?
In Stephen King’s long illustrious career, he has written some bizarre, gory, supernatural and far-fetched material, most of which I liked. Just not at night. This book is unique for him and can be enjoyed and appreciated by those readers who may not have chosen to enter his fertile imagination before. This is an adult book with many level of literacy excellence.
Remember, life turns on a dime…
I give the book 4 sock hops.
Happy reading from Beverly!