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11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Dramatic
Reminiscent of The Dead Zone

As a long time fan of King, the JFK assassination and, to a lesser extent, time travel stories, this one had me piqued before it even started. The book takes almost half of the book's 800+ pages to start getting into Oswald (maybe too long, keep reading) dealing with a man who brutally murders his family in Maine and the main character, Jake Epping, trying to undo that past. Then it moves onto another long subplot in a town near Dallas called Jodie and we find Jake's love interest, a gal named Sadie.

This isn't really a horror novel like The Stand or It, but it does deal with a number of horrific situations up to and including alternative timelines. King gives a chilling nod to It in one passage in the past involving Jake in the town of Derry. There are a dozen or so action scenes and dramatic moments, but it's not a rising tension plot that leaves you breathlessly turning pages type of story. It's more a story that compels the reader to the end to find out what Jake does about the past he wants to change.

This book reminded me a lot of a 2011 version of The Dead Zone. We have a man (Jake Epping) who can see the future like Johnny Smith, not because he has special powers but because he was actually in the future. A man who is trying to prevent things from happening in the future and who chases a love that is both within and outside his grasp. It was Sarah back then, it's Sadie in this book. In the Afterword, King writes that he originally tried to write 11/22/63 in 1972 but gave up because he knew the research would be too overwhelming while he was a writer part-time. I contend he did write this book about seven years later called The Dead Zone.

For readers like me who loved The Dead Zone, this is a subtle retelling thirty-two years later (Dead Zone was published in 1979), and it's put on about 400+ pages of pounds.

I really liked this book. Probably more than I should have being that it feels like—and probably is—repetition, but it's a master taking us on a trip back in time in his career as well as in t

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