11/22/1963 by Stephen King

91%

29 Critic Reviews

The build-up is better than the payoff, as it almost always is... But there’s a lot to be said for a good build-up, and it’s not a cop-out.
-Time Magazine

Synopsis

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? Stephen King’s heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination—a thousand page tour de force.

Following his massively successful novel Under the Dome, King sweeps readers back in time to another moment—a real life moment—when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history.

Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students—a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.

Not much later, Jake’s friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane—and insanely possible—mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake’s life – a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.

A tribute to a simpler era and a devastating exercise in escalating suspense, 11/22/63 is Stephen King at his epic best.

 

About Stephen King

See more books from this Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. Joe Hill is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Heart-Shaped Box and Horns and writes an ongoing comic book series, Locke & Key. He makes lots of noise on Twitter under the handle @joe_hill.
 
Published November 8, 2011 by Scribner. 866 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror, Literature & Fiction, Professional & Technical, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 27 2011
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for 11/22/1963
All: 29 | Positive: 28 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Errol Morris on Nov 10 2011

It all adds up to one of the best time-travel stories since H. G. Wells... King has captured something wonderful.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by Mark Lawson on Nov 02 2011

...the reader feels the benefit of 40 years of narrative craftsmanship and reflection on his nation's history.

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Blog Critics

Excellent
Reviewed by Shannon Turlington on Dec 06 2011

11/22/63 is the best novel Stephen King has produced in a long time.

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All About Romance

Excellent
Reviewed by Blythe Barnhill

This is a long book that attempts a lot, covers a lot of ground, and is not afraid to take its time about it.

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LA Times

Below average
Reviewed by David Ulin on Nov 20 2011

"11/22/63" falls short of these investigations for it is not Oswald's tale but Jake's, the story not of an agent of chaos but of someone who sought to set the universe right.

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AV Club

Excellent
Reviewed by Zack Handlen on Nov 16 2011

11/22/63 is King’s best novel in years, minimizing his flaws and embracing the haunting, melancholic tone that has come to define his work.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Jeff Greenfield on Oct 31 2011

His work suggests that if a time traveler found a portal to the 22nd ­century and looked for the authors of today still being read tomorrow, Stephen King would be one of them.

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The Telegraph

Excellent
Reviewed by Tim Martin on Nov 29 2011

King’s minute attention to detail and ear for language, as well as his evident relish for a juicy pulp premise, carry this 700-page book through its welter of red herrings and soap-operatic longueurs.

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USA Today

Excellent
Reviewed by Don Oldenburg on Nov 08 2011

King's latest epic is as fascinating as the premise sounds.

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Dallas News

Excellent
Reviewed by Joy Tipping on Nov 04 2011

It’s all fascinating, and 11/22/63 is feverishly engrossing.

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The Maine Edge

Excellent
Reviewed by Allen Adams on Nov 09 2011

Alternate history is fertile ground for a gifted storyteller possessed of both a sharp wit and a romantic soul. Stephen King has both in abundance. “11/22/63” is a masterful effort.

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Look At OKC

Excellent
Reviewed by Betty Lyttle on Jan 22 2012

“11/11/63” is like no other story he has ever written, although it has his same easy storytelling style.

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About.com

Excellent
Reviewed by John Formy-Duval

Despite the quibbles due to its length, 11/22/63 is a marvelous re-invention of that time... well worth the serious commitment of time required to see how King's premise works out.

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Oprah.com

Excellent
Reviewed by Sara Nelson

His work is proof that great storytelling is timeless.

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Las Vegas Review Journal

Excellent
Reviewed by Wayne Rogers on Dec 23 2011

King’s “11/22/63” is his best novel in more than a decade.

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Time Magazine

Excellent
Reviewed by Lev Grossman on Nov 02 2011

The build-up is better than the payoff, as it almost always is... But there’s a lot to be said for a good build-up, and it’s not a cop-out.

Read Full Review of 11/22/1963 | See more reviews from Time Magazine

Lit Reactor

Excellent
Reviewed by Richard Thomas on Nov 18 2011

In the context of the body of his work, I’d say this is a solid triple off the wall, and as a long time fan of the Red Sox, I think King would be happy with that definition

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Escape Pod

Excellent
Dec 03 2011

...it’s believable, relatable, and damn interesting.

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The Baltimore Sun

Excellent
Reviewed by Rene Rodriguez on Nov 10 2011

This addictive, heart-stopping and ultimately moving novel is really a distillation of what King has always done so well...

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Swaggakings

Excellent
Reviewed by Andrew Scott on May 22 2012

After some hits and misses in his recent works, “11/22/63” by Stephen King is a welcome tour de force.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Gil Wilson on Apr 16 2012

All around this is a fun book and yet another Stephen King book that provides one more answer to the "What If" question.

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Rhapsody in Books

Good
Mar 12 2012

I don’t feel right in saying I would have wanted this book edited downward in size, because verbose expositions are part of what makes this author distinctive.

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Fantasy Book Review

Good
Reviewed by Floresienses

This latest book is every bit as good as anything that King has written before...

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At Home With Books

Good
Reviewed by Alyce on May 03 2012

Stephen King has created a story with so many layers and divergent story lines; succeeding in making each of them relevant and captivating.

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Life is Short, Read Fast

Good
Reviewed by Jennie on May 10 2012

Push aside any doubts about the length…dive into the story that is so perfect it can only be Stephen King’s.

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A Novel Source

Good
Apr 06 2012

11/22/63 has stayed with me, haunted me, created long discussions with friends and family....and I have found that I am now in love with Stephen King.

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D Gary Grady

Good
Reviewed by D Gary Grady on May 23 2012

It takes a good story-teller to turn out an almost-850-page novel that never drags.

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Tom's Mad Blog

Good
Reviewed by Tom Richmond on Feb 10 2012

It’s a very long tale, but the journey, as always with King, is an enjoyable ride.

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allwaysunmended

Good
Reviewed by Jessica Nelson on Jan 19 2012

11/22/63 is a shining example of why Stephen King is the Pablo Picasso of storytelling.

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Reader Rating for 11/22/1963
87%

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