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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quick Book Look: 11/22/63 by Stephen King


11/22/63 by Stephen King. Adult SF/time travel.

For people of my generation, the Boomers, the assassination of JFK was a traumatic, life-changing event. So I was looking forward to reading King's novel on the subject.

When I was looking for it at the bookstore, I had trouble finding it because the front cover--half of which is a newspaper's front page--is so busy. Also the title would have been more effective spelled out instead of using numerals. (When I finally noticed that the back cover was an alternative news story in which JFK survives his close call, I realized why the art department had done the cover that way. I still don't like it.)

I liked Jake, the protagonist, immediately. Jake steps through a time portal to a day in 1958 and lives through the years until 1963, in his attempt to prevent the assassination, probably lessen US involvement in the Vietnam War, and save thousands of lives. Despite our knowledge of history, King somehow maintains the suspense.The past, we learn, is extremely resistant to change. Also, any changes you do make have a ripple effect--sometimes good, but often disastrous.

King's time-travel historical novel is a masterpiece. This is one time you definitely shouldn't judge a book by its cover. :-)

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