- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 30 hours and 44 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: November 8, 2011
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0064HJNQK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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11-22-63: A Novel Audiobook – Unabridged
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But that doesn't mean that 11/22/63 is boring. Quite the contrary. Although it might seem that it would be tough to build suspense around a conclusion that seems to be inevitable, this turns out not to be the case. Big time. I just finished playing hooky from work for a day when I read the last 400 pages non-stop (except for a couple of bathroom breaks), because I just couldn't stop. I just kept pressing the advance button on my Kindle.
The adjective that first comes to mind in describing 11/22/63 among SK's oeuvre is, oddly enough, "mature". I have read every novel and anthology that King has published, plus a large number of single short stories, starting with "Carrie" in a borrowed paperback back in the late 1970s. I have never before thought of describing his work in any of them, many good, some great and a few clunkers (some of which I have reviewed as such), as mature. But that is the first, best word that comes to mind in describing 11/22/63. There were others too; exciting, romantic, bittersweet and, as with all SK's stuff, well-written.
Lee Harvey Oswald and the Kennedy assassination were obviously very well-researched, clear from the details in the text even before one gets to the afterword that describes some of the sources and methods used. The lead-up to the day of the assassination is described in great detail, along with Oswald's relationship to his family and associates, all matters of historical record (at least according to the sources cited by SK, with which most of the readers who did not like the novel disagreed emphatically). But I should point out that the facts concerning the Kennedy assassination are actually not the main focus of the novel.
The world of 1958-1963 is described in wonderful detail, through the eyes of Jake as he gradually sheds his early 21st century armored shell and falls in love with a small Texas town and Sadie, its new young librarian. Their love story is the centerpiece of the novel and is told with great depth, sensitivity and believability. I'm old enough to have experienced lots of the stuff that Jake encounters in 1958 (albeit as a child) and it jives with and jogs my recollections and induces a feeling of longing for older, simpler times. For King''s "Constant Readers", there are easter egg cameos from "It" and "The Langoliers" that I recognized. Knowing SK, there may well be others.
The ending is not predictable (if you say you saw it all coming you are either lying or should be a best-selling novelist) and is surprisingly satisfying. To those who say King doesn't know how to end his novels, I say, read this one.
Very Highly Recommended for all (even those who think they know but don't "like" Stephen King).
The love story was so good that I no longer cared about Oswald. And yet, the entire love story hinged on the main character lying to his significant other for most of the book. Even with his best of intentions, he wasn't exactly easy to root for with so much deception.
For me personally, the two stories just didn't mesh well.
And also, the past is obdurate.
I loved this story, and found the resolution very satisfying. Parts were too violent for me, but the violence was not without reason and had its place in the story (and was easily skimmed). I really like the way the story is actually about time travel, rather than just using time travel as a plot device. Time is the point, and the conclusions the story draws, about the obduracy of time and the butterfly effect, are very thought provoking. So glad I read this, and glad Mr. King wrote at least this one book I can read/handle.
That being said, and bringing objectivity back into the picture, this is a much better novel than many of his more recent ones, and like his earlier ones, I had trouble putting it down until I was finished.
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