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11.22.63 [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (818 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 July 2012

WHAT IF you could go back in time and change the course of history? WHAT IF the watershed moment you could change was the JFK assassination? 11.22.63, the date that Kennedy was shot - unless . . .

King takes his protagonist Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, 2011, on a fascinating journey back to 1958 - from a world of mobile phones and iPods to a new world of Elvis and JFK, of Plymouth Fury cars and Lindy Hopping, 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.

With extraordinary imaginative power, King weaves the social, political and popular culture of his baby-boom American generation into a devastating exercise in escalating suspense.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (5 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444727338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444727333
  • Product Dimensions: 4.7 x 13 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (818 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. 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.

Product Description


Fine stories to take with us into the night. (Neil Gaiman on FULL DARK, NO STARS in the Guardian)

America's greatest living novelist. (Lee Child)

King's gift of storytelling is unrivalled. His ferocious imagination is unlimited. (George Pelecanos)

'King's most purely entertaining novel in years . . . utterly compelling.' (John Connolly on UNDER THE DOME)

'Staggeringly addictive.' (USA Today on UNDER THE DOME)

'Tight and energetic from start to finish.' (New York Times on UNDER THE DOME)

'The pedal is indeed to the metal.' (Guardian on UNDER THE DOME)

Delivers a lot of praise and enjoy. The story comes off the blocks with almost alarming speed ... he tells a story like a pro .... 11.22.63 kept me up all night. (Daily Telegraph)

Stephen King at his epic, pedal-to-metal best (Alison Flood, Sunday Times, Culture)

not just an accomplished time-travel yarn but an action-heavy meditation on chance, choice and fate. (Independent Books of the Year)

The details of Fifties America, the cars, the clothes, the food, the televisions with wonky horizontal hold, are so vivid that you begin to wonder whether the author himself hasn't had access to a time machine.

...But as you worry at the paradoxes and the brilliantly explained pseudo science there is no denying that this monster yearn is blindingly impressive. Manly writers run out of steam as they get older. King, though, writes books that are ever longer and more demanding. I can't wait to see what he will tackle next.

(Daily Express)

Stephen King's new novel, 11.22.63, combines a variety of genres, being a JFK assassination, a story of time travel, a variation on the grail quest, a novel of voyeurism, a love story, a historical novel, a counter-factual historical novel and the chilling tale of a sinister animate universe, a form which can be traced back to the ghost stories of MR James. (London Review of Books)

The master of the pen has written yet another extraordinary novel. (Independent)

Perhaps only seasoned storyteller Stephen King could accomplish changing the course of history in his vast time-travelling masterpiece whilst effortlessly weaving political and social details with abundant humour. King's intriguing new story structure will surely catapult the author to another best-seller. (The Australian Women's Weekly)

These early sections of the novel are almost irresistible entertaining, enlivened not just by King's supreme control of the form but by his sardonic wit and usual generosity of spirit and expansiveness. Yet as Jack/George moves closer to his goal, other, darker notes intrude, as time itself begins to resist his attempts to change its course, and as he begins to identify with his quarry.... Beneath the reassuring glow of King's portrait of an earlier, simpler time moves a darker and less comfortable vision, a glimpse of the terrifying machinery that moves below the surface of human history, and which stands as a stark, chilling rejoinder to the fantasies of escape embodied in so many time travel stories. (The Weekend Australia)

Mammoth but entertaining, this is part sci-fi, part suspense and part travelogue of a long-ago America. (Who Weekly)

Stephen King is a remarkable and wonderful storyteller who never loosens his grip on the reader throughout the 750-page book. (Woman's Day)

The novel is big, ambitious and haunting. King has probably absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his baby-boom American generation as thoroughly and imaginatively as any other writer. (Mildura Midweek)

King weaves the social, political and popular culture of his baby-boom American generation into a devastating exercise in escalating suspense. (Daily Liberal)

A fascinating journey. (Armidale Express Extra)

A delightful blend of history and fantasy by a man who has always had a soft spot for an America where men wore fedoras, drove big Fords and could do the foxtrot. A thriller by a genius writer. (The Courier Mail)

People often complain there are no writers of the stature of Dickens anymore. I think that for pure energy and invention missed with compassion, King stands in that writer's direct line. Dickens' heir is alive and well and living in Maine. (Eureka Street)

This is Stephen King in top and chilling form. (Take 5)

You have to take a leap of faith with time-travel novels, but if there's one writer who can pull it off, it's Stephen King. ... Captivating, surprisingly pacy and free from sci-fi cliché, it's no wonder the film version is already being planned. (Shortlist)

The most remarkable story-teller in modern American literature. (Mark Lawson,The Guardian)

a powerful love story (Mirror)

One of the strengths of the book is King's at once nostalgic and honest view of the end of the Eisenhower era. King manages to avoid both sentimentalizing the past and treating it with massive condescension; his role as the poet of American brand-names serves him well here. (Independent)

King swiftly moves beyond vintage Americana to unfold a stunningly panoramic portrait of the era. His [King's] fascination with evil...arranges characters among clear mortal frontiers that fell meaningful rather than simplistic. King commands an inordinately fat space on the bookshelf with 11.22.63 but it's hard to begrudge when his vast imagination is working across such an epic canvas. (Seven, The Sunday Telegraph)

11.22.63 marks a definite maturing of literary command and ambition. The key to any novel set in an alternate reality is credible world building, the steady accumulation of detail - preferably lightly distributed - that brings the story alive. King succeeds in this, partly drawing from his own memories. (Adam LeBor FT Weekend)

...This is the American of Stephen King's childhood and it's one that he re-creates in vivid and loving detail... This is a truly compulsive, addictive novel not just about time-travel or the Kennedy assassination but about recent American history and its might-have-beens, about love, and about how life 'turns on a dime'. It's a thunking 700-pager which left me only wanting more. The master storyteller in truly masterful form. (Daily Mail)

Stephen King is up there with the best. It's a thriller, a meditation on late Fifties and early Sixties America and a love story. It creates a world you can lose yourself in. (Peter Robinson in the Sunday Express)

He writes incomparably good stories . . . King's mastery of plot and his ability to create characters and situations both homespun and far-fetched means that this is the book you dream of getting stuck on the train home with. (Independent on Sunday)

The fictional offering that engaged me most urgently . . . an extraordinarily ambitious tale. (Canberra City News)

A suspenseful drama. (New Idea (Australia)

Time travel and an incredible talent for storytelling combine to produce a unique tour de force. (Sun)

A book of the year. (Sun)

Cleverly evokes the moral dilemmas of time travel and whether a time traveller could or should prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy on 11.22.63. King also beautifully and nostalgically evokes the minutiae of American suburban life in the late 1950's. (Canberra Times)

King's first effort at melding fact with fiction is as successful as his previous books, and perhaps even more intriguing considering the subject matter: time travel and the implications of change. A contemplative and thoughtful book as filled with heart as it is with intrigue, courtesy of one of our most gifted living writers. (Australian Penthouse)

Legendary writer King has written another magical tome. (People (Australia))

The proof that King is an absolute master of the ambitious, imaginative novel shouts from every page. (Good Book Guide)

Book Description

A riveting, high-stakes political story like UNDER THE DOME, a love story like BAG OF BONES, a 1950s community like IT, Stephen King's incredibly ambitious, heartstoppingly dramatic time travel novel, 11.22.63 is a WHAT IF? novel like no one's ever read before - a one thousand page tour de force.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
187 of 194 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen King turns back the clock 11 Dec 2011
Where does the time go? After finishing this book I checked the internet to find out when I first discovered, and fell in love with, the books of Stephen King. The first one I read was Salems Lot, a paperback I bought using a gift voucher I had been given for a present. I was shocked when I realised that this would have happened over thirty five years ago. I loved Salems Lot and I loved the books that followed it - The Shining, The Stand, The Dead Zone and a stunning short story collection called Night Shift. The publication of a new Stephen King book became a red letter day and I would always ensure that I would purchase my copy the same day that it hit the shelves. Over the years though, the standard of Stephen King's books dipped a little. Whilst they were nearly always good, and some were excellent, none ever seemed quite as good as his earlier masterpieces. I assumed that I would never read a Stephen King book that would better The Shining or The Stand. But then I read 11:22:63.

11:22:63 not only marks the return of Stephen King to his brilliant best, but it is also quite possibly his finest ever novel. Everything about it is spot on. The characters are excellent, but this is only as I expected, as I have always thought that characterisation was one of King's greatest strengths. In his latest book the main character is Jake Epping/George Amberson and he is the archetypal Stephen King "ordinary Joe", a man unwittingly carried along a path on which he has to take decisive actions for the ultimate good of the human race. The story, about travelling back in time to change the future, is superb. Only King at his best could make such an implausible plotline as this seem not only plausible, but utterly believable.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sorry guys loved it too - one of the best 16 July 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have read probably all of SK's novels - some fantastic (like the Dark Tower series and The Talisman) and some more mediocre . I am not a fan of short stories and if you also like an 'epic' tale - this is one for you.

He is back to his old form to my mind - as another reviewer put it, it was like the author gave you a 'handshake and a hug' and you were off an a brilliant adventure. I couldn't put the book down - meant to take it away on holiday but made the mistake of reading the first few pages - now I will have to find something else.

Great story and characters and would make a great movie - if they spend some money on it and don't turn it into a low budget 'made for tv' mini series which never works on SK's books.

A wonderful book with a heart wrenching ending.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, book, made me think! 16 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I started this book on Sunday and finished it 3 days later. It's the most thought-provoking Stephen King story I've ever read. A cracking story, told in the first person by Jake, and I was rooting for him all the way through the book.

I'm not normally given to dishing out 5 stars, but I would give this more if I could!

I recommend this book wholeheartedly.
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87 of 95 people found the following review helpful
In the last few years it almost seems to have become a tradition that we get a new Stephen King book just before Christmas and the much anticipated 11/22/63 is likely to keep many engaged during the festivities this year. It was certainly a book I found hard to put down and which took priority over such mundane activities as eating and sleeping!

Yet again the author has managed to come up with a completely different scenario to entertain his readers. A time portal is opened which comes out to a time slot in 1958. Once the other side of the portal there is an opportunity to change the course of events so that history is altered, either in a small way or on an international scale. The adventure becomes a mission to prevent the assassination of JFK in 1963 - hence the title of the book. This is somewhat complicated by Jake, the time traveler's, ambition to additionally change other aspects of the past. The question is can the past be changed in a major way like this, or it the tendency for it to fall back into its original shape.

This book works on many levels. Stephen King deals with the 53 year time regression extremely well and we are transported into a world where you could be in a different universe, such have been the social and technological changes subsequently. Then there is the consideration of the Oswald controversy - was he working alone or are the conspiracy theorists right? Most of all this works as a joined up story with believable people who the reader comes to care about and wants to keep reading about.

I am a self confessed Stephen King fan and have read all of his work, but I imagine this fascinating tale will appeal to and be enjoyed by most readers. Highly Recommended!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King of the world 10 Feb 2012
I haven't read a King novel since I was in my 20s (I'm now in my 50s), thinking I'd outgrown him and the horror genre (though I will always remember the final line of "Pet Sematary").

But after reading all the fine year-end blurbs for Best Books of 2011, including in the Financial Times, for "11/22/63," I thought I'd give it a go.

Once begun, I tore through the book in five days (I had limited time to read, otherwise I would never have put it down), and I now lament having finished it. What a roller-coaster ride.

"11/22/63" is both a terrific time-travel tale and well-researched historical fiction, especially fun for those of us who have some memories of the '50s and '60s, even if we were only children. Certainly the juxtaposition between our online-all-the-time era and a simpler age was thought-provoking in itself, but King also reminds that we've come a long way where racism, ignorance and misogyny are concerned.

A hugely entertaining, thoroughly imaginative and emotionally gripping story, full stop.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Immense
Got to be a future classic. Brilliant and hate the fact that I've finished it.
Published 10 hours ago by E. L. Dicken
3.0 out of 5 stars Qjuite puzzling
I am a STEPHEN KING FAN but I found this book boring His other books were really brilliant

too bizzare for me knowing Kennedy was actually shot. rating 3 stars. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Kindle Customerj
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An interesting twist to a time travel story. A little predictable with the time travel affects but still enjoyable.
Published 8 days ago by Mac McAllister
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Stephen King at his mercurial best. Enough said.
Published 8 days ago by Bob G
1.0 out of 5 stars Potentially good read ruined by 600 pages+ of tedium
Sorry, maybe this is harsh, but I don't think so- and it's a shame, because it could and maybe should have been a belter. Read more
Published 10 days ago by Wilki
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow.....The King is back!
Stephen King at his very best. It has been some time since I read a Stephen King book but I found Pet Semetary when doing a clear out and was once again sucked in to his fantastic... Read more
Published 10 days ago by babyjane
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 10 days ago by June Chasney
3.0 out of 5 stars Great beginning and end which are often the trickiest bits.
I enjoyed the beginning and very end, due to the time travel elements, but this didn't feature too heavily in the middle of the book.
Published 11 days ago by K. Rayment
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Great time travel story, with a couple of good twists, thoroughly enjoyed it and I most definitely recommend this book
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
a lot of book for so little money
Published 12 days ago by Nana
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