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Showing 1-10 of 23 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on 10 April 2013
Oh, Mr King . . . why don't you stick to what you're good at? Have you become bored with writing masterful thrillers? I did not find 11.22.63 thrilling. In fact, I dragged myself through the first 300 pages waiting for something to really happen. OK, I can see those pages set the scene . . . but did we need so many? A 700+ page novel can be hard going; this could have done the job in 450 or less. Has SK's publisher succumbed to the market demand to justify shelf prices according to a book's thickness? I do hope this brilliant writer hasn't 'lost it' for future works.
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on 14 May 2016
In the words of the good ol' boys from Texas, this is "all hat, no cattle". The premise is good - what if we could change history - but the story takes too long to get to the main event. Having read a few books on Kennedy's assassination, including "Case Closed" by Gerald Posner & the excellent "Four Days in November" by Vincent Bugliosi, I am a firm believer in Oswald as the lone gunman (the fact that a misfit, Walter Mitty type character got "lucky" in Dallas due to random chance, is still unacceptable to many conspiracy theorists). With this in mind, I was looking forward to Jake/George's tracking of Oswald after the latter's return from the Soviet Union; there was plenty of scope here for King to try & delve into Oswald's character, beliefs & motivation. I was disappointed that this chance was missed. I get the idea that nostalgia for 60s America can be interesting but not to the extent of having to wade through over 500 pages before getting "close" to Oswald.
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on 25 February 2013
As a huge SK fan for nearly 30 years, it saddens me to have to give this novel such a poor review. I was so excited on first buying it as I thought King, once again, had come up with a fantastic and totally original storyline. Being a bit of a Kennedy fan too (I'd just finished reading around 3 or 4 books on the Kennedy clan and the assassination) I was intrigued to find out how the story would pan out and whether, in a fictional sense, JFK would in fact be saved from his tragic fate by a time traveller from our current era. What a brilliant storyline! How much fun can Mr King have with this I thought. Regrettably it seemed like not much fun at all, which I still can't understand as it was such an enormously appealing fat juicy storyline just waiting to be exploited to the max by the likes of SK. It got off to a good start ... SK's seductively familiar voice luring me into a topsy turvy world of time travel and the promise of weird and wonderful things to come ... and then, vamoosh, that voice seemed to disappear and got replaced by some dowdy, starry eyed romantic who seems hell bent on introducing the reader to all the intricacies of what it's like working in a school and putting on a play. Where did the storyline go? I have no idea and, after persevering for another few chapters I reluctantly abandoned the book completely ... something I've never done before with SK. It's interesting however that my sister, another big SK fan, loved it ... and my brother, who's only ever read a couple of SK, rates it as one of the best books he's ever read!

Perhaps I've missed something on this one. Suck it and see.
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on 23 September 2014
I'm fascinated by both the concept of time travel and by the JFK assassination.

So what better than a book that combines the two?

However, after an intriguing opening section, 11/22/63 turns into a unrewarding, flaccid and extremely frustrating read. The opening and closing chapters are great, but there are 100s (literally 100s) of pages of seemingly endless, well, nothing. Chapter after chapter after chapter.

A great concept but delivery is so wide of the mark that I cannot recommend this book to anyone.
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on 9 April 2013
I have to state, first off, that I didn't finish this book. I never made it past chapter 8. I read 'Cell' a few years ago and I vowed never to read another King book. When I read the synopsis for this book I was excited. I thought it was a great idea and couldn't wait to get stuck in. I got the book and I have been reading it for a few months, I just couldn't get into it. I kept putting it down and reading other things. I grew up on Stephen King, I read 'IT' when I was in my early teens. I loved his eerie pace and gobbled up his short stories and other books. But recently I feel he has lost something. Time traveling back to 1958 should have been interesting, but it wasn't. Spending unnecessary time describing the taste of milk or what the weather was like it not something I cared about. My kindle states that I am 20% in, and it has been a chore all the way. It is tedious and boring. The nods to other books was a nice touch, I got excited when he met the kids from 'IT', but then never spent any valuable time exploring a route that could have been very interesting. I just don't empathise with the main character at all, I can't even remember his name, he is dull, he has absolutely no plausible drive. He bumbles along in 1958 and seems to only question the fact he has time traveled a handful of times. It starts out well and then - in true post 2000 King fashion - starts wandering aimlessly around shoehorning in sub plots and back stories. It's a mess. The first 8 chapter could have taken up 4, maybe even less. I so wanted to enjoy this book, and I tried really hard to keep going, but, I am sorry Stephen, but my love affair with you is over...
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on 15 January 2012
Finished reading the book last night. I will assume anyone reading this knows the basic premise of the book to save time if you do not I would not bother reading this.

The first 200 pages concerning Jake's initial more personal motivation for going back and preventing the injury to Harry Dunning and the murder of his family is very good. Once this event has concluded one reviewer stated this could have been the end for them and they would have been very satisfied. I am inclined to agree with that.

The pardox for me is that the book becomes boring and tedious when attention is turned to the reason why most people will buy it, the central theme. Preventing Lee Harvey Oswald assassinating JFK.

The books middle section then shifts into one part love story, when Jake meets the character Sadie and also a love story about early 1960's America, and one part amateur espionage with Jake monitoring the movements of Lee Harvey Oswald for years. The first part of Jake settling into his new home town of Jodie, developing a romance with Sadie and generally living a normal life as a teacher is ok if very corny at times. The Lee Harvey Oswald detail is a hell of a slog. It basically involves Jake sitting in his living room listening to Oswald's every move and following him from residence to residence. You get to understand that Jake cannot just kill Oswald due to a small reason of doubt that Oswald may not be acting alone and JFK could still be murdered anyway. Still it does not warrant such a drawn out intricate analysis of what Lee Harvey oswald did for about 4 years. You are 600 pages in before you get to the 22nd November 1963. Lets put it that way. I could have shot Kennedy myself at this point.

The alternate present day that Jake returns to, in my opinion is just a contrived and lazy idea with no real level of detail say compared to say Lee Harvey oswald sitting on his porch in 1962. It is simply quickly run through because it has to be.

The actual ending I could see coming a mile off and as King thanks his son in the afterword of the book for coming up with the ending. I would love to know what his plan was.

In conclusion the first 200 pages are about 4 stars and the rest about 2 to 3 stars. If you want to read a book where world history is changed due to time travel with major ramifications DO NOT READ THIS. I would read Making History by Stephen Fry. This is about a man who goes back in time to prevent the birth of Hitler. That is a cracking novel and knocks the living hell out of Stephen King's lazy,stereotypical, cheesy, boring and laboured effort.

Over and out.
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on 9 September 2014
A decent enough novel but 200 pages to long, the characters are believable enough but theres no warmth between them and its pretty predictable.
If it wasn't written by King I doubt it would have gained the publicity it has.
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on 11 September 2012
I used to be King's Number One Fan ;-) but I stopped reading him when his books became bigger than the stories they contained. In the past few years I've tried to get back into him, first with Duma Key and now with this, 11.22.63.

Duma Key did not hold my interest and was sorely overwritten, but I was sure I would enjoy this book, as I love time-travel tales, and was so well disposed towards a resurgence of Stephen King than I thought I would be carried along by it for sure.

Not so. In his brilliant book On Writing, King's ethos is made clear and early: Less is More. How he has come to abandon this in favour of its direct inverse is a tragic mystery to me, but that's what has happened.

11.22.63 is a very heavy book. Poundage should have been my warning bell. Is this man being paid by the word? Somewhere along the way (probably around The Talisman or It) Stephen King has apparently got too famous and lucrative a writer to be told when he's using too many words, repeating himself, and being boringly self indulgent.

I have not finished 11.22.63. I may never, even though I'm pretty sure there's a superb story in there somewhere. But in my idle moments I dream of the book it might have been - of the books ALL King's later works might have been - if only a brave editor had told him to cut it by ten ounces.

King should read his own On Writing and turn his brilliant mind back to the basics of lean, mean storytelling. Until then, I'm still out, and the two stars awarded are for old time's sake alone.
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on 29 April 2016
Silly ending. It gives the impression that the author got bored three quarters through and just rushed it.
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on 11 March 2012
I'm a massive King fan and after the immense Under the Dome couldn't wait for this novel. A story from my time , off my time but what a disapointment! A poorly developed central character (George/Jake) very un-King-like and too much waffle of the 5 years before the event. The time travel element I thought was again poorly handled George/Jake accepted the premise with hardly any reservations and the ending when he returns to 2011 was straight out of Back to the Future.
King has been very consistent throughout his career with only the odd(IMO) average novel, Tom Gordon I'm looking at you, but he strikes out with this one.
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