Reader 19: A Short Review Of 11.22.63

Dallas in the 1960s

Reader 19 offers this short review of 11.22.63. 
What if you could go back in time and change history? That is the basic premise of 11/22/63. Stephen King’s latest novel has hit a home run, however, about three quarters of the way through we are left wondering where the novel is going. There is a backstory of the “life of “ George Amberson and the changing of the Kennedy assassination and you are often wondering if the two stories will intertwine. But not to worry because of course they did.

Even when it felt like the story was beginning to wander, I was compelled to finish the book–I HAD to know what happened. The main characters had so much depth and emotion. King skillfully draws the reader into the story. He also has the ability to blast us right into the late 50s and early 60s with Jake Epping. It’s a ride worth taking! As a woman in her thirties, I never lived in that era and it was surprising all the things that were so different in society even though it was not all that long ago.

In this book you feel like you know these characters personally and you don’t want the story to end. Even though the reader knows time travel can’t really happen, you are still right there with the characters. As such I often wondered throughout the book why Jake aka “George” does some of the things he does . . . but the end justifies the means once again. Even if he does something I might not have, I read on.

It amazes me how Stephen King can grasp the depth of emotion of the characters in his book–especially with women. He really seems to know a woman’s soul, and how a woman talks and thinks, as seen in this story with Sadie Dunhill.

I found it interesting that King did not feel the need at the beginning of the story to spend pages on time travel and how it is possible and why it works the way it does. He explains enough for us the reader to know and does not explain the why of it at the beginning because he knows that we want to get to the story.

By the way, Dark Tower fans–there is a Dark Tower link in the book but I won’t say where–read it and find it for yourself. It was unexpected and sort of a “ ah ha, of course moment.”

I will not give away any spoilers but suffice it to say there were several surprise twists at the end–and I was not left disappointed. The wandering was actually worth it since it all tied itself up nicely in the end. However, if I had been writing it, I think I would not have ended it in the way King did. King’s alternate version of modern history, is very surprising and well, creative.

King has successfully broken out of the horror genre with this book.


  1. So, tell me Rev, have "you" finished?

  2. Nope. I plow on. I'm listening. Problem is: I live 1 mile from work. Sometimes I drive around the block to listen to a little more! But I'm getting close.

  3. Well, Rev, as the posters say, hang in there. I'm looking forward to a final summation entry in the 11/22/63 journal.

    Something to Tide you Over: Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the imagination of C.S. Lewis by Michael Ward. Not for now, necessarily, just something to look up eventually.