Friday, March 23, 2012
Stephen King's 11/22/63
Stephen King’s new book 11/22/63 is one of the best books I have ever read. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a great story with a great premise and a great-great ending.
Here’s the premise:
Jacob "Jake" Epping is a recently-divorced high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, earning extra money teaching a GED class. Epping gives an assignment to his adult students, asking them to write about a day that changed their lives. One of the students, a learning-impaired janitor named Harry Dunning, submits an assignment describing the night his alcoholic father murdered his mother and siblings with a hammer; the story emotionally affects Jake, and the two become friends after Harry earns his GED.
Two years later, Jake's long-time friend, Al Templeton, summons him to the local diner that he owns. Al instructs Jake to step into the back of the diner's pantry, where a time slip leads him to Lisbon Falls as it existed on September 9, 1958, at 11:58 a.m. After exploring the town, Jake returns to 2011 and learns from Al that the portal leads to that same moment of that same day every time it is used, and that a visitor will always return to the present by a margin of two minutes. He also learns that if he changes an event in the past, the event will "reset" and change back the next time he uses the portal. There is one anomaly: a drunken, disheveled man rests by the time portal in 1958, and seems to be aware in some sense of its existence. Al calls him the "Yellow Card Man" because he has a grimy yellow card stuck in his hat.
Because the portal gives one the ability to alter the present, Al reveals that he had concocted a plan to prevent John F. Kennedy's assassination, attributing the world's problems to events that would not have occurred had Kennedy lived. Al spent four years in the past after entering the portal the previous night, travelling to Dallas, Texas, to kill Lee Harvey Oswald during his attempted assassination of General Edwin Walker. During his stay, Al learned that the past is "obdurate"—the more significant the event you want to change, the more the past throws up obstacles to prevent that change. Because of this, Al developed terminal lung cancer and was forced to give up his mission with not enough time to complete it. He recruits a reluctant Jake to succeed him . . .
From then on it takes off.
Great History Story
Great Love Story
Great Human Interest Story
Great, Great Ending!
I will warn you it’s 900 pages long. But it’s well worth the read, trust me. Go buy it. Let me know if you like it.
Review of Book: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/13/books/review/11-22-63-by-stephen-king-book-review.html?pagewanted=all