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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    All Things Steven King    Fiction– There Are Other Worlds than These  ›  11/22/63 Moderators: Warren
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ghost and_ghostie gal
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 5:47pm Report to Moderator
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JFK

“Don't let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment, that was known as Camelot."

***Warning: minor spoilers ahead*** given the book is darn near a decade old, I'm sure the mad dog King fans have read it. I'm in the process of reading "Bag of Bones" for the second time. Gotta check out some of his more recent works. Any suggestions? No?

I’ve been putting off writing this review because I have no idea how to review this book. Films are one thing. Reviewing books from authors that I admire, like King and Dickens, is intimidating. I don’t feel like my review will do the book justice, but I’ll do my best.

I am almost too ashamed to say it, I've drifted away from Stephen King for the past several years. No real reason for this, I guess... time constraints… I can’t say I have much of an acquaintance with Stephen King’s backlog, only having read a handful of his books I really enjoy (Pet Sematary, The Dark Tower Saga, The Shining just to name a few...in fact, The Shining is one of my all-time favorite books). I started with "Night Shift.”

Hands down, least favorite; "Under the Dome." Can’t quite put my finger on it, but that one didn’t exactly lift my skirt.

As readers, I think one thing we all have in common is that every time we pick up a book, we're hoping it'll be one of those times where what you're reading is so absorbing that you forget entirely that you're reading, your conscious self recedes into the background, and the story just takes over. Those are always the most magical reading experiences for me, at least, and this book.

11-22-63 is a departure from SK's usual style. Traveling back in time to change history has been done a quadrillion times, but loving JFK, and watching movies, books  & documentaries relating to him, I was looking forward to King’s attempt at it.  And given the novel's cover, a picture is worth a thousand words . So naturally I was under the assumption that the bulk of the story would center around it.  Boy, I was wrong on that count, I almost felt this was a bit of a bait and switch, but I'm here to tell you, what an awesome, f*cking book. So so good! I forgot how enthralling SK’s books can be. A time traveler without a DeLorean?! How can this be? Not once did he hit 88mph or generate 1.21 gigawatts of power!

What if you could go back in time to change/prevent bad things in history? Would you? Should you?  SK takes that question head on. It is also a wonderful, and compelling, love story between the main character, Jake Epping, or George Amberson and Sadie. King's descriptions of the decisions that Jake makes, in trying to choose between his personal desires and what a world might look like had JFK lived, is riveting. Add in the ramifications of how going back in time can change history. It’s not full of blood and gore and monsters, like some of his other books. But the research that went into the LHO and the Kennedy assassination is just A-Mazing! One of the major strength of this book for me was how King transforms you to the world of 1958-1963 - I could taste the root beer, see the blue smoked filled rooms, I could hear "In The Mood" with Glen Miller and see Sadie and George dancing the Lindy.

If i ever get my time machine to work i'm moving to the 60's.   

Accordingly, the ending is memorable and meaningful. I’m not sure if he meant to get spiritual and philosophical, but he did for this reader. I don't want to spoil it, but I'll just say this; it was how it had to end.

King has added another testament to his literary ability with "11-22-63". This is a blend of thought provoking writing, prose, & a whole lot of heart. A labor of love, if you will. "The Shining" is still my favorite, but "11-22-63" is not far behind.

If anything, after reading this -- it's impossible, or plain unfair, to pigeonhole him into any category. All hail the King!   



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Warren  -  February 8th, 2022, 6:59pm
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LC
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 6:41pm Report to Moderator
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Well, for someone who apparently doubts their ability to do justice to a book review those were some fine and thoroughly entertaining words on 11/22/63.

Hubby read this one (I haven't got around to it yet) - he reads them all which makes Birthdays, Anniversaries and yuletide a cinch.   Thank you, SK!

So, given he (Hubby) is a huge JFK fan I am repeatedly subjected to (wrong word there) everything historical, conspiratorial, autobiographical on the man. Sometimes I feel like - again? But then invariably find myself drawn in.

Suffice to say that I agree this was a nice departure from the predictable or stereotypical (horror) for SK in so far as we watched this and it was (according to H) one of the more successful renditions of book to screen: -

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2879552/

I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Your review has definitely made me think I should dig out the book for the finer details.
After I get around to finishing Billy Summers.  


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Warren
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 6:56pm Report to Moderator
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I haven't read the review because of the spoilers but just added this to my Audible account today actually so it will be my next read after I finish my current trip through the Territories :p

I'm also reading The Drawing of The Three at the moment for the 3rd time as part of a year-long Dark Tower reading challenge being hosted on FB.

Only heard good things about 11/22/63 and I do love a thick King book. Will circle back to this in a month or two when I'm done.


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Grandma Bear
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 7:06pm Report to Moderator
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This one is one of my all time favorites of his. A total page turner. Loved loved loved it!

In fact, I loved it so much, I even liked the TV series.  


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SteveClark
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 7:11pm Report to Moderator
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I just finished The Outsider last night. A little behind on my King, but I’d love to dig into the Mr. Mercedes trilogy next, or maybe Billy Summers.

I read 11/22/63 several years ago when it first came out and I have very vivid memories of that read. Def one of my fav King novels for sure. Very fond of the way it ended. I thought it was perfect, and was very touched. So much so, in fact, I think I have a script (still in my head tho) that was sorta kinda based on that ending — SPOILER KINDA SORTA!!! — saying goodbye to someone you know who doesn’t know you. Not really but kinda sorta.

An engrossing, top notch read for me. Have always loved King and always will.


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ghost and_ghostie gal
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 7:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Warren
I haven't read the review because of the spoilers but just added this to my Audible account today actually so it will be my next read after I finish my current trip through the Territories :p

I'm also reading The Drawing of The Three at the moment for the 3rd time as part of a year-long Dark Tower reading challenge being hosted on FB.

Only heard good things about 11/22/63 and I do love a thick King book. Will circle back to this in a month or two when I'm done.


Um, The Dark Tower challenge sounds interesting.

Well when you get around to 11/22/63 I hope you like.



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ghost and_ghostie gal
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 7:23pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear
This one is one of my all time favorites of his. A total page turner. Loved loved loved it!

In fact, I loved it so much, I even liked the TV series.  


Shockingly, I haven't seen the TV series, but you and Libby have convinced me.



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Warren
Posted: February 8th, 2022, 7:32pm Report to Moderator
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Um, The Dark Tower challenge sounds interesting.

Well when you get around to 11/22/63 I hope you like.



Only one-and-a-bit books in, so not too late to join

https://m.facebook.com/groups/735797660124318/




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Warren  -  February 15th, 2022, 5:46pm
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JEStaats
Posted: February 15th, 2022, 5:30pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from SteveClark
I just finished The Outsider last night. A little behind on my King, but I’d love to dig into the Mr. Mercedes trilogy next, or maybe Billy Summers.


Interesting, I did the same thing. I read The Outsider first and then started Mr. Mercedes, only to find out that The Outsider is really book 4 to the trilogy. Thank god it didn't take away from the others by reading it out of order.

And, in case you didn't know, 'If it Bleeds' is a book 5 short story. That entire series is my all-time favorite.

You're in for quite a ride, Steven!
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steven8
Posted: March 6th, 2022, 12:04am Report to Moderator
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I loved this book so much.  I found the subject very intriguing, and I already liked Stephen King's writing, so I had to give it a go.  You live it.  His writing makes you live it.  You smell the smells, you feel the heat, you taste the tastes and so badly you want the President to be saved.  So badly, he makes you want the President to be saved.  Talk about a writer who can not only make you suspend disbelief, he can really make you hope for a change of reality.

I must be one the rare people who also loves film adaptations of books I love.  I love the mini series as well.  I loved the Harry Potter movies as well as the books.  I loved Under the Dome as well as the book.  Maybe it's just me...it seems to just be me...I am able to totally separate one from the other.  The book and the film version are two totally different products to me and I do not think of them as connected.  I enjoy them separately as stand alone projects.  My best friend at work is completely, "I loved the book(s), but I can't stand what they did to it when they, etc., etc., etc."  Not me.  All memories of the book go out the door when I start watching.  I think it's just how I'm wired.  Anyway, I loved the mini series of 11/22/63.  James Franco was perfect.

P.S. - For anyone who watches Murdoch Mysteries, did you notice the love interest in the TV version of 11/22/63 was Julia's kid sister?  


ED - All I wanna do is tell stories.  The things I find interesting...

DOLORES - Well maybe you're not studio kind of material.
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Grandma Bear
Posted: March 6th, 2022, 12:24pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from steven8
I loved this book so much.  I found the subject very intriguing, and I already liked Stephen King's writing, so I had to give it a go.  You live it.  His writing makes you live it.  You smell the smells, you feel the heat, you taste the tastes and so badly you want the President to be saved.  So badly, he makes you want the President to be saved.  Talk about a writer who can not only make you suspend disbelief, he can really make you hope for a change of reality

This EXACTLY!!! When I read it I was just hoping he would somehow save the president. Amazing! One of my favorites, if not THE favorite of his.  


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steven8
Posted: March 19th, 2022, 10:29pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Grandma Bear

This EXACTLY!!! When I read it I was just hoping he would somehow save the president. Amazing! One of my favorites, if not THE favorite of his.  


My favorite was Thinner until I read this one.


ED - All I wanna do is tell stories.  The things I find interesting...

DOLORES - Well maybe you're not studio kind of material.
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steven8
Posted: July 8th, 2022, 7:21pm Report to Moderator
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Found a copy for .50 at the Goodwill store.  So...I'm reading it again.  I can't help myself.


ED - All I wanna do is tell stories.  The things I find interesting...

DOLORES - Well maybe you're not studio kind of material.
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Warren
Posted: July 25th, 2022, 9:19pm Report to Moderator
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Finally started this after a month or two of Holly Gibney (Mr. Mercedes, Finders Keepers, End Of Watch, The Outsider, and If It Bleeds), all of which I loved but Finders Keepers and The Outsider were stand-outs.

200 or so pages into 11/22/63 and I'm hooked, loving it so far. Will share my thoughts once I'm done.


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Warren
Posted: July 28th, 2022, 8:58pm Report to Moderator
Of The Ancients


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About halfway through and damn what a great book!

I've stayed clear of this one for some time because I literally did judge the book by it's cover. I have very little interest in the JFK assassination or anything to do with it but this book is so much more than that. I loved the time spent in Derry and meeting up with some old favourite characters.


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