By: Stephen King
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Schoolteacher Jake Epping is about to learn to most stunning secret ever. After being summoned to Al’ Diner he is told of a portal aka the rabbit hole that will take him back to 1958. Al’s lifetime obsession is to prevent that assassination of John F. Kennedy and he has compiled a book full of Lee Harvey Oswald’s movements up but he is missing the key…did he act alone or not. Now cancer has taken the opportunity for Al to find out and he must confide in one man who is young enough, smart enough and doesn’t have many ties to go back thru the portal and hang around until 1963 to find out and possibly stop Oswald from committing the assassination. Al’s time is short and he needs Jake to believe him so he sends him thru to test the waters. Jake does have one thing he would like to change about what happened to one of his adult students, coincidentally, in 1958, and decides to test the rabbit hole. Even after somewhat successfully achieving his goal and coming back, Jake is hesitant but Al does something to force his hand and Jake has no choice but to head back under his fake identity that Al created for him, George.
Having to wait around until 1963, Jake/George starts to become bored and wants to teach again and begins to form attachments to some very interesting characters all of which he was warned not to do. Each new character ends up playing an intricate part in what he came to do. 11/22/63 wouldn’t be the novel it is without all the trials that Jake/George endures during his time in the past. The reader becomes deeply invested and wish for a happy outcome even though fate has another idea on what is to become of those that meddle with the future. History does not like change and even though Al warned Jake/George about this, it still takes all of us by surprise.
I loved every page of this 842 page novel. King had me quickly flipping pages to find out what happens next and then he left me raw and broken at the end. The time travel aspect is real basic. The portal takes the person to the same day every time and each time you enter it will reset all that was changed that last time someone went through. Though you may be gone for months or years, in your future time you are only gone 2 minutes. The blending of fact and fiction is one of King’s strengths and it is showcased brilliantly in this remarkable read. If you enjoyed Under to Dome you will love what King has in store for you in 11/22/63.