Wednesday, April 4, 2012
11/22/63 by Stephen King, reviewed by BL Kennedy
New York, NY
I have never been what you’d call a crying man.
My ex wife said that my ‘nonexistent emotional gradient’ was the main reason she was leaving me (as if the guy she met in her AA meetings was beside the point). Christy said she supposed she could forgive me for not crying at her father’s funeral; I had only known him six years and couldn’t understand what a wonderful, giving man he had been (a Mustang convertible as a high school graduation present, for instance). But then, when I didn’t cry at my own parent’s funerals—they died just two years apart, Dad of stomach cancer and Mom of a thunderclap heart attack while walking on a Florida beach—she began to understand the nonexistent gradient thing. I was “unable to feel my feelings,” in AA speak.
This is going to be short, sweet, and to the point. I love Stephen King; no matter how many times I say it, its still true. And I’ll say it again. I love Stephen King. His latest book 11/22/63 is an ambitious departure from his various horrors, in the sense that the horror in this book is us.
King’s character Jake Epping is simply put one of the most invested and sure characters in contemporary literature. Epping is a 35-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes some extra money teaching G.E.D classes. Through the use of a watershed moment for Jake, his life like that of Harry Dunning, the owner of the local store, is able to transport into time. However, Dunning is not doing well in this moment; his body is riddled with cancer, and its Dunning who first suggest that Jake travel back in time to 1963. He does this to deflect the Kennedy Assassination. I’ll let you guess the outcome.
This is one of Big Steve’s most ambitious works. It captures the atmosphere of the early 60’s, be it Maine or San Antonio, Texas. Big Steve will draw you into this immensely imaginative novel. Nuff said. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed reading this book, and how I think its probably one of King’s best books in years. So if you wanna have a great time, go out and grab yourself a copy of 11/22/63. You wouldn’t regret the purchase.