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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

11/22/63: A Novel by Stephen King

I don't get to read fiction very often, so I have to be very picky about where I decide to devote my time. If there is one thing I really hate it is wasting time on a bad story, whether that be TV, Movies or Books. But sometimes I am presently surprised, as was the case with the movie: Kick-Ass. But in this case I knew I was in for a good ride. I am a child of the '80's, not the '60's, so the Kennedy assassination was about twenty years before my time. However it is a subject that I have always been interested in because it was such a big event, and even remains so today. I mean, how many specials on the History channel do you see about the assassination of James A. Garfield? I also knew this book involved another storytelling device I am fond of: time travel. Some of my favorite stories involve time travel so I was pretty sure I was going to enjoy this book.

That being said, I absolutely loved it. I started reading on an airplane during my vacation and was done just a few days later; and this is an almost 900 page book! Although I am a big fan of his Dark Tower series, I don't read a lot of Stephen King. But he is one hell of a storyteller, and this story is no exception. The amount of research required for this project boggles my mind since it involves so many historical excerpts.

I don't want to spoil anything here, so if you don't want to read any spoilers, stop now. However if you have read the book and want some of my thoughts continue reading...

Spoilers Ahead!!

There was only one thing that I had a bit of a problem with in this story and that was the protagonist's unwavering desire to change the future. I'm no expert but (as is mentioned in the book many times) the smallest changes in the past can drastically affect the future. I don't understand why the protagonist never thought that perhaps Kennedy was supposed to die, especially so that we could end up with the world we have today. I also have to wonder if he considered that preventing the death of the President could potentially erase him from existence? These questions were addressed way too late in the book for my taste. However I do love King's method of time travel, his explanation of how quantum physics fits in to the overall story.  I also enjoy how the endings to his books aren't all wrapped up in a nice little bow like so many Hollywood movies nowadays. Although I have learned that this story has been optioned and picked up to be made into a movie so it will be interesting to see how much they change things.

I love a good story. This is a good story. I might just read it again for fun.

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