11/22/63: A Novel

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11/22/63: A Novel

by Stephen King

Scribner | November 8, 2011 | Hardcover

11/22/63: A Novel is rated 4.6429 out of 5 by 28.
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 864 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 2.3 in

Published: November 8, 2011

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451627289

ISBN - 13: 9781451627282

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A real page-turner! What happens to the future when you change the past? The assassination of JFK is the backdrop for this time-traveling tale where our hero Jake Epping goes through a portal to 1958 where he must wait until 1963 to carry out a plan to save the President. We follow Jake's life during the long 5 year wait where Stephen King takes us on a riveting stroll through the history books. A fantastic read.
Date published: 2012-10-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best novels ever! Stephen King shows that he excels in any genre. Amazing time travel book to the heart of the Kennedy era. Everything about this book from the characters, the sights, sounds and everything about the late 1950's and early 60's is so real. The concept about the butterfly effect when changing the past is a great plot narrative. This book deserves all the accolades it has received as it delivers on all levels. Despite its massive size that book is a crisp quick read and never boring. A must read for everyone!
Date published: 2012-09-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My first Stephen King Jake Epping leads a boring life in 2011. As he finishes grading papers of his English class in 2011, he remembers reading Harry Dunning's story on how his father killed his entire family and almost him when he was a child, leaving Harry with a permanent limp. Jake is interrupted by friend and diner owner Al who sounds very sick. Jake drives over to the diner and Al looks years older than he did yesterday. Al wants to share his secret with Jake, as he's learned he has cancer: there's a rabbit hole in the diner's cellar that leads back to September 9, 1958. Jake walks through the rabbit hole and visits 1958 for a short period of time, just to get a root beer. Everyone seems friendlier and the food tastes better. Back in 2011 he learns that every time he goes through the hole, he's back at September 9, 1958. Time re-sets each visit. Al tells Jake his intentions were to go through the rabbit hole and wait for four years until the assassination of JFK so he could put a stop to it. He thoroughly researched Lee Harvey Oswald but couldn't finish his quest, or even determine if Oswald was the only shooter before he got too sick. Jake must go through the hole for Al and see if he can carry through this quest. The past, however, does not like to be changed. It will throw everything at you to try and stop you from changing the past. Jake also notices how there are harmonies in the past. If he stops one thing from happening, it may happen somewhere else. This concept and the butterfly effect makes this book particularly interesting. Surprisingly, this 800-pager is the very first Stephen King book I've ever read. I've never been a big fan of horror books but this is far from it. It's a cross between historical fiction, thriller, and science fiction. I've always had this preconceived notion that because King churns out so many novels that his writing wouldn't be very good, but that's not the case. The characters in this book are near-perfect. Jake Epping is boring enough that you can relate to him but not so boring that he isn't interesting. He steps up when he needs to but in a way that you could picture yourself doing so. The other gems in this novel are the harmonies created in the past. People he meets are named the similarly, he sees his car twice, etc. This obviously took a lot of planning on King's part and it was executed very well. Despite the high praise, there were some small issues that nagged at me. The first was why a restaurant owner would go to Jake with this information. They weren't close friends but rather almost acquaintances. Not the type of person I would share this information with. The second was when Epping noticed the harmony between Sadie (his girlfriend in the 60s) and the mother of Harry Dunning. I felt like I had missed a crucial piece of the plot when I read this part and actually had to re-read it a few times. I ended up searching the internet and seeing that other people had the same problem. I think King dropped the ball on this part. The ending felt a little rushed, however it was really the only ending this book could have and I felt satisfied. This has been one of my better reads of the year.
Date published: 2012-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If it's been a while since you've read him, start here. Though I wish him no particular ill, I almost look forward to when Stephen King is dead, because I think only then will he get the respect he deserves as one of the great American writers of all time. Not horror writers, writers in general. 11/22/63 is one of the most approachable King ventures (despite its girth) since he finished the Dark Tower series. It is a sprawling tale that answers a fairly conventional question: What would the world be like if someone had prevented the Kennedy assassination? King takes his time in answering, allowing his main character to dabble in the past, experimenting with time travel, and spending perhaps just a bit too long for me just living in the past rather than tracking down Lee Harvey Oswald. I do feel there was some potential wasted when Jake failed to, say, travel North America meeting famous figures of late 50s America, but King does this to endear supporting characters, and the man is a master, so I can't question him too loudly. There is everything you'd expect in a King book of the past twenty years: a bit of horror, pop culture references, a crossover with his other works (in this case IT). But the man is at his best when he writes people just being people. Despite his need to throw the fantastic into it all, the man writes humans better than almost anyone.
Date published: 2012-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from another good king read Keeps you interested throughout the whole book. Thrilling as usual...didn't like the ending but its a stephen king book. its what you get haha
Date published: 2012-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Time Travel King Style Another terrific outing by Mr. King. His ability to set the stage and make you care for the characters is second to none. When the tragic happens, and you know it will, it still hits you like a ton of bricks. The detail he brought from his own worlds of Derry and the real world Dallas were seamless. A must read for all King fans.
Date published: 2012-05-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Brilliant If you're into the concept of time travelling, you should definitely give this book a try
Date published: 2012-05-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Well Done Jake Epping is a high school english teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He is 35-years old and has led a pretty non-descript life. A few moments to take pride in as far as his teaching career is concerned, but overall, nothing exciting. Until one night when he visiting a local diner owner with a big secret. Unbelievable as it seems to Jake there is a Alice in Wonderland type rabbit hole right behind the diner. This rabbit hole does not lead to an imaginary land but to Lisbon Falls circa 1958. Enter the age old time travel question. If you could go back in history and change one significantly pivotal event … would you? What would be the consequences? Would there be any consequences if you knew that stepping back into the present and then back into the past would undo everything. Jake decides it is worth the risk and spends five years in the past hoping to stop the assassination of JFK. But is anything ever that easy? Not in Mr. King’s world. After all, the past is obdurate. This latest by Mr. King is a little step out of the horror genre and a tip-toe into historical fiction. I liked it! Mr. King obviously did his research with regards to Oswald and Kennedy, but the interpretation of the late 50’s and early 60’s is wonderful. I found myself lost in the days before the civil rights movement, fast food restaurants, terrorist threats, gun-control and smoking by-laws. As always Mr. King’s characters are wonderful. He acknowledges that every good character has a little bad and the villains of history have their little share of goodness. Admittedly I am a huge King fan, but this would be a good King book for non-fans of the horror genre. In the author afterword Mr. King welcomes a new grand-daughter into the King family. I can only hope he is not in charge of bedtime story selection
Date published: 2012-05-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Your Typical Fan... Believe me when I say that I am not what you could call a fan of Stephen King's. I read a few of his books back in my late teens/early 20's, and was put off by the creepy nature of the genre (I've since been diagnosed as a Chickens**t) and the detailed way he writes was also a bit much for me (urine spashes, I get it Stevo, now move on...). However, after reading glowing review after glowing review, I found myself excited that this was chosen as my book clubs next read. I was intrigued by the synopsis, and anxious to see how the Master of horror would handle a time travel story about one of the biggest turning points in American history. I was also fairly sure he wasn't going to try to scare the bejesus out of me. So I cracked open this doorstopper and began to read. I was immediately pulled into this story and was awestruck at King's ability to weave such a complicated plot without ever dropping a thread, or losing me as a reader. To say this is more than a time travel book about Camelot is an understatement. It is priceless jewel in the crown of the King, and I can't recommend it highly enough, to fans and non-fans alike!
Date published: 2012-04-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 11/22/63 Makes Stephen King One of The Best Modern Fiction Writers If you could go back in time and change history to make the world a better place would you. Stephen King tackles that theme in 11/22/63, taking us on Jake Epping’s journey as he travels back in time as George Amberson from 2011 to stop the Kennedy assassination in 1963. We already know that King is one of the best modern horror writers, with this book he becomes one of the best modern fiction writers as well. I’m not a fan of time travel fiction. It’s easy for an author to make mistakes. Time travel can be tricky and often ends up being messy prose. King improves this type of storytelling by adding themes, choices, and consequences to his story. He does use the “Butterfly Effect” trope creating ripples throughout time and improves on this by making time fight back, the past in 11/22/63 does not want to be changed. King’s prose is easy to read contributing to a great story. Kings characters mesh making them believable. Their interconnections work great, especially when King contrasts Jake’s failed marriage with Christy in 2011 with his love for Sadie in the 1960s. The friendships King writes for Jake with Al, Deke, and Ellie, also juxtapose themselves with reality creating a greater story and bringing depth. One problem I do have with this book is the set up. King spends so much time describing the events from 1958 to 1963 that when he finally shows us what happened in the future it feels passé. I would have loved to have gone deeper into the changes after the assassination was stopped, delving further into the history of how the world changed rather than have just a couple of pages. Sure, we get hints and glimpses of what has happened since 63, and Jake mulls over the choices that he has made. For me as a reader, it just was not enough. One of the unique passages within the book comes from the town of Derry where King brings us back to one of his older stories, “It”. Not once but twice does King go back to the Maine town as he describes the Pennywise murders, Jake encounters Richie as well as Bev all the while he is trying to save a family that haunts him in his future. Using Derry grounds the story for Stephen King fans and allows them to know the world that he creates. It also allows King to build on the themes from Derry, such as Jake’s feeling that something is not right in the town, and transpose them onto the city of Dallas as well. Derry provides a mystique to the book, allowing King to flow the mystery of time fighting back throughout the novel. This book is Stephen King at his best, but it is still not his best book. For me that has to go to It. I still walk around looking down sewer grates scared that I will see Pennywise staring up at me ever since I read that novel in my teens. With 11/22/63, King proves that he is not just a genre writer, this is one of the best pieces of time historical fiction that I have ever read. I highly recommend this book to any historical fiction or Stephen King fan.
Date published: 2012-02-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Surprise!! Stephen King puts together a real gem mixing in factual events with an intriguing plot that makes this book hard to put down!!!
Date published: 2012-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An all-around solid King door-stopper! This is a bit of an oddly structured novel, told in 4 arcs. The first is the introduction, which establishes Jake and introduces the concept of time travel. It reminds me of a short story, the kind of intentionally amusing oddity he would have included in the Night Shift or Skeleton Crew collections. It’s a little far-fetched, but played out so casually, as if there’s nothing to it, that it works. Little details, like buying the same pound of meat hundreds of times and then using it to sell 21st century hamburgers at 1960s prices ease us past the point of disbelief. The second arc is Jake’s first extended visit to the past, which is really just an homage to King’s past. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – in fact, this was my favourite part of the book – but I suspect some readers will find it self-indulgent. Personally, I loved revisiting the town of Derry, seeing the evil that permeates through an outsider’s eyes, and running into the kids of IT. Later on in the book there are also some obvious nods to Cujo (rabid dogs come up a few times) and Christine (a sinister Plymouth Fury plays a role), as well as to Hearts in Atlantis and The Dark Tower saga. The third arc comprises the bulk of the story, and deals with Jake’s second extended visit to the past. Here we get an interestingly (perhaps too) nostalgic look at the world of the 60s, one of King’s best stabs at developing a romance (between Jake and Sadie), and a healthy smattering of social and political commentary. This part definitely drags in parts, and is largely the reason I had to put the book down and give myself a break for a week or so before continuing. As events take us closer to the JFK assassination, and we really get to see how the past struggles to harmonize and protect itself, the story does take off, but it is a bit of a slog to get there. The final arc of the story is one that I am sure will polarise audiences. Personally, I loved the Twilight Zone eeriness of it, and the unexpected way in which King deals with the aftermath of Jake’s intervention in the JFK assassination. It’s a bit heavy-handed, for sure, and easily the most fanciful part of the story, but it really brought everything to a satisfying conclusion with no lingering what-ifs.
Date published: 2012-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Caught me by surprise! King's finest yet! I picked up this book after hesitating. I guess I was apprehensive about reading a political novel... What a surprise! I should have known that King would give me more. This book is outstanding. The writing is top-notch and truly shows that practice really does make perfect. This is King's finest work thus far.
Date published: 2012-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Outstanding I had my reservations about this book, I will admit it. After I started to read it, I was blown away. Completely. Every customer I've recommended it to has loved it. This is the best book of the year, as far as I'm concerned. And I do a lot of reading.
Date published: 2012-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book This time out King has written a book in which you feel the characters are real people, they feel real and you cheer and cry for them as the story unfolds. Without giving away the ending, would be great to have a followup focusing on the time travel aspect in general and how the rabbit hole came into existence
Date published: 2012-01-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is a terrific read! Anyone who thinks Stephen King writes gruesome horror (and he does that very well, though it's not easy) should try him in this mode. This is fantasy that will draw the reader into a believeable story about an event that affected most Boomers, a time that pierced our hearts and woke up our minds. King is adept at tapping into those parts of us, and this might be his masterpiece novel (though "The Stand" is one of my classics). A exceptional take on a day in history.
Date published: 2011-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 11/22/63 I loved this book . Reminded me of the old King novels like IT, Needful Things ,the Stand etc. Good and thick .But mostly GOOD. If you liked The DOME you'll love this one i did.
Date published: 2011-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from engrossing What happens to the 'strings' of lives when you can sneak back in time and try and change something? what happens when Jake Epping has a chance to save JFK? Wild stuff
Date published: 2011-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth a read for the ending alone This is an oddly structured novel, told in 4 arcs. The first is the introduction, which establishes Jake and introduces the concept of time travel. It reminds me of a short story, the kind of intentionally amusing oddity he would have included in the Night Shift or Skeleton Crew collections. The second arc is Jake’s first extended visit to the past, which is really just an homage to King’s past. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – in fact, this was my favourite part of the book – but I suspect some readers will find it self-indulgent. The third arc comprises the bulk of the story, and deals with Jake’s second extended visit to the past. Here we get an interestingly (perhaps too) nostalgic look at the world of the 60s, one of King’s best stabs at developing a romance (between Jake and Sadie), and a healthy smattering of social and political commentary. The final arc of the story is one that I am sure will polarise audiences. Personally, I loved the Twilight Zone eeriness of it, and the unexpected way in which King deals with the aftermath of Jake’s intervention in the JFK assassination. It’s a bit heavy-handed, for sure, and easily the most fanciful part of the story, but it really brought everything to a satisfying conclusion with no lingering what-ifs. Overall, a solid King story, and one that I suspect will end up ranking in my top 10, once I have a chance to digest it.
Date published: 2011-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Eloquently told At first, I was very hesitant to buy the book as I have little or less background of the JFK assasination. However, as I bought it and flipped through the pages, I realized that the story does not revolve around the assasination itself. There were different denouments which I think triggered my attachment to the main character - Jake Epping. This book is amazing.
Date published: 2011-12-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Constant Readers will not be Disappointed As an avid, passionate S.K. fan, I pre-ordered this book with the giddiness of a kid on Christmas Eve. I could not wait for my brown cardboard package to arrive and dive into King's world. He has not diasppointed me. It is not vintage King, but almost a kinder, gentler read... almost... I loved the full circle-ness of Derry, and of how changing the past might not always mean making it right, or better... I hate reading reviews that give too much away, so, here it is... did I enjoy it? yes... In this humble Reader's opinion it is not his best work, but it was a good ride. I know await his next offering. Which I will pre-order also! Cheers, and Enjoy
Date published: 2011-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from If you are "In the Mood" for a great book...then this is it!!! This book was incredible!!!! I read it in 3 days! Could not put it down! It made me laugh, cry and be on the edge of my seat wondering what would happen next. Stephen King you have outdone yourself and Jacob and Sadie oh how I wish you were real!!!
Date published: 2011-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best King Novel In Years! I could not put this book down! This novel clearly demonstrates King's amazing story telling talents. This novel has you actually lending credibility to the extremely well researched and written story. Loved it!!!
Date published: 2011-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastically fast paced! Stephen King does it again! Although not his usual genre - this book meets all the expectations of a King fan. Mixing together adventure, history, drama, and thriller, this is one of those books that will really intrigue you. Don't be threatened by its thickness though, the 850 pages will really keep you on the edge of your seat, and is absolutely worth your time!
Date published: 2011-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved it! This book is fantastic. I didn't want to put it down but at the same time I didn't want it to ever end, it was such a great story. I love Stephen King and read everything he writes but even someone who doesn't like King will enjoy this book.
Date published: 2011-11-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant - A King book that King haters will love too The Good Stuff Honest to god this is a truly spectacular book and I will not hesitate to say it is one of his best - Up there with The Stand and Rita Hayworth & the Shawshank Redemption (Two of my favorite stories of all time) I wish I was more eloquent to express my love for this novel (You are now forgiven for Pet Semetary Mr King) This is one that even if you hate King, you will enjoy Heartbreaking, beautiful and honest - Jake is an exceptional character that I would be honored to have as a friend. The sacrifice this man makes is truly heartbreaking, I cried my eyes out Two secondary characters that are Librarians and they are feisty, strong and decent -- I want to hug you for this (Loved the part on Catcher in the Rye) Exceptional character development and an engrossing mesmerizing plot Even-though the story could have benefited from some stronger editing, Kings trademark and self described "Diarhea of the word processor" wasn't as frustrating to get through as in many of his works (hope that makes sense, couldn't figure out how to explain this) His attention to detail and describing the smaller moments of life, actually really works with this story Lovely moral lesson (Just because you can change the past, doesn't mean you should) The Past does not want to change and everything happens for a reason Sadie and Mimi rock -- ok, they are both Librarians - what do you expect As a King fan I geeked out to all the references from previous books (tons of references to Derry) Lovely nostalgic feeling at the same time reminding us that the 50/60's were far from perfect, especially if you were a women or black Go Buy the book - you will thank me - When King is at his best, he is a brilliant storyteller - and he is at his best here No really icky graphic descriptions (Which is one thing I never liked about King, I don't like the ick) The last quarter of the book is non stop action with an exceptional ending -- which is not something King normally does not do well (Don't get me started on The Tommyknockers) Lots of quirky secondary characters Thoroughly researched No evil pets or babies (Yup stopped reading King for 15 yrs because of Pet Semetary) The part about Maine becoming part of Canada made me giggle The Not So Good Stuff Stephen, you know I love and respect you (Remember I drove through Bangor, Maine just to take a pic of your house & go to Baka bookstore and not bother you at all) but editing would take this book from Fantastic to utterly brilliant Book was so heavy my little girly wrists hurt while reading (Damn, this would have been a good one for the Kobo) Favorite Quotes/Passages "If I ever gave you the idea that 1958's all Andy-n-Opie, remember the path, okay? The one lined with poison ivy. And the board over the stream." "She was one of those faculty members the kids remember long after graduation, and sometimes come back to visit when they are no longer kids. The kind who sometimes shows up in a troubled student's life at a critical moment and makes a critical difference." "Life is too sweet to give up without a fight, don't you think?" Who Should/Shouldn't Read Fans of King will love, love, love Even if you are not a King fan, you WILL enjoy this book Although I'm pretty sure most school boards will balk at this, I think this would be an excellent novel to discuss as part of an English course Hopefully my nephew will like it, since I bought a copy not knowing that I was getting a copy to review (If he doesn't like it I'm making him give it back to me and will give it as a prize next year) 4.5 Dewey's I received this from Simon and Schuster in exchange for an honest review (Cannot thank you enough for this one, I squeed when I got it in the mail)
Date published: 2011-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book of the year I was engrossed from page one and couldn't put it down. I was 8 years old in 1958 and can identify with all the Jake Epping is going through. Even if you're younger, you will appreciate the old lifestyle referrences and challenges of a bygone era. The story line developes characters and plot in a way that will keep you sitting on the edge of your seat. You won't be disappointed.
Date published: 2011-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another Stephen King Classic Spent every spare moment the last 2 days engrossed in this fabulous book . Jake Epping is a character that will stay with you. You will not be disappointed.
Date published: 2011-11-05

– More About This Product –

11/22/63: A Novel

by Stephen King

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 864 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 2.3 in

Published: November 8, 2011

Publisher: Scribner

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1451627289

ISBN - 13: 9781451627282

About the Book

King's heart-stoppingly dramatic new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. Jake Epping is a 35-year-old high-school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. 864 pp. 2,000,000 print. (General Fiction)

Read from the Book

8 On Monday, March 25, Lee came walking up Neely Street carrying a long package wrapped in brown paper. Peering through a tiny crack in the curtains, I could see the words REGISTERED and INSURED stamped on it in big red letters. For the first time I thought he seemed furtive and nervous, actually looking around at his exterior surroundings instead of at the spooky furniture deep in his head. I knew what was in the package: a 6.5mm Carcano rifle—also known as a Mannlicher-Carcano—complete with scope, purchased from Klein’s Sporting Goods in Chicago. Five minutes after he climbed the outside stairs to the second floor, the gun Lee would use to change history was in a closet above my head. Marina took the famous pictures of him holding it just outside my living room window six days later, but I didn’t see it. That was a Sunday, and I was in Jodie. As the tenth grew closer, those weekends with Sadie had become the most important, the dearest, things in my life. 9 I came awake with a jerk, hearing someone mutter “Still not too late” under his breath. I realized it was me and shut up. Sadie murmured some thick protest and turned over in bed. The familiar squeak of the springs locked me in place and time: the Candlewood Bungalows, April 5, 1963. I fumbled my watch from the nightstand and peered at the luminous numbers. It was quarter past two in the morning, which meant it was actually the sixth of April. Still not too late. Not too late for what?
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From the Publisher

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King—who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer—takes readers on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away—a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life—like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963—turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

About the Author

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine, on September 21, 1947. After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Maine at Orono in 1970, he became a teacher. His spare time was spent writing short stories and novels. King's first novel would never have been published if not for his wife. She removed the first few chapters from the garbage after King had thrown them away in frustration. Three months later, he received a $2,500 advance from Doubleday Publishing for the book that went on to sell a modest 13,000 hardcover copies. That book, Carrie, was about a girl with telekinetic powers who is tormented by bullies at school. She uses her power, in turn, to torment and eventually destroy her mean-spirited classmates. When United Artists released the film version in 1976, it was a critical and commercial success. The paperback version of the book, released after the movie, went on to sell more than two-and-a-half million copies. Many of King's other horror novels have been adapted into movies, including The Shining, Firestarter, Pet Semetary, Cujo, Misery, The Stand, and The Tommyknockers. Under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King has written the books The Running Man, The Regulators, Thinner, The Long Walk, Roadwork, and Rage. King is one of the world's most successful writers, with more than 100 million copies of his works in print. Many of his books have been translated into foreign languages, and he writes new books at a rate of about one per year.
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