11/22/63: A Novel

Paperback | July 24, 2012

byStephen King

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Now in trade paperback, acclaimed author and Master of Horror Stephen King’s #1 bestselling time travel novel, winner of the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and praised by USA TODAY as “extraordinary.”


In Stephen King’s “most ambitious and accomplished” (NPR) and “extraordinary” (USA TODAY) #1 New York Times bestselling novel, time travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

Dallas, 11/22/63: Three shots ring out.

President John F. Kennedy is dead.

Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

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From the Publisher

Now in trade paperback, acclaimed author and Master of Horror Stephen King’s #1 bestselling time travel novel, winner of the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Best Mystery/Thriller and praised by USA TODAY as “extraordinary.”WINNER OF THE 2012 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZEIn Stephen King’s “most ambitious and accomplished” (NPR) and...

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 firs...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:880 pages, 9 × 6 × 2.1 inPublished:July 24, 2012Publisher:Gallery BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1451627297

ISBN - 13:9781451627299

Customer Reviews of 11/22/63: A Novel


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book I really enjoyed this book. I'm now looking forward to seeing the mini series
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Surprised I thought this book would be drawn out and boring but I was so wrong. It is a fabulous read and a page turner. Full of historic facts I didn't know mixed in with sci-fi. Would love to see a movie made from this book if they could do it properly. Will read a second time.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from King at his Best Part fantasy/sci-fi, part historical, 100% fabulous! I read this novel on my honeymoon and did not want to put it down for a second! The descriptions leap off the age, the characters are well developed and the story is a fantastic look at "what if" that is both eye opening and thought provoking. It will leave you wanting more!
Date published: 2016-11-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! A fantastic adventure, supernatural, science-fiction and quasi-historical novel! Time travel Stephen King style about one of the most famous historical events in US history. It's long and may be seem daunting to read but I guarantee you the story is worth it!
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read I love Stephen King, and he didnt disappoint with this book. So many unexpected twists and turns.
Date published: 2016-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from BLEW MY MIND I am a huge Stephen King fan, and in the beginning it was a little rough, and slow. But once you get into it and get through the slow pages.... You'll find that it was worth the read. Now, I find out that they have a 8 series part that will be airing on Hulu. Can't describe how excited I am about this.. Loved this book, it can be intimidating at first glance, but if your willing to take on a challenge, this is worth it.. TRUST ME!
Date published: 2016-06-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different! Big fan of the King!!! This book was great in the beginning and really started to linger on and became very "wordy". But then got very interesting and twisty and had a really great wrap up to an ending... I really enjoyed reading this book. I I read the hardcover edition which at first was intimidating at first sight, but hard to put down. I recommended it to eveyone!!
Date published: 2016-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!! LOVED IT!!! So glad it was such a long book, I wish it was longer!! I wanted more!! I couldn't put it down! Just read it again. & I know I will read it again for sure! You feel for Jake when he wants to make everything right. You know you'd do the same. & you fantasize about what it would be like to step into the past. Stephen King is brilliant!!
Date published: 2016-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Stephen King Book I love Stephen King books and this was by far the best.....It has a mix of everything, suspense, horror and even some romance. As usual, excellent writing. You ended up being really attached to the characters.
Date published: 2015-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply the Best This is an amazing book by an amazing author. One of my all time favorite books now! It really is a page turner. Loved it. I hope Mr. King writes more along this type of story line.
Date published: 2015-05-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from King's Best Yet Well researched and brilliantly written: I didn't want to put it down and I didn't want it to end! I am not a fan of time travel fiction, but this was a remarkable read! So brilliantly written it felt like I too was with George As he navigated the 60's. Estatic for the HBO mini series!
Date published: 2015-03-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wish it was longer!! I LOVED every word of this book! Actually, I thought it was too short! I wished it was a few hundred pages longer! I hope he makes it into a movie someday! I borrowed it from a friend but then had to go buy my own copy!
Date published: 2014-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING!!! Couldn't put it down!! I hope it's made into a movie!
Date published: 2014-10-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! This is an incredible read! Stephen King has come up with a concept of taking a tragic event in history and making us think...what if?  I couldn't put it down!!
Date published: 2014-01-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Read This book is amazing. I can't put it down.
Date published: 2013-09-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not worth the time Too long a read, I skipped a few chapters because the story stretched itself. King reintroduced some of his "It" book characters but it does not add anything to the story. Disappointing as is the end of the book.
Date published: 2013-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Jake Epping is a thirty-five year-old school teacher in Maine. His friend Al, who owns a small diner, tells Jake that the storeroom of his diner contains a portal to the past-- to September, 1958. Al says that he's spent the last four years living back in the late 1950's and early '60s in an effort to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Al has a fatal disease now and asks Jake to use the portal to take his place and stop the assassination. Al believes that maybe the Vietnam War may never occur and lots of good will come from this action. Jake willingly complies and does a test travel where he is able to kill one of his students' father before the father kills everyone else in the family. He comes back to plan with the help of Al's notes and return to 1958 which resets actions. Jake must again kill his student's father and live for the remaining 4 years planning his actions to counter the assassination. King does a masterful job of setting the scenes with obvious research. Were there conspiracies? Where the book falls short is that Jake was a non-descript person going through the motions of life and all of a sudden is the big hero. He is able to murder with no qualms and seems to handle all the ugliness of the situation having had no prior experience at all. I did enjoy Jake going through the ordinary life of the early 60s. I particularly enjoyed King's take on what would happen if we were able to change past events.
Date published: 2013-02-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Am I done yet? Wow, disappointing. Gave it 2 stars because I actually finished it, but wasn't sure I would. No one does far fetched better than King, but this just didn't hang together. A real excuse for an ending, too, but at least it finally finished.
Date published: 2012-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! I was hooked on this story by page 10 and was riveted right through to the end. There is no gore, like in many of Stephen King's books, but there is fantastic story telling. It really made you start thinking about things, and time travel and history, and makes you ask "what would be different?". A great, great book.
Date published: 2012-11-28

Extra Content

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? To back off, to let well enough alone? Or bad enough, come to that? The idea of backing off was attractive, God knew. If I went ahead and things went wrong, this could be my last night with Sadie. Ever. Even if you do have to kill him, you don’t have to do it right away. True enough. Oswald was going to relocate to New Orleans for awhile after the attempt on the general’s life—another shitty apartment, one I’d already visited—but not for two weeks. That would give me plenty of time to stop his clock. But I sensed it would be a mistake to wait very long. I might find reasons to keep on waiting. The best one was beside me in this bed: long, lovely, and smoothly naked. Maybe she was just another trap laid by the obdurate past, but that didn’t matter, because I loved her. And I could envision a scenario—all too clearly—where I’d have to run after killing Oswald. Run where? Back to Maine, of course. Hoping I could stay ahead of the cops just long enough to get to the rabbit-hole and escape into a future where Sadie Dunhill would be . . . well . . . about eighty years old. If she were alive at all. Given her cigarette habit, that would be like rolling six the hard way. I got up and went to the window. Only a few of the bungalows were occupied on this early-spring weekend. There was a mud- or manure-splattered pickup truck with a trailer full of what looked like farm implements behind it. An Indian motorcycle with a sidecar. A couple of station wagons. And a two-tone Plymouth Fury. The moon was sliding in and out of thin clouds and it wasn’t possible to make out the color of the car’s lower half by that stuttery light, but I was pretty sure I knew what it was, anyway. I pulled on my pants, undershirt, and shoes. Then I slipped out of the cabin and walked across the courtyard. The chilly air bit at my bed-warm skin, but I barely felt it. Yes, the car was a Fury, and yes, it was white over red, but this one wasn’t from Maine or Arkansas; the plate was Oklahoma, and the decal in the rear window read GO, SOONERS. I peeked in and saw a scatter of textbooks. Some student, maybe headed south to visit his folks on spring break. Or a couple of horny teachers taking advantage of the Candlewood’s liberal guest policy. Just another not-quite-on-key chime as the past harmonized with itself. I touched the trunk, as I had back in Lisbon Falls, then returned to the bungalow. Sadie had pushed the sheet down to her waist, and when I came in, the draft of cool air woke her up. She sat, holding the sheet over her breasts, then let it drop when she saw it was me. “Can’t sleep, honey?” “I had a bad dream and went out for some air.” “What was it?” I unbuttoned my jeans, kicked off my loafers. “Can’t remember.” “Try. My mother always used to say if you tell your dreams, they won’t come true.” I got into bed with her wearing nothing but my undershirt. “My mother used to say if you kiss your honey, they won’t come true.” “Did she actually say that?” “No.” “Well,” she said thoughtfully, “it sounds possible. Let’s try it.” We tried it. One thing led to another. 10 Afterward, she lit a cigarette. I lay watching the smoke drift up and turn blue in the occasional moonlight coming through the half-drawn curtains. I’d never leave the curtains that way at Neely Street, I thought. At Neely Street, in my other life, I’m always alone but still careful to close them all the way. Except when I’m peeking, that is. Lurking. Just then I didn’t like myself very much. “George?” I sighed. “That’s not my name.” “I know.” I looked at her. She inhaled deeply, enjoying her cigarette guiltlessly, as people do in the Land of Ago. “I don’t have any inside information, if that’s what you’re thinking. But it stands to reason. The rest of your past is made up, after all. And I’m glad. I don’t like George all that much. It’s kind of . . . what’s that word you use sometimes? . . . kind of dorky.” “How does Jake suit you?” “As in Jacob?” “Yes.” “I like it.” She turned to me. “In the Bible, Jacob wrestled an angel. And you’re wrestling, too. Aren’t you?” “I suppose I am, but not with an angel.” Although Lee Oswald didn’t make much of a devil, either. I liked George de Mohren--schildt better for the devil role. In the Bible, Satan’s a tempter who makes the offer and then stands aside. I hoped de Mohrenschildt was like that. Sadie snubbed her cigarette. Her voice was calm, but her eyes were dark. “Are you going to be hurt?” “I don’t know.” “Are you going away? Because if you have to go away, I’m not sure I can stand it. I would have died before I said it when I was there, but Reno was a nightmare. Losing you for good . . .” She shook her head slowly. “No, I’m not sure I could stand that.” “I want to marry you,” I said. “My God,” she said softly. “Just when I’m ready to say it’ll never happen, Jake-alias-George says right now.” “Not right now, but if the next week goes the way I hope it does . . . will you?” “Of course. But I do have to ask one teensy question.” “Am I single? Legally single? Is that what you want to know?” She nodded. “I am,” I said. She let out a comic sigh and grinned like a kid. Then she sobered. “Can I help you? Let me help you.” The thought turned me cold, and she must have seen it. Her lower lip crept into her mouth. She bit down on it with her teeth. “That bad, then,” she said musingly. “Let’s put it this way: I’m currently close to a big machine full of sharp teeth, and it’s running full speed. I won’t allow you next to me while I’m monkeying with it.” “When is it?” she asked. “Your . . . I don’t know . . . your date with destiny?” “Still to be determined.” I had a feeling that I’d said too much already, but since I’d come this far, I decided to go a little farther. “Something’s going to happen this Wednesday night. Something I have to witness. Then I’ll decide.” “Is there no way I can help you?” “I don’t think so, honey.” “If it turns out I can—” “Thanks,” I said. “I appreciate that. And you really will marry me?” “Now that I know your name is Jake? Of course.”