Book Review – 11.23.63

by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton) ISBN: 978-1-444-72730-2

Stephen King is the master storyteller of horrors. His stories are so frightening that I have not read anything by this famous author for a long time. 11.22.63 is a horror story but not of the supernatural kind. The book deals with deals with the horror of the human kind: the national tragedy of the assassination of JK Kennedy in 1963. The storyline was intriguing and did not disappoint.

English teacher, Jake Epping lives in modern day Maine. His friend, Al, owns a diner. The diner hosts a secret ‘rabbit-hole’ that transports a person back to 1958. Al is old and is obsessed with Kennedy’s assassination and the resulting conspiracy theories. He tries to find out whether Lee Oswald was the front man for the assassination. Al convinces Jake to go back to 1958 and to make a life in the era of Elvis, brylcreem and stovepipes. Jake has to decide whether Lee Oswald acted on his own and to prevent the assassination.

King reveals so much more in this story. His characters show the dark side of humanity, the reason why people grow up to become misfits. The setting is true to the era. Stephen king also shows how life can ‘turn on a dime’ and how meddling with the past can have a ‘butterfly effect’ on the future. Things may not turn out the way that you expect.

The book is a little too long and at times, the pacing was slow. There are certain parts of the book that could have been shortened. This did not detract from the overall reading enjoyment. Highly recommended.

Ulrike Hill

Posted on: 19th January 2012