Do you read as much as you used to? When I was younger (i.e. 15 rather than the 30, sorry 40, that I am now) I was a vociferous reader and my favourite author was Stephen King. This was back in the 1980s – I had a nice back catalogue waiting for me – Carrie, ‘Salem’s Lot, The Shining – to get through first, and then I read them as he published them – Christine Cujo, Pet Sematary, etc.
Then he published ‘It’ and it started going wrong. I mean 1100 pages and the bad guy is a giant spider? Come on! So my interest waned and off I went to University and forgot all about Mr King.
In fact the last thing I read of his for the next 20 plus years was Misery. Fast forward to the end of 2011 and I opened this Christmas gift:
Now I’ve always loved the JFK story – sparked of course by Oliver Stone’s film. I was a firm believer in conspiracy but twenty years of reading about it and the internet mellows the fantasies of youth and now I’m just a realist.
I picked up 11.22.63 thinking that this would be a novel that had at its heart a fanciful take on the conspiracy tale. But it did not. It describes how and why a man goes back in time with the intention of preventing the assassination of JFK.
The first twist is that he arrives 5 years before the event so he has to live in 1950’s America. The second twist is that he falls in love. The third twist is…well I won’t say just in case you fancy the idea of reading it yourself.
This is the best King book I have read since The Stand. I did it in 6 days which for me is a record. It was just like reading when I was a teenager.
As with nearly any of his books you need to suspend disbelief (in this one its time travel) but actually that, perversely, accounts for a relatively small proportion of the narrative. Mostly it’s about being dumped in an alien environment and how to survive in it.
If you like reading stories that are designed to entertain then I recommend this one.
Thanks to the Mrs for putting up with me having my nose stuck in a book for all that time!