11/22/63: A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
See more details below
11/22/63: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.56
BN.com price

Overview

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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The interesting accents of actor Craig Wasson bring King's time-travel, what-if novel to life. Maine English teacher Jake Epping learns of a time-travel portal in the pantry of a friend's diner. He is urged to go back and prevent the 1963 Kennedy assassination. It takes several attempts for Jake to get the hang of changing things in the past because at times it seems that the past doesn't want to be changed—it can be best to leave it alone! Interesting period detail brings this era into focus, and King subtly alludes to his other novels, including Christine and It, through mentions of characters. This book is recommended to King's fans, historic fiction listeners, and speculative fiction devotees. Of interest is the afterword read by the author himself. ["King remains an excellent storyteller, and his evocation of mid-20th-century America is deft," read the review of the New York Times best-selling Scribner hc, LJ 9/15/11.—Ed.]—David Faucheux, Louisiana Audio Information & Reading Svc., Lafayette
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451627305
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 864
  • Sales rank: 3,664
  • File size: 7 MB

Meet the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

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.”
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2555 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1572)

4 Star

(588)

3 Star

(219)

2 Star

(89)

1 Star

(87)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2560 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2011

    First Stephen King book... not my last...

    As a 41 year old guy trying to fit in a little reading into his life, I must say it was tough when I saw the page count of this book, which in my opinion is nthing short of a masterpiece. I was always put off of Stephen King as a reader, mostly because of the creepy movies that came from his books, but this was different. This book was almost historical fiction with a time travel twist, and Stephen King makes every detail come alive, and I blew through it, crying like a schoolgirl as I read the last page. I couldn't recommend it more highly!

    143 out of 149 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 3, 2011

    Great Historical Novel...Very Intriguing

    Yes, i red the book, just finished it and it was Great. Lots of factual history and research went into this novel. Kept me wanting to read more.
    This novel intertwines both fact and fiction as one begins to think about going back and change history. is it possible and if it were, what are the consequences.
    Great read.....

    62 out of 78 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    King at his best!

    Stephen King is at the top of his game with 11/22/63! So many writers get stale but this is fresh and new and yet quintessentially King. His quirky humor abounds and his turn of phrase delights. He wrapped a love story around the bleakest day in American political history and created magic. His attention to detail regarding life in the 60's is amazing and brought back so many memories (and smells). Read this because you are a fan of romance. Read this because you are a fan of time travel novels. Read this because you are a fan of historical fiction. It has something for all of you.

    59 out of 64 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    STEPHEN KING BROKE MY HEART.

    I was born in the wrong decade. I¿m certain. My Mom hates it when I say that. She says, ¿Sean, you were born when you were for a reason.¿ I think God made a huge mistake. Or maybe forgot me for twenty years. I should have been born in 1963. Mr. King took me there and now I know for sure. I opened this book and traveled back in time. Stephen King broke my heart. He picked up the pieces. And strategically scattered them throughout the pages of his new novel like breadcrumbs leading me home. I made it out alive. I learned something along the way. I was born when I was for a reason. There¿s no place like home. My advice? Pick up this book and allow Mr. King to teach you to dance.

    41 out of 48 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    Give Steve-o a chance!!

    Please, please give this book a read. It is thoughtful, wonderful, and not what people might remember from his early days. I am a constant reader of his. The way this book is written, i never once stopped because it was not believable. Stephen King has a way of making characters and their thoughts and dialog seem like it might be you or your neighbor. The narrative flows along, and you really feel what they are going through. I will not go over plot points n stuff, but i will say this. I felt gobsmacked, confused, horrified, fell in love, felt for them, and when i read the word shivers, i was already there, friends.

    38 out of 40 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2011

    IF YOU ENJOY THE FANTASY OF TIME TRAVEL AND IT'S BUTTERFLY EFFECT ON HISTORY, THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!!!!

    Finished this book late last night and wish I could go back in time and read it again!! Never a big Stephen King in the past, but the title grabbed me and, having grown up in the sixties and in Dallas, I couldn't seem to put it down. Finishing a 840 plus page book in a week is a first for me, but this was definitely worth the read. A great combination of both fact and fantasy!!!

    29 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    A great read

    Loved it but the video enhancements (that I paid extra for) do not work on my color nook. Don't spend the extra for them.

    19 out of 25 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2012

    My new Favorite Book

    I'll admit...I'm not done with the book yet, I'm only about half way through. From the very beginning Stephen King draws you in with an intriguing story that will make you never want to put it down. You soon fall in love with the characters and really learn to care about them and what will happen to them. For me this is one of the most important factors in a good book and also the hardest to find! Don't be fooled into thinking that you will be in a boring history class listening about the JFK story that you've heard a million times. Stephen King makes you feel like you are apart of the history. It's eerie and fantastic all at the same time. It really has all the elements of a Page Turner and a book that will keep you talking about it long after you finished it. You'll never want to put it down! The only thing I fear is that it's so good that it will be turned into a movie and people will not read it. You don't want to miss out on the amazing writing! This book is for all readers, it's Stephen King at his best, and it's perfect for those who love a good book discussion. I highly recommend getting this book ASAP.

    18 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    King missed it again.

    This book starts out okay. It kept my interest although it could get a little long-winded, and was pretty predictable. About 1/2 way through it seems to become a history lesson on the movements of Oswald. In great detail every move he made for months is outlined. And I couldn't really tell that any of it had to do with the storyline. I finally had to just quit reading it. If I'd wanted a history book on the assassination of JFK I would have bought one. It seems that King needs a new editor. One that will stand up to him and cut about 1/2 of his writing out of story.

    18 out of 54 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    First good King book in years

    Not since "The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon" has King tempted me into reading one of his books, and it was a long time prior to that that I had more or less given up on him. However, this story grabbed me from the overleaf and, though a bit long, kept up the interest without the predictable and repetetive over indulgence in the gore and vulgarity that has marred King's more recent works.

    17 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    superb!

    Another one of a kind book from Stephen King, I might say one of a kind because of the way he wrote it and not because the topic is new. His aptness and dedication has always shown how he is such a wonderful author.

    12 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2011

    One of King's Best

    Stephen King is, first and foremost, an extraordinary storyteller. He casts his premise on the water like an expert fly-fisherman, stripping out line slowly, letting it drift. Before you know it you are hooked, and he keeps the line taut, deftly controlling where he wants you to go.
    The only stories I could not get into were his fantasy series, but that's just a matter of personal taste. As far as classic King goes, I would rank this book right up there with The Stand and the Shining. This is simply one of his best, and a must read for King fans, or soon-to-be King fans. This book is sure to be a huge hit.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2012

    De

    I AM A SLOW READER BUT I FOUND THIS ONE HARD TO PUT DOWN KING YOU HAVE DONE IT AGAIN!!

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2012

    Sooo long

    Overall the book was okay. It was so long though and the plot just seemed to drag. I lost interest about 300 pages in. The same story could have been told with 400 fewer pages. The concept was fantastic but it just didnt hit the mark for me. Concluding thoughts: less is more mr. King

    8 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 25, 2011

    SIMPLY OUTSTANDING.

    We all know what an intelligent, terrific writer SK is so there's no need to even go there. But THIS novel...........wow. If I didn't have a life, I would have sat and read this book from cover to cover without a break. As it was, I had to force myself to slow down in order to more thoroughly enjoy the gorgeous writing and the incredibly researched storyline. It is a wondrous novel filled with awe. Read it; it is his best by far.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    A nice get away

    I have never been much of a Stephen King fan. I almost never read fictional books, especially those that have so many pages! Ironically enough this historical FICTION written by STEPHEN KING was really good. King does a great job of really taking the reader back to the 60's with sights, sounds, people and situations. I could not put the book down. I picked it up and knocked it out as often as I could, even sneaking a few chapters in while at work ; )

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2011

    Not what I expected from King

    11/22/63 is a different kind of book for King and being a young boy when Kennedy was assassinated drove my interest in reading what may have been should Jake Epping aka George Amberson be successful in his time travel mission. The book was certainly not a page turner but it does capture your interest to stay with it as Jake charts his time from the fall of 1958 to that fateful day in November 1963. Once November 22, 1963, passes King closes out the book rather rapidly and, in my opinion, rather weakly from what I would have expected. Personally, I would have wished November 22, 1963, came earlier in the book and to have had a more in depth read/treatment of how history could have been.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2011

    Not Recommended

    Biggest disappointment ever. Have read every Stephen King book since Carrie and always look forward to the next one. 11/23/63 is at least 200 pages too long. Worst yet, for the first time ever I did not care about the characters, which has always been the best thing about Kings novels. Maybe he was too busy using this book as a political soapbox.

    5 out of 23 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2011

    The Past is Obdurate

    I haven't read much of Stephen King, so I don't know how this compares to his other works, but I enjoyed "11/22/63" and would recommend it, with one caveat. The first 2/3 of it seemed to drag out longer than necessary (which is the main reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5). Having said that, the length of the book served to make Jake seem a lot more removed from 2011. I remember exactly where I was on 11/22/63, so it was interesting to be reminded of how things were during that era. ("Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should.") I would be curious to hear how people who were not around at that time see the book, and if they enjoy it as much as those of us who did live through it. I also like the messages of the book, that things can turn on a dime, that even little things that we do can alter the course of history, etc. Very interesting ending. All in all, a very good read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 14, 2011

    Final Countdown

    I will always read a King book .. but the premise reminds me of the movie "The Final Countdown" ... which is about the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz that gets pulled into a wormhole in the ocean amd arrives back in time in the Pacific Ocean less than a week before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

    5 out of 29 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 2560 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)