Adventures With Words

In which much reading and writing is meant to be done…

Four Star Fridays: “11/22/63” by Stephen King

It seems appropriate to begin my Four Star Fridays series with a historical fiction, because I will read anything related to history. It seems extra appropriate to being my Four Star Fridays series with a novel related to the JFK assassination because that particular part of history is one of the first things I really fell down the proverbial rabbit hole into, quickly soaking up all the information I could find – probably long before I really should have understood someone having a portion of their skull blown off by a gunman the sixth floor of a nearby building.

So, having grown up in a house where Stephen King was a bit revered (and I did see some of his movies before I was probably quite old enough), when he wrote a novel based on the events of that day, I was on board.

I had read other King books, but I was most into this one.

And it didn’t disappoint.

Having absorbed so much related to the actual historical event, I went into the book with some nerves about a novel staying true to history. But it did, even including Lee Harvey and Marina Oswald in ways that I understand them to have spoken, acted, and lived. That was absolutely worthy of a full star.

Worthy of another full star is the setting. A time travel novel, which this is (not a spoiler as it’s in the blurb on the dust jacket), had me a little worried too as they can be fantastic or, more often, not so great. 11/22/63 trended far more toward fantastic. The time jumps were seamless, the logic behind them sound, and the reason for them made sense.

More stars are easily wrapped up in those two things, and things I don’t remember because (as Goodreads tells me), I read this book in 2012.

It seems so weird that it’s been so long but…

This is an 849 page brick of book. But it is worth it. If you like time travel, weird stuff, historical fiction… and have some time to devote to big book like this, I can’t recommend it enough.

My Goodreads review from 2012 tells me that, at the time, I docked the book a star because the last 150 pages were no good. Is this true? I couldn’t say. I don’t remember. I might feel different if I read it again, which I will probably do.


My TBR list is a mile long and 849 pages is a lot of book to re-read…

2 responses to “Four Star Fridays: “11/22/63” by Stephen King”

  1. This was the first Stephen King novel I read and I really liked it. The man can spin a tale – a really long tale in this case! The last part of the book was a attempt to imagine how things would have been if Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated and it was pretty dystopian. I can see why you didn’t like it.

    1. That’s it! I’d forgotten the ending was a sort of alternate history that didn’t make sense to me, given what I know about Kennedy! Thank you for reminding me!

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About Me

An English diarist and naval administrator. I served as administrator of the Royal Navy and Member of Parliament. I had no maritime experience, but I rose to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and King James II through patronage, diligence, and my talent for administration.


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