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11/22/63 - Stephen King

You may ask yourself how in the world did a wife beating, mental degenerate, and multiple country defecting (USA, RUSSIA and an attempt at Cuba) little shit like this


kill the charismatic, handsome war hero, and most powerful man in the world.


It doesn't make any sense. It never has made any sense. Oswald just does not fit the profile for a guy that could pull off an assassination of this magnitude. He's a semi-educated hillbilly, but he's surprisingly crafty."

Kennedy provided a golden opportunity to every disgruntled crazy out there by deciding to ride in an open car through the hostile city of Dallas, Texas. His swoon-inspiring smile, his wavy hair, and his beautiful wife would not win him votes hidden behind bullet proof glass. A tough election was coming up and Texas was again critical for the Kennedy/Johnson ticket. The parade route was even published in the paper. When Lee Harvey Oswald noticed that the route passed right by the Texas School Book Depository, his place of work, he felt the universe was talking to him. A president riding in an open car sounds insane, but the reality is that a president had not been assassinated since McKinley in 1901. I could see how Kennedy, weighing the risk, would have felt reasonably safe. We all know how that turned out.

Jake Epping, an unassuming English teacher, is given an opportunity to go back in time. The time portal, located in the back room of a greasy spoon, will take him back to 1958. A year tantalizingly close to one of the most traumatic events in American history. Jake, now George Amberson, just had to lay low and wait for 1963 to roll around and use that time to come up with a plan to stop the before mentioned Lee Harvey Oswald. King explores the well traveled road of the potential devastating effects of changing the past to influence the future. What if Kennedy had not been killed? My liberal leanings would have me believe that the world would be better today. There are piles of documentation showing that Kennedy had no intention of escalating the war in Vietnam. As he proved with The Cuban Missile Crisis, he was a man that understood the bluff without committing the hardware. He was a man that had been to war, and I find it hard to believe he would have committed American kids to die in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

One of Stephen King's strengths is that despite the fact that he is wealthy man and one of the most successful writers in the world, he really understands common everyday people. I found myself developing a real fondness for Jake. I winced when he failed. I whooped when things went well. His romance with Sadie is spun out so nicely that the Kennedy assassination almost becomes a back ground plot.

King placed a Japanese proverb at the front of the book and also used it so wonderfully in the plot. Every time I read it I find a smile on my face.

"If there is love, smallpox scars are as pretty as dimples."

The number on the back page does say 849 pages, but King's writing style makes reading this book effortless. The margins are wide and the print large, so don't let the size of the book keep you from reading this charming book.

I'm off to turn my time travel machine, nearly finished, back into something a little less dangerous to the world like a cappuccino machine.