17 April, 2013

2013 Book Review - April: 11.22.63

book april

This month's review: 11.22.63 by Stephen King.

This was the first Stephen King book I'd ever read & I wasn't sure what to expect; having seen the film adaptations of IT, Misery, and parts of The Shining I wasn't sure if the whole thing would terrify or delight me, but the idea of this book just intrigued me too much: the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the early 1960s & time-travel.

Within a few chapters I was hooked. With the time-travel beginning in 1958 all I could think as I devoured the first few hundred pages was how will the protagonist stop the assassination, and what will be the fallout afterwards? By halfway through (the book is well over 700 pages) I'd kind of stopped caring. The beginning was so exciting but by the halfway point the whole plot started to drag a little bit. I put this book down & didn't read it again for a few months. In that time I'd managed to work up the strength to finish it & cared again about the moments leading up to 11.22.63 (the book's title gaining its name from the date of JFK's assassination). 

As the ominous day arrived I could not put the book down & raced through the final 200 pages or so. The tension King created leading up to this point was insane & meant that I couldn't just read a couple of chapters before bed, I had to keep going. The ending wasn't what I expected & I think it's a bit of a shame that the story ended in the way that it did - having, by this point, thought of countless ways that it could end, some of which I still think are a bit better than old Stephen's choice. 

The ideas that the book presents are really interesting; the fact that this whole anti-assassination mission is based on the idea that without the death of JFK a whole sequence of other awful parts of history would never have happened - the death of Martin Luther King and the Vietnam war to name a couple. There were also genuinely brilliant & incredibly clever parts, and at times, parts that made me feel a little unnerved (Stephen didn't disappoint!) However, I think the whole thing could have been condensed by at least 200-300 pages & still have been brilliant. 

Have you read this or any of Stephen King's other books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below :)


I also recently joined goodreads.com, where I've set myself the challenge of reading 25 books in 2013 (I didn't want to make it too unrealistic!) Has anyone else set themselves a similar challenge?

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Charlee has read 10 books toward her goal of 25 books.

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