Thursday, July 19, 2012

"Anybody can direct but there are only eleven good writers." Mel Brooks

Did you ever wish you had the power to change history?

In Stephen King's tour de force "11/22/63," history is changed and those changes unleash streams of action that changes many other unforeseen events.

Jake Epping is a high school teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He makes extra money teaching GED so students can return to school and earn an accredited high school diploma. Jake is particularly moved by one of his student's papers. The school janitor, a man with a limp and less than full mental ability, is taking GED classes. His paper is about "...a day that changed my life." In it, the student, Harry Dunning, details how his father murdered his mother and two brothers, hit him on the head with a hammer-causing brain damage, and sending his sister into a coma.

Jake gives the paper an "A" and goes on to other things.  Then, Jake's friend, Al Templeton, asks Jake to come to his diner. In the back, the pantry opens up into history.

Al and Jake discuss what beneficial things could happen if history could be changed and they decide that the most momentous change they could hope to evoke was to disrupt the JFK's assassination.

To try the theory out, Jake wants to go back in time, to Derry, Maine and change Harry Dunning's history.

This book is a joy. Stephen King is a master of setting the scene for the reader to feel part of the action and when we read about what old songs were playing on the radio or at a dance, see the cost of items in 1958 when Harry Dunning's father went berserk.

Jake takes on a new name and identification and makes himself a part of the community. He gives people the idea that he is looking for real estate but an interesting thing for King fans, the town talks about missing children and in King's book, "It" theses events occurred.

This part of the story ends.  Then he goes back to the Dallas area to change JFK's fate. He gets a job in a high school, directs a school play, wins friends and affects student's lives-all the while when he's planning how to stop Oswald from assassinating JFK.

The novel was a trip into history with the dance craves the teenagers had, to their hair and slang, and to the prices of items at the stores.

Along with King's classic, "The Stand," this may be his best and most memorable book. Jake is a well developed character, he's a teacher like we all remember as being the best we had. Stephen King also has earned that place, among the very best we have-don't miss this book. It will become a classic.


Ethan said...

I've been looking forward to this novel since its release. Glad to see you give it good remarks. It will definitely move up in my list of books to read.


Michael Draper said...

Thanks, Ethan. It is definite a terrific book but very lengthy.

Carol L. said...

I haven't read Stephen King in years because I gave up Horror. :) But I loved this book.My 25 year old daughter read it and loved it and so I picked it up. Couldn't put it down. lol Your review is right on Mike. This is going to be a classic. It should be in my eyes anyway.One of my favorite books this year.
Carol L.
Lucky7450 (at) aol (dot) com

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