By Stephen King
Scribner, 2011. 880 pgs. Fiction
The title of Stephen King’s most recent novel, 11/22/63, promises historical fiction, but what he actually delivers is a remarkable time-travel book. The feeling of the early 60’s permeates the atmosphere, but so does the feeling of ‘otherness’ that only a sci-fi work can bring. The protagonist, Jake Epping, is your average mid-40s bachelor, until a mystery involving a cheap hamburger brings him through a hole in time and into 1958. The natural conclusion is then, of course, to try to save J.F.K. However, the actual scheme only takes up a small amount of page-time; most of the novel is devoted to the characters and relationships between the time-traveler and the 1960’s-rooted cast.
You do not have to be a King fan to enjoy this work, in fact, it is so little like his other works that I would hesitate recommending it to a life-long fan. Simply put, this is an excellent story. It is a story so enjoyable that the reader hardly notices the 880 page behemoth fly by. Highly recommended summer reading.