Wednesday, February 15, 2017


By Stephen King
Scribner, 2011. 846 pages. Sci-Fi

Meet Jake Epping, ordinary high school English teacher. Meet Al Templeton, owner of the local diner and creator the infamous Fat Burger. Their plan? To go back in time and stop the JFK assassination. When the two discover a mysterious time-travel portal at the back of Al’s diner that opens onto 1958, it seems like a chance to become the heroes who saved history. The only problem is that the assassination doesn’t take place until 1963, and so whoever makes the jump will have to wait five years to stop the crime. Jake reluctantly agrees to be the one to go back, but soon finds that life follows you wherever—or whenever—you go.

This was the first Stephen King book I’ve ever read and I definitely thoroughly enjoyed it. It alternates between dramatic action scenes and much slower descriptions of the mundane life Jake builds for himself in “the land of ago.” Both were compelling, though in very different ways. Though the slow parts drag a little bit in places (as you might expect from an 800-page novel), they do a great job developing the characters so that when you get to the action scenes you’re really invested. I loved Jake’s romantic interest and all of his friends and students, and so when protecting JFK started to threaten those relationships I was genuinely distraught. I listened to the audiobook on this one and I thought the narrator was excellent. He really brought Jake Epping to life for me and made the whole book fly by.


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