Tuesday, April 17, 2012

11.22.63 (book)

I love Stephen King's writing style. His prose is vivid and gripping. I haven't read many of his books, however (about 5?), for a couple of reasons: he often writes supernatural horror which I'm not expressly into, and he tends to use extremely foul language, which I'm also not into.

However, when I heard that he was going to write a novel based around time travel, I couldn't help but to put it at the top of my wish list (time travel is probably the most fascinating fiction topic for me).

11.22.63 (the title of this book is the date that John Kennedy was assassinated) did not disappoint. It was, in a word, fantastic!

My review here doesn't contain anything that you wouldn't find on a dust jacket so read on with confidence (I never post spoilers, just in case you want to read it as well).

11.22.63 is about a high school English teacher that (essentially) stumbles upon what he calls a "rabbit hole": a portal to the past. 1958 to be exact. Stepping through this rift in time will take him back to the same day, the same moment, every time. He could go back for a month and return to the future, and when he went through the portal again, it would be to the exact moment as the first time he went. Each time is the first time.

So what do you do with that? Can you actually change the past then? Would you want to? You'll have to read the book yourself to find out the answers to those questions. But let me assure you that King takes a unique perspective on time travel (something that is hard to find in modern fiction). The tale of this English teacher and the incredibly difficult task he has set himself to is gripping and full of adventure.

I love to read but I can only name a handful books that have pulled me in so deep that I couldn't put it down. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, Pathfinder and The Worthing Saga by Orson Scott Card, and Jumper by Stephen Gould are among these great novels that make me want to neglect the rest of my life just to read a few more pages. 11.22.63 fits right in.

I haven't decided if I will put it on my top 10 favorite books yet, but if I don't, it's close.

If you're looking for a story with heart-pumping adventure and the excitement of possibility, written by an author with impeccable world-painting and story-telling technique, then 11.22.63 is a must read.

The downside? As is typical with King, there is a bit of language. A bit more than I would have liked but no more than expected.

Also, I'll just put this out there on the off chance that someone actually reads my blog: something VERY uncanny, scary almost, happened to me (based on this novel) on the day I finished reading it. I can't tell you what it was without totally giving away the book. You need to read the full book, all the way to the last page, and then ask me about it. If you're half way through the book, then you'll know what I mean when I say I experienced a "harmonic" of my own.

My Rating: 5/5

My Recommendation: This is a must-read. Put it at the top of your list. You'll love it.

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