Synopses & Reviews
The #1 New York Times
bestseller — as well as a New York Times Book Review
Best Book of 2011 — an “extraordinary” (USA TODAY
) novel by Stephen King about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination.
It begins with Jake Epping, a thirty-five-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away — a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than fifty years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life — like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963 — turning on a dime. Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession — to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small Texas town where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading eventually, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful, and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
WINNER OF THE 2012 LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE
Dallas, 11/22/63: Three shots ring out.
President John F. Kennedy is dead.
Life can turn on a dime — or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his fathers sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away... but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake's friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession — to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diners storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke.... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten... and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
In Stephen King's “most ambitious and accomplished” (NPR) novel, time travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
About the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Prize as well as the best hardcover from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.