By Stephen King
30 hours 44 minutes
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Read By: Craig Wasson
Jake Epping is a teacher trying to finish the last few essays as the school basketball team drops the last basket of a winning season. But there are those personal essays that stick with us more than others. The topic for the assignment is the day that changed my life written by the aging school janitor. Years later on the last day before spring break, Jake gets an odd request from the proprietor of the local hamburger joint that will forever change his life. And when Jake must choose between his safe existence and time travel to change the future, it’s this personal essay that pushes him to the past where he hopes to improve the future.
I was reminded recently that even those in the business who have made it deserve and need our reviews. I’ve listened/read (yes, actually read) this book no less than 5 times, probably listened more like 10. To say I really like it is an understatement. I’m not a big King fan. I don’t like horror per se. The only other book of his I’ve finished is Mr. Mercedes, and his book on writing, but that’s a different type of book. I tried to read Under The Dome, but lost interest.
Would I recommend 11/22/63? Heck yeah. And have. The book is well crafted and I felt not only pulled into the story, but into 1959 at the start. King does an excellent job of infusing that era into the book. I understood all the subtle nuances, from the lazy, respectful way people interacted with one another, to the way African-Americans were treated. The small town feel and suspicion of unknown people to the home-grown feel of your local butcher. I felt tethered to Jake and his plight.
Anything I didn’t like about the book? I can’t really say there was anything I disliked. Did it drag just a tad in the middle? Yeah, but just. Mostly I can’t pinpoint anything specific I disliked.
What did I think of the audio version production? Craig was spectacular. He nailed the voice, became Jake Epping. His timing was spot on. When the MC would have been close to tears, you heard it in his voice.
So there you have it. This readers opinion is everyone should read 11/22/63 if for no other reason than to feel like you’ve traveled back in time.