It’s slightly ironic that I finish this book on the 9th of September. In the book, each time either Al or Jake use the rabbit-hole in the present they go back to the exact time and date – 9.9.58 resetting all the things they did that might have changed the future. The past harmonizes, as George would say.
This is the second Stephen King book I have read – The Stand being my first. I loved The Stand and this book doesn’t exactly stand up to it in my heart – but it is certainly a sturdy good book and has certainly made up for the disaster that was IT, a book I dumped after reading one thousand pages and realising that life could go on if I chose it.
11.22.63 has many of the good and bad points that I noticed but accepted in The Stand but could no longer bear in IT. There were parts which were slow, where nothing really much happened but the characters getting on with their lives. There were parts that went a little too fast or in not enough detail. Unlike in The Stand the ending is a lot more robust and enjoyable.
I think we all wonder what if that never happened what would life be like now? Had JFK never been assassinated, had 9/11 never happened, would we be living a better life? If you could go back in time to prevent say – Franz Ferdinand from being assassinated, would you have prevented the first world war, and thus stopped Hitler from perhaps ever having reason to come to power? If the Holocaust never happened – would the world now be a better place or would it have happened anyway at a different time, in a different places?
If you could change one thing, would you and more importantly, should you? These are the questions Jake has to face. 11.22.63 is by far more a drama then a horror or even a sci-fi and the focus is not really so much on the time travel element but on Jake Epping – or George Amberson as he becomes in 1958. He draws the story along, his feelings, his experiences rather then an in-depth study of time-travel.
The story is absorbing, not in an ‘on-the-edge-of-your-seat’ way but in the way that inspires compulsive page-turning syndrome.
I do really want to read more King, in fact I own a good deal of his books because I stocked up after loving The Stand so much. (I have 15 of his books waiting on my TBR at this very moment). IT scared me off for a couple of years but now I’m feeling more confident.
Also, I kinda feel a bit of reading mojo coming back which unfortunately does not inspire me to read The Empty Family by Colm Tóibín which I should read next as it is for my reading group…