11/22/63 by Stephen King

This will have to be a two-post review.  I decided (finally) that since it is November, I will read this novel I've been staring at on my bookshelf for quite a while now.  It's a good solid read, King will grip me and make me want to read his tale much too far into the night, and I will awaken bleary-eyed with the book in the bed next to me.  Then I will attempt to avoid all of life's realities in order to get my eyeballs back on the page.

King begins (as he is wont to do) benignly enough.  We have a school teacher grading papers at the end of the semester.  Before long, however, we are stepping into the abyss right along with said teacher, and the title is a subtle tease (I avoid reading book-flaps, so I don't know much about the how yet) that gets me thinking about how King is going to bring me around to that terrible day in 1963.  Time travel.  It's the only way.

I'm sorry that I cannot report (well, not really sorry) where I was that day, as I was not born yet.  However, my older sister came home from school to tell my mother what happened, my mother, who never watched television or listened to the radio during the day, she was strictly an album aficionado.  Truly, my sister probably had to turn down the HiFi to be heard.  Of course, my mother did not believe her.  An eight year old in New York, what could she know of presidents and shootings in Texas?

My parents loved the musical Camelot and listened to the soundtrack quite a lot.  When I heard that JFK's administration was described as Camelot, I understood how loved a president he was, how the Kennedy family was the closest thing to royalty the US had, and it didn't much matter if you were an Elephant or a Donkey, Jack and Jackie were IT.

As for Stephen King's ideas, I don't know yet.  I can only surmise that he was as enamored as the rest of the nation, and the world.  All those young people did not join the Peace Corps for a president they did not love.  Ask not, he said to them - Ask not what your country can do for you.  And they stepped right up to his challenge.

I'm going to try really hard to savor this novel.  Since I'm doing some traveling soon, I'll have two good chunks of reading time, and my goal is to keep myself from swallowing the book whole (as I am wont to do).  Wish me luck.


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