Posted: Friday, November 23, 2012, 9:04 am
Love, loss, history and time travel collide in this ambitious and, ultimately, likable novel.
Those familiar with Stephen King's work will recognize many of the usual themes at work in 11/22/63: ordinary settings disrupted by supernatural events, mysterious characters that operate in the realms of both spirit and reality, a reluctant protagonist faced with a nearly insurmountable challenge. What they might not recognize is a love story as touching as any they're likely to read.
In 11/22/63, King weaves historical research, time travel, road trips and, yes, romance into a sprawling novel that manages to remain intimate even as it spans decades.
Jake Epping is an English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine presented with the possibility of altering history by traveling back in time to foil the Kennedy assassination. Along the way, he adopts the alias George Amberson, stalks Lee Harvey Oswald and falls in love with one Sadie Dunhill.
Throughout the novel, King's pacing is deliberate, almost reflective. One senses this is a story the author relishes telling, and not just for the supernatural elements. This is a novel that transcends the genre, confronting larger issues of fate, love, purpose and free will.