|Stephen King’s 11/22/63|
A few years ago, I had a few friends over to my place for some pizza and movies. We had rented Terminator 3, so I’m going to put this gathering at around.. 2003? After the movie was over, we started talking about time travel and how enormous a concept it was to take on. We all had our own theories on how it was supposed to work and the discussion began to get pretty heated. Now, when I say “heated” I mean, in just a frustrating and hilarious manner. We actually started screaming at each other as movies we all loved were brought into the discussion.
In the end, nothing was solved. Basically time travel fiction (anyone know of any non-fiction?) is pretty open ended. There aren’t any set rules you have to play by and the most people ask is that you just make it seem.. plausible? You can argue until you’re blue in the face with someone who has their own views on the subject but as long as you have a compelling enough plot surrounding it, you can shift people’s focus from the mechanics to the basic story itself.
So in 11/22/63, King doesn’t spend a lot of time going into how Jake travels 53 years into the past, he just wants you to accept that he is able to do so. Which is fine by me, I can trust Uncle Stevie, he hasn’t given me a reason yet not to expect a great read. Granted, he gives you somewhat of an explanation eventually and while it does seem to make sense, I still didn’t quite fully grasp what he was going for.
Thankfully, the story itself was enjoyable. It did seem to meander at parts, which is why it’s only going to get a 4 star rating, but I suppose that’s a given with a near 900 page monstrosity. I really hate harping on book length as I’m actually a pretty big advocate of longer fiction; my favorite book of all time is damn near 1,200 pages! I firmly believe that King could’ve shaved 100 pages off.. or at least somewhere in that ballpark. Pretty sure I heard him state in an interview that the first draft was somewhere in the realm of 1,500 pages? Correct me if I’m wrong.
I’ve heard a few people say that they had some issues with the ending and I can’t quite understand that one. It’s easily a far better ending then 2009’sUnder the Dome. The pacing in the final 150 pages had my heart racing at a rapid speed.
King certainly has done better but it’s still worth the time you put into reading it. I give it a solid recommendation.