The idea of time travel has long been a favorite of mine. While straight lines are great for getting quickly from one place to another, curves and spirals are much prettier and more appealing to me. The idea that time can fold back on itself has gripped my imagination since I first read A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’Engle in elementary school. So I was very excited about this novel about the effort to return to 1963 and stop the assassination of President Kennedy.
Naturally, there are twists in this story that only the warped mind of Stephen King can conjure up, but I totally have to agree that altering small events in the lives of ordinary people can have unexpected and far reaching consequences. So certainly, the alteration of a major historical and political event could be catastrophic. I also happen to think it was lucky Kennedy’s presidency ended when it did, before the cracks started to show.
I am tempted to read it again because there were a couple of spots where I was not really sure why certain things were happening, and I don’t remember them being resolved. I suspect that in the course of this very long book, I missed some details. For now I’ve decided to let this book just marinate in my brain for a while. I may pick it up again someday to see if I can figure out those couple of passages.
At any rate, this was an engaging tale of what might have been. I particularly liked that King involved the sense of smell so much. It is so often overlooked by writers. I also really liked how well King managed the raising of the story’s intensity as Jake struggles against the clock up the many flights of stairs in the Texas Schoolbook Depository building. Each flight up left me more tense and frantic to know if he’d make it in time.
11/22/63 is a very long book, but it is well worth reading every word.