4/5 stars

11/22/1963 by Stephen King

I have to say, Stephen King remains one of the great writers of our time. He can tell a story in a way that only a few can.

11/22/63 is the most meaningful Stephen King book I’ve read. That doesn’t say a whole lot; I haven’t read that many of them. The Talisman, The Green Mile, and Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption and Apt Pupil from Different Seasons are the only ones I can truly claim. By “meaningful” I don’t mean personally meaningful . . . I mean this book is full of meaning. It’s political, exciting, thought provoking, smart, sensitive, scary, happy, sad, factual, fictional, warning, and more. It takes a special book to be all those things.

Here’s what you can expect should you decide to dive into 11/22/63:

–A fun taste of what it was like to live in the America of the 50’s and 60’s. If time travel were possible for us in 2012, this is what I imagine it would feel like.

–There is a very sweet and honest love story. I really loved these characters in particular.

–History is fun! There are sources-a-plenty if you want to read about the events surrounding the assasination of JFK. But this was really the first for me, and I enjoyed the history lesson as much as the story woven through it.

–Stephen King has a potty mouth, likes to describe violence and gore, and isn’t shy when writing about what happens in the bedroom. I have only read those few King books–but I’ve actually started more than that. Many (most?) of his books push to my limits of acceptable violence, sex, and language. I was prepared to put this one down too, but it never got there for me. However, consider yourself warned. Don’t pick up this or any other Stephen King book unprepared. This one has plenty of f*’s and sh*’s and other crude language, violent descriptions, and tasteful descriptions of intimacy.

–It’s looonnggg! The worst part of a great book is turning the last page and having to leave behind a great story. I love long books simply because it means more great story to enjoy. This one is pushing 1000 pages, so there is plenty of enjoyment to be had.

–The ending was a bummer for me. I’m such a sucker for perfectly happy endings, and in this important area, this one left me feeling sad instead of happy.

A happy 4 stars instead of 5 becase I didn’t love the ending and I wished there wasn’t as much bad language.

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