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11-22-63

A Novel
Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Craig Wasson
Length: 30 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (409 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back?

In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.

It begins with Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away: a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life - like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963 - turning on a dime.

Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession - to prevent the Kennedy assassination.

So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world - of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading, eventually of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful - and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.

©2011 Stephen King. All Rights Reserved. (P)2011 Simon & Schuster, Inc

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Another Good Story That Just Kind of Ends

This is a really good story line, and I enjoyed the performance as well, but as with many of Mr. King's epic stories, the ending is an odd choice. It is not as odd an ending as Under the Dome (that one still sticks in my head as just strange), and I like the sentiment of the ending, but something about it just doesn't feel like it went with the story.

The reader did an excellent job with his dramatization of the story. I listened to this commuting to and from work and while the story is a bit daunting (in length and the scope) I enjoyed it overall.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Very worthwhile, keeps you guessing

I believe it could be my new favourite Stephen king story. Unlike a lot of his books it’s not supposed to be scary or even creepy. It’s a intriguing story that keeps you guessing and it is full of suspense.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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#Audible 1 review of 11.22.63 by Stephen King

This month, I ran out of credits and was facing about two weeks without having a book to listen to in my car. I decided to look through my library of almost 200 books to see if I would see something I would re-listen to which I had never done before.
When I saw 11.22.63, I remembered how much I loved this book. Since I listened to it a long time ago I decided it would be the one to take me to my next credit.
I enjoyed it just as much as the first time even though I remembered most of the storyline. Stephen King’s characters are so alive and real. I felt like I truly knew them and was visiting them once again. The characters were even more real because of the narrative perfection of Craig Wasson. Accents, genders, emotions, everything you’d want when listening to such an amazing story. It made me want to do something else I’ve never done before...choose a book based solely on the narrator.
For anyone interested in an edge of your seat story involving time travel, romance and an exciting plot, get this book!

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Craig Wasson increases the value!

This book already is a fantastic book; however, the narrator Craig Wasson, brings a lot to the table! He has a voice for every character and the accents are pretty great!
For me there was barely a dull moment in this novel. Stephen King does an amazing job at fantasizing what could’ve happened and what it would take to stop Lee Harvey Oswald.
Both novel and narration is truly great!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome!

One of my favorites. Such great narration. Mr King hit it out of the park on this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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a great book!

the storyline itself is great, however the narrator did a spectacular job that really brought the characters to life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best book I Have Ever Read

Wow. This book is such an amazingly vivid mind journey. Sweet. Intense. Very addictive. I couldn’t stop listening. I felt like I was right there. I wanted to be there. The narrator did a phenomenal job. Loved every minute.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Captivating

I simply loved this book. It is well written with both a captivating & intriguing plot line. The characters are brought to life certainly through the dialogue & narrative style, but credit too must be given to the actual narrator of this novel, Craig Wasson, who infuses this provocative tale with even more oxygen to transport it to waft in the nooks & cranny’s of your imagination not only as you listen, but long after you’ve listened to this masterful intrigue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Story, AMAZING narration.

Very few books have had me gripped right from the start like this one did. While it did get a little slow in the middle, I can see how it sets up important events later in the book. I have read that some people are disappointed with the ending, but I see no other way it could have ended, and am personally happy with how it wrapped up.

This was the first book I've listened to with Craig Wasson as a narrator, and he did an absolutely outstanding performance on this. It's right up there with the best that I've heard and he really captured emotions perfectly.

This is very much worth a listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Even better than the first time!

I read this book on release and loved it. Seven years later, I enjoyed it even more listening to it. Narrator is very good...story brought tears to my eyes at the end...and the afterwards by Mr. King himself was a bonus. Don’t miss this!

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  • Kelly
  • 2012-04-16

I Owe Stephen King An Apology

Stephen King On Writing is one of my favorite books, and I read it every couple of years. Half memoir, half writing “how to,” it is absorbing and delightful. I recommend it to my students and suggest that they read it every year.

However, that is the only one of King’s books that I’ve been able to read. I’ve tried many times, but kept getting bogged down after 20 or 30 pages. The stories were okay, but couldn’t hold my interest because the writing seemed too heavy handed, brutish, like he was typing with his fists.

So, after days of consideration, it was with great reluctance that I downloaded 11/22/63. The reviews were good, glowing, in fact, and I’ve learned to trust the opinions of Audible listeners. Plus, the book is more than 30 hours long, which the bargain hunter in me always finds attractive.

I just finished it tonight. It is a wonderful and fascinating story, based loosely on an English teacher’s obsession with Lee Harvey Oswald and the possibility of going back in time to prevent the Kennedy killing. I also enjoyed the love story, which the author handles with charm, humor and honesty.

The writing is wonderful, masterful, vivid, compelling. The characters are rich and deep, genuine, involved, and I find myself thinking about them and their lives often throughout the day. Life in small-town and big-town 1958 up to 1963 is mesmerizing, much as I remember it, with the constant but subtle hint of mysterious dangers to come.

You’ll get no more details from me, only a hearty endorsement. Well worth every minute, made doubly valuable by the excellent and interesting reading by Craig Wasson. Totally believable, wonderfully surprising, and, well, I was going to say something about the ending, but you'll want to find that out for yourself.

648 of 742 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Matt
  • 2012-01-06

This book faded like a bad racehorse…

When I first got into this book, I was very interested and tearing through it. However, as I plodded along it got slower and worse—then it was capped off with a terrible ending. The book is largely about a “rabbit hole” that leads to the past, however King’s rambling writing also leads the reader down countless rabbit holes that add nothing to the overall story and just make the book longer and more tedious. I was also frustrated throughout the book by the many pot shots that King takes at republicans and conservatives in general. I get that he is a proud liberal, but it comes across as juvenile and petty. The narration was excellent with a few exceptions. I have not heard this style of narration before where many of the characters take on imitated voices of actual actors. Most were good (very good in fact), however the FBI agent towards the end with the Jimmy Stewart voice was terrible. I had trouble listening to those parts which were critical to the entire story. This is my first reading of a King novel, I was hoping for “Shawshank”, but it turned out more like “Maximum Overdrive”.

33 of 37 people found this review helpful

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  • Sarah Nolan
  • 2015-03-07

I have never been more bored

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

People with lots of time on their hands. I recommend buying it in paper back so you can skip through the book quicker.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

The book desperately needs editing. The plot slogs along and, despite that, the characters still don't seem to be fleshed out; I don't understand their motivations or their feelings. With that, the overall premise is interesting. I wish I could have enjoyed it.

What about Craig Wasson’s performance did you like?

He's a good reader with an overly long book.

46 of 52 people found this review helpful

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  • Janet
  • 2012-05-12

Major disappointment

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Craig Wasson?

I was intrigued by the plot and completely bought into it throughout the book, so that's not the reason for my criticism. The story was good, very good in spots. It was the writing that disappointed - about halfway through it turned amateurish in far too many places (if I notice such a thing, then it's BAD).

One has to wonder what happened to the editor, especially during the 2nd half of the book. At least an hour, maybe two, of repetition could have been excised, and the story would have been better for it. Also, has anyone counted how many times King used "the past is obdurate" or "harmonic" ? It was so many that they became groan worthy towards the end.

With the exception of his Stella Voice, Narrator Wasson was excellent (however, the fact that he based some of his characters' voices on the likes of Burt Lancaster, Jimmy Stewart, John Houseman & Nixon, while amusing, was slightly distracting).

66 of 75 people found this review helpful

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  • Christina
  • 2018-09-24

So very boring, and doesn’t ring true

King has written some great stories. This is not one of them.
This is a bazillion pages of “the imagined fairytale life of a 70s-era guy living in the good ol’ days of the late 50s” Someone should have taken a dozen red pens to the endless rambling about how cute the sock hops were and how neatly George cut his grass and all the little ways he transformed every young life he touched. Also excessively belabored are Jake’s internal musings about what he’ll maybe eventually do in four years— or not.
And Jake is supposed to be a guy raised in the 80s/90s, yet all the “modern” slang and pop culture references and such that are supposed to highlight his anachronism are from the 70s. It’s bizarrely old fashioned, and it’s jarringly out of place with the context. No one who was 35 in 2011 goes around saying “kick out the jams” or obsessively telling people their name is “Puddintane.”
I wish I had skipped whole chunks of this one, if not the whole book. I haven’t watched the miniseries, but I imagine they must have stripped it bare and cut out the whole middle to make it work.

39 of 44 people found this review helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 2013-02-04

This was over 20 hours of my life wasted.

What disappointed you about 11-22-63?

Too long and boring. When the speaker pretends to be a southern woman I kept thinking of Monty Python. The characters were false and unbelievable. It's trying to be a love story, after 14 hours I still wasn't convinced. I kept listening hoping it would get better but it only got worse.

Would you ever listen to anything by Stephen King again?

I used to be a fan. Not sure anymore.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Craig Wasson?

Different voices for different characters would make more sense.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

Don't waste your time and money.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Bellzon
  • 2012-09-18

I don't Know Why I Listened to this Book

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Craig Wasson?

No

Has 11-22-63 turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes

What does Craig Wasson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Tears of emotional description

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I guess if you want to read, something truly fictional, about someone trying to prevent the Kennedy assassination and the consequences of that action, it is an interesting thought.

Any additional comments?

This book could have told the story in half the length. If you like a lot of detail of the day to day living of the characters, plus a description of their clothing, what they ate, read and felt every moment, then this is the book for you.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Susan
  • 2011-12-10

What happened?

Not sure if it was the writing or the narrator that made this such an unremarkable read. Very boring and couldn't stand the narration. Very expensive waste of time. Can't believe this was a Stephen King novel....

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Bradley Schoenfeld
  • 2012-05-18

Starts off strong and fades

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Craig Wasson?

Yeah, but I don't like a lot of King's endings.

What was most disappointing about Stephen King’s story?

The love story aspect, not focusing enough on the new future he created and why it all happened. Could have focused more on the yellow/green/orange whatever card man. A lot of disappointments in the end.

What three words best describe Craig Wasson’s performance?

I thought he was a little annoying with the accents.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes it was a really interesting premise, I just think the execution fell off a cliff. It would have been better if he had to take down a conspiracy instead of just Oswald. That turned it into a love story.

45 of 51 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mark A. Dresslar
  • 2011-12-22

Bad Effort

Would you try another book from Stephen King and/or Craig Wasson?

I am a Steven King fan, but I would never buy another audio book narrated by Craig Wasson.

Has 11-22-63 turned you off from other books in this genre?

Yes

How could the performance have been better?

Different narrator.

Any additional comments?

Growing up in Dallas in the 50's and 60's, I am used to people's negative view of the city due to the JFK assassination. But at this late date, King's constant deriding of Dallas and the his stereotypical portrayal of the city is unwarranted and also way off the mark.
He claims to have been to Dallas and researched the subject, but I find it hard to believe.
For example, in this book, his main character claims that weeks of apartment searching failed to yield even one

58 of 66 people found this review helpful