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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 (523 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!

7 of 8 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!

2 of 2 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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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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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Excellent

I read the book a few years ago and loved it. Listening to it gave it more personality and I love it even more. One of my favourites.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • John R
  • 2017-05-13

Not what i had hoped for

What did you like best about 11-22-63? What did you like least?

This book started out great but got long and boring for quite a bit and then the ending was short and vacuous. It is obvious that King has a strong fascination with Kennedy but King's political agenda is clearly evident in this writing all the way up to the part when Hillary is president (in a world that has fallen apart).This book (as with other of King's writings), incorporates places and characters from other writings which i always enjoy. Tying this in with Derry and cameos of Richie and Bev (and It) was great!Craig Wasson does a great job narrating this book. He uses different voices for all of the characters and is able to boost a persons imagination with his narration. The ending is just horrible. King goes into minute details for 100's of pages (or hours of listening) leading up to a penultimate ending and then from the time Oswald is about to shoot Kennedy to the end of the book is quick, lacks details, and is rather boring.Writing about time travel is not an easy thing to do and i think King explains and interprets the butterfly effect elegantly. However, there were numerous instances where i think King made some egregious errors; specifically Al's cancer. Al has a home care nurse because of his cancer but (if i listened correctly which i may have not) he had just returned from the rabbit hole and Jake mentions seeing him the day before and he was okay. If he got cancer while in 1958-62, returned to 2011 with cancer, then how could he already have a home care nurse and prescriptions? Or, if he had the cancer before going back in time and spending 4 years there AND had the nurse and prescriptions before going, wouldn't the nurse notice the sudden extreme changes? I just listened again and Jake specifically states that he saw him less than 24 hours prior and he was fine and could not understand what could have changed him so much in less than 24 hours. This bothered me for the next 30 hours of listening.I generally really enjoy King's novels and i started out liking this but by the end, i was just glad it was over. There was too much of a love story in this and leans too much towards King's political views.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Focus more on explaining the "time strings", write more about the altered present, throw in the usual King twist that leaves you hanging and thinking "oh oh, this could get ugly again". Then again, i am not a writer and i am sure my ending would suck.

Which scene was your favorite?

Jake's second trip to 1958

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

It is a movie and i will probably watch it.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mary Silva
  • 2017-03-07

Could have done without the makeshift love story.

The romance seemed like an afterthought to an already amazing plot. Love scenes were awkward.

34 of 38 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 2013-05-18

entirely average

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

perhaps

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

thankful

What aspect of Craig Wasson’s performance would you have changed?

not everything needs to be SO EMPHATIC!

Do you think 11-22-63 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no.

Any additional comments?

if the book had been about 1/2 its length it might have been compelling. the basic idea is interesting, as is the general plot arc. but just way too wandering down so many uninteresting paths (like he had to prove that he had done lots of historical research).

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • M. Miller
  • 2012-12-06

Detail in Search of A Plot

This is one of those books that makes you wonder whether the author is editor-proof. It is slow without creating texture or character. The plot is a distant relative to the author's description of 1950's Maine. For the right reader, it is likely to be ideal.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Nestor
  • 2012-07-06

Long and dull

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

I have enjoyed other S King books, but this one looks to me like the old man has grown too great to have any editors look over his shoulder and make any cuts. It just went on and on restating the same things over and over - meandering and getting to the climax so slowly, I could hardly believe it.

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

No

Which character – as performed by Craig Wasson – was your favorite?

I enjoyed Mr Wasson's performance very much.

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

It was OK

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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.

47 of 53 people found this review helpful

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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”.

40 of 45 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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).

74 of 84 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Taxvictim
  • 2012-06-04

Great! Boring. Good again... Boring. Too long.

This Audible book is broken into four parts. It's very captivating and interesting in the first part as we learn how the time travel option works. Then it gets boring for long stretches while our first person narrator describes his daily life. The funny thing is, even the main character starts spying on Lee Harvey Oswald, it's still boring.

It's very frustrating to see a writer set up a great premise, then have his characters behave like idiots. Still, I was interested enough to stick with it until the end.

The narrator did a great job with the text and characters he was given.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Luanne
  • 2012-05-14

Yuck

Winding story that fizzed right after it started. Boring! Maybe my expectations were too high?

46 of 52 people found this review helpful