Title : 11.22.63
Author : Stephen King
Narrators : Craig Wasson
Genre : Sci-fi, Time-travel
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Audio
Listening Length : 30 hours 44 minutes
Rating : 4/5
Narrator Rating : 4.5/5
I picked up this book because this was described as a time travel story (am a sucker for time-travel tales), which it is, although it was much more. Stephen King is also a great writer so I had no doubts that this would be a good book. In 11.22.63, English teacher Jake Epping is persuaded by friend Al, to go back in time to prevent a great catastrophe, a catastrophe that if prevented (Al believes) will change the world for the better. In 1958, Jake becomes George Amberson, and waits for the opportune time. In the meanwhile, he grows roots, makes a life and falls in love.
11.22.63 is a long, long book and took me a while to finish. Most books are about 12 hours or under, but 11.22.63 was around 30. Its long because King describes every event and character in the book in great, expansive detail. This is nice when Jake travels back in time, and King takes the time to describe the place, the people and the atmosphere – keeps us (the readers) invested and interested. On the con side though, there is so much detail that one can get bogged down in it, especially if you are used to a faster pace.
The story itself is very well fleshed out, and he ties together the fictional narrative with the historical facts quite nicely. There are a few side-stories which seem unnecessary, but then do add to the sum total. I think of this novel, long though it is, as a painting with every little detail exquisitely sketched out. Besides, Jack Epping himself is a great hero, a swashbuckling English teacher and a kind, good man willing to go the extra mile to do the right thing.
Narrator Wasson is an absolute marvel; he brings Jake Epping and Al and other characters, even the female ones, to life. This was a great listen – highly recommended.