11/22/63 has easily become my favorite Stephen King Novel. I was expecting a book about time travel, espionage, and a race against the clock to save the president of the United States. Instead what I read was one of the most fleshed out, deep, character driven stories that King has ever written.
Jake is just an ordinary English teacher who, through a portal at a diner, travels back in time to the 1950’s on a special mission to save the president. It is easy for a time travel story to become convoluted and messy as events are constantly altered in the past, but King handles it well throughout, focusing more on character development and relationships. There are concepts that could have been explored more in depth, such as the racial tensions in the US at the time or woman’s rights. King does touch on these concepts briefly, but not the extent that many readers, including myself, were expecting. This book also contains references to other King books/series and I a few theories about where this novel fits into the wider Stephen King universe, but they are only theories for now.
I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys King’s work, as well as to people who like to read deep, character driven books. This is still a Stephen King book and whilst reading it you definitely can tell. If you have read other King books and you strongly disliked them, then I do not recommend this. I am quite keen on watching the TV series to see if James Franco does the source material justice. Happy reading!