Friday, 25 January 2013

MyBOOKreview: 11/22/63 by Stephen King


THIS IS MY FIRST TIME DOING A BOOK REVIEW. I read a lot and during these days I try to force myself to read not that because I’ve not become interested with books anymore  but the fact is college life is very demanding, sometimes when you have no assignments or that you’ve finished doing them, it doesn’t mean that you’re as free as a bird. You would still have to prepare for the next class and sometimes readings for classes can consume much of your time. Now, I kind of get it when I recall the statistic about college students reading only an average of one book per year. But still, I do not want to make this as an excuse, hence I try to motivate myself to read at least one book per month.

     Just about a week ago, I finished reading another novel by Stephen King called 11/22/63. Yup, you got it right, the date is the title (or the title is a date, just to add to the confusion :P). It’s so troubling that whenever someone asked me what book was I reading, I would have to say out the date as in, “November twenty-second of sixty-three”. Phew! Anyway, so far I have only read three novels from Stephen King and I would say that the first novel that I read, Full Dark, No Stars is by far the best one. Well, actually it’s not really a novel, it’s actually a collection of short stories but what I really love about it is that there was not one story that I didn’t like! Now continuing to the novel here…


The novel really has a nice and smart cover. This is the 'first page' of the front cover, a newspaper page reporting the assassination of JFK
Now, the second page of the front cover, is a newspaper page reporting that JFK and his wife, Jackie saved from the near-death incident. Pretty neat, huh?


SUMMARY

The theme of the book is time travelling. It tells a story of a guy named Jacob “Jake” Epping who was entrusted by a dying man named Al Templeton - who first found the rabbit-hole which brought anyone who passes through it to the year of 1958 from the current year of 2011- to stop the assassination of John. F Kennedy (35th President of the United States). Al Templeton himself had tried to get the job done but his mission was blocked when he found out that he was diagnosed with cancer. However, there’s a twist to this time travelling adventure, every time that someone goes through the rabbit hole, it means a reset to what that person or other person before him had done when he went to the past. Pretty confusing, no? So apparently, if you happen to follow the story of the president’s assassination, you would know that a man named Lee James Oswald had become the suspect for the crime, but because he was killed before he could do any confessions/denials at all, the mystery remains of who was/were the responsible one/ones. So the story mostly features Jake making a follow up to Lee Oswald until the day he is going to shoot the president.

CHARACTERS

There are a few interesting characters that I would like to highlight here. The first one is Al Templeton. Apparently, he was the guy who started all the plot of stopping the assassination of JFK. Before he even came up with this idea, he had been going back and forth to the year of 1958, to get meat supplies for his business. But soon after, he realizes that with this miracle he had found, he could actually do something that could change the world which then leads to the whole JFK idea. Next, there’s of course Jake Epping, the main character of the story. He is a high school English teacher, and somewhat is in his 30s. Personally, I would regard him as a random guy that Al Templeton chose to carry out the plan for him, as Jake Epping to me was just a normal everyday guy and had no deep attachment to the assassination of JFK. Anyhow, he is a really focused man and his bravery to take over the whole incident should be highly praised. He only went to the past three times; the first one to experiment with Harry Dunning’s family, the second and longest one to stop the assassination and the last one to reset the whole thing. A year or two before the assassination was to take place; he met Sadie, a new librarian at the high school he was teaching in the past, who then became the love of his life (or more accurately, the love of his life in the past). Both of these characters were married to somebody else and happened to be having conflicts in their marriages, Jake with his alcoholic wife and Sadie with her OCD inflicted husband. Sadie actually plays a very important part in the JFK plan, because she was the person who helped Jake to stop Lee James Oswald, but unfortunately she was killed by Lee instead. Lastly, Lee James Oswald, the antagonist is also portrayed as a very interesting character in the novel. Despite of him being the mastermind to murder the president (in the novel), he also had a soft spot for his family especially to his daughter June. He occasionally had fights with his Russian wife, Marina, but he was also shown to treat Marina and Jun with love and affection. The whole plot of assassinating JFK to me was because of his concern of the political corruption in the United States at that time.

WHAT I LIKE
  • First experience of reading a time travelling novel, which is not bad
  • Stephen King did a thorough or at least to me a convincible research of the settings involved and the background of Lee James Oswald
  • It brought suspense at the end of the novel, just when I thought that the novel was going to end with some typical or unimportant things at the end, apparently the last 20-30 pages were the most intense part. The last part is kind of disturbing too
  • Delicious twist
  • The use of metaphors such as “the past harmonizes itself”, “the past is obdurate” and “the butterfly effects” to portray how the past acts to stop anything that wants to change it
  • The fact that JFK is one of my favourite presidents adds to the anticipation, although the novel doesn't tell much about the president


WHAT I DON’T LIKE

  • Some scenes always jump to the XX scene or pound cake as they (Sadie and Jake) call it which got my eyes rolling every time.
  • At the end, after the whole thing, Jake was torn between his love for Sadie and his supposed duty to save the world.


All in all, I would give this novel 3.5 out of 5 stars!


2 comments:

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I'm proud of u! very lucky to know u and as junior of u bfore :))

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