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11-22-63 by Stephen King: A Worthy Read
Time travel and nostalgia....WOW.
My dad was an avid reader of Stephen King. Each time a new book came out in hardback, I would scoop it up and present it to him for his reading pleasure. If dad were still alive, he would have enjoyed this one, it is the first time I have read King and I was enraptured by this work.
I noticed the book was being released in early November 2011 and pre-ordered it on Amazon.True, I have a kindle, but some books are just too worthy to not be read in the book edition! I received my copy on November 10th and am happy to report it only took me two days to voraciously read this 847 page tome! Tolstoy would be so proud! Tolstoy's epic tome: "War and Peace" is about the size of this book and I could not put the book down, reading it well into the early wee hours of the morning and taking it to my afternoon nap with me!
I have always been a huge fan of time travel stories. Back in 1967 I waited impatiently for the TV show "The Time Tunnel" to make its weekly appearance each Friday night. Again, Quantum Leap stirred my interest, as did the movie "Somewhere in Time" with Jane Seymour and Chris Reeve. There is an element of the romantic in these stories, one that sweeps you up and into the lives of the traveler and the characters. Although I could not really get into "The Time Traveler's Wife" in book format, the movie captured me at the get-go. As in King's book, there was an element of magic in reading of alternative time periods.
One of the components I enjoyed immensely in this story are several of the settings: Derry, Maine is one such place. King chooses this fictitious town in more than one of his books, and coming from Derry, New Hampshire, I take great relish in reading of this similarity. King's character also travels to Jodie, Texas as well, a place that reminds me of Huffman, TX near Humble. The music and allusions to local soda's and the reflections of the time period of 1958-1963 made me wax nostalgic of a simpler, albeit more difficult time in the world. The timeline in the story would have been from the time I was 3-8 years old, but my brother graduated from high school in 1960, so I remember many of the things discussed and the way people viewed life and world events.
King captured the essence of the time in many ways, but it is his character development that really made me want to know how things would turn out. Aligned with fictional characters, we learn about others who really did live and a possible scenario that could have taken place. Research done by King into the reality of the time before Kennedy's assassination was well developed and realistic. Additionally, it was easy to see how difficult it must have been to exist in a time when developments in medicine and technology were in their infancy. The limitations to a character who knew of the existence of modern day developments would have been an exercise in frustration for myself and many others were we to find ourselves walking the road of life back in that time period.
If you love a new way of thinking about something that happened over 50 years ago, grab this book and enjoy! I am pleased I did. I only wish it had a sequel.