Published by Simon and Schuster on July 24th 2012
Genres: Alternative History, Fiction, General, Historical, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Time Travel
Dallas, 11/22/63: Three shots ring out.President John F. Kennedy is dead.Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
It tells the story of a middle-aged English teacher in Maine (of course) that discovers a portal back to 1958 located in the back room of his favorite diner. He becomes obsessed with preventing the assassination of JFK, convinced that it will stop many other ills that happened afterwards (MLK assassination, for one).
This book is part time travel, part historical fiction, part speculative fiction, and a love story. The best part is that other than a few clunky ‘sex scenes’ (and I use that description in the loosest possible term) this book is masterfully crafted and a compelling read.
The history of JFK has never held much allure for me. The great defining event for my generation was of course, 9/11. So, I was taken by surprise when I enjoyed this book so much. It’s long, but it’s a breezy read, for me the pages just flew by. I didn’t think that a book like this could hold so many surprises.
This is also a good starter book for people who don’t know what a fantastic story-teller that King is. I wouldn’t even put this in the horror genre so it’s a great book for people who don’t necessarily enjoy horror novels. Fabulous. Absolutely put this on your to-be-read list.
I decided to write this review as a part of Nonfiction November Book Pairing week to see if anyone had any fantastic JFK non-fiction they might recommend! Do you?