Tag Archives: alternate universe

Book Review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King

Standard

I’ve always been fascinated with time-traveling and alternate universes. Not that I’ve cut through the cloth of time and have disrupted the time-space continuum, let alone have seen my evil version in another existence. (She’d probably have ultra-straight hair and a corporate sell-out.)

 

My interest with it, as you might have guessed, started with DC and Marvel comic books. But I wasn’t one of the kids who avidly followed each installment. My brother was. Whenever he would finish a comic book, he would retell it to me with all his hand gestures and facial expressions. I’d go wide-eyed at how MARVELous (The pun was already there. I just had to do it.) these comic book heroes were.

 

But I wasn’t that much emotionally invested on these characters. I was more interested on these different stories with essentially the same heroes but end up with different conclusions all because they made different decisions. Each decision meant a different timeline, a different universe, a different outcome, a different life.

 

With these comic books running for decades, this was bound to happen.

 

As young as nine years old, I listened to my brother explain these multiverses as plainly as he could so that I could understand. And understand I did.

 

11/22/63: The reading experience

 

            JFK’s assassination has brought about many conspiracy theories which led me to be curious about its details. With his assassination date as the title of this novel, I instinctly felt it was either a period novel about the early sixties OR a time-travel science fiction novel. It was both.

 

            Following the story wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. His premise was simple. The rabbit hole, the spot where they’d go back in the past, will always lead them to September 9, 1958. Each time will be the first time. Each time will be a reset, undoing whatever they’ve changed in the previous trip. But when Jake aka George Amberson tried to change the past, it met him with challenges.

 

The past is obdurate. It doesn’t want to be changed.

 

There were details, especially regarding references to the pop culture and current events in the late 50s to early 60s that I didn’t understand. But I just googled them.

 

…hit enter and let Google, that twenty-first century Big Brother, take care of the rest

 

And Stephen King slyly wrote in Jake Epping to Derry, Maine – the setting of his novel about a malevolent, fear-sucking alien, It. If you are a die-hard fan of this sumbitch, you’d shit bricks when you come across familiar characters who were mentioned and appeared in the novel. Seriously, I wasn’t a fan until I read this magnum opus, but I still dropped my jaw.

 

The ending rendered me hopeful. I wouldn’t want to spoil you with details. Let’s just say it used a circular plot.

 

It was a roller coaster ride of emotions. It was sprinkled with suspense, horror, drama, action, comedy, and romance. I could say it was the whole package.

 

 

Advertisements