Updated Book Review – Stephen King’s 11/22/63

 

I'm putting this on here since, as I've said before, if you want to write you have to read.

While some critics rag on Stephen King, I have always enjoyed his work. Like many fans, I think his best work was done years ago but even the least of his books are still head and shoulders above most others as far as the writing skill.

What is unusual about this review is that I'm doing it when I am just halfway through the book. There's a reason for that.

Like books by John Grisham, King's tomes often have endings that I just don't like. Up to the last part of the book I love them, then the book falls apart (as far as what I like). I don't see any need to always kill off a hero and this seems to be a consistent thread in King's books. Grisham's endings are different. I'e always gotten the impression that by the time he gets to the end he is just tired of it and writes something just to get it over with. 

However, while I am critical of that aspect I also know that not everybody agrees with me and, to be honest, if it bothered me that much I wouldn't buy every single one of their books and read and reread them. Which I do.

I wanted to do this review of 11/22/63 while I was still in the midst of reading it because one of the things King does so well is put you into his world. He uses little things, like the taste of root beer, a description of a street, or someone's personality quirks to make the characters and setting in the book live and breathe.

As you probably know, the book is about someone going back in time to try and prevent the Kennedy assassination. Kind does a masterful job of transporting us from the present day, back to the days of bobby soxers and high school dances. While that was before my time, I have no doubt that he nails it on the head and you quickly find yourself pondering how different things were back then and empathizing with the main character as he feels his way around a time that was over before he was born.

So far, the book is great. I'm not sure if it is up to The Stand, but it is definitely a great read and a long book, which I appreciate both because I like the writing so much and because it is another of those Kindle books that are priced high.

If you're a writer or a voracious reader I'd highly recommend you pick it up, and I'm putting an Amazon link at the bottom of this page to the book. As long as your'e at it, you might want to try one of mine as well. If you like the nostalgic feel, then look at Junebug and the Body (a comedy and mystery). If the supernatural is more your thing, then No' Chance is the way to go.

UPDATE: Just finished the book. While I wouldn't classify it as a horror story, it is probably the best King book in the last ten years. He does an amazing job of describing characters that we all know from real life as well as Texas and Dallas in the 60s. A great job of writing and one every writer should read for enjoyment and then pick apart for the way a master uses words.