|Purchase: Amazon | Chapters|
Genre: Historical Fiction, Thriller
Started: Jan. 11, 2012
Finished: Jan. 30, 2012 (20 days)
Where Found: Xmas 2011 gift
Why Read: It's the latest Stephen King book...um, do I need any other reason? ;)
Read For: What's in a Name 5 Challenge--Something on the Calendar (1/6)
Summary: A high school English teacher in 2011 steps through a time travelling portal to 1958 with the intent of rewriting history by intervening in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
Marketed as a reimagining of the socio-political day the music died, November 22, 1963, you may be surprised to find that the assassination and events leading up to the shots fired from the Book Depository in Dallas, Texas with suspicions surrounding the grassy knoll plays a supporting role. The story is more about the butterfly effect: how a single decisive event leads to countless outcomes in unfathomable ways.
The book is highly ambitious with a seamless transition from 2011 to 1958 where Jake's journey begins. He discovers other tragedies and problems that he has the influence to change for the better...as long as he doesn't inadvertently change the outcomes of other people's fate. Cultural, political, and social atmosphere is tweaked for historical accuracy in such a way that contemporary readers who may not have lived during that time (including yours truly) can get a close-up glance of attitudinal contrasts between past and present.
I really enjoyed where the story went and wasn't at all disappointed that the story of Lee Harvey Oswald and JFK's assassination blended into the background as Jake's imprint on other, fictional characters' fates made up most of the book. His relationship with Sadie was a lovely touch and just how (if he even can) prevent the assassination against the obstinate nature of time and space keeps you guessing.
It was written in a way that stretched the scope of what constitutes a Stephen King novel, often to the point of forgetting that he wrote it, much in the way I thought of Bag of Bones. I was impressed with it for very different reasons than other books of his I've read and reviewed, and I would count it as a definite must-read. The Green Mile still remains my favourite King book with Bag of Bones, Different Seasons, and Carrie up there as well, but this is one fine addition to his catalogue.
Rank: (A)- Excellent, Highly Recommend