Stephen King to Publish Time Travel Novel About JFK Assassination
The book, set to drop Nov. 8, takes its title -- '11/22/63' -- from the day JFK was shot.
"The novel is big, ambitious and haunting," says editor Chuck Verrill in an article at The Telegraph. "King has probably absorbed the social, political and popular culture of his American generation as thoroughly and imaginatively as any other writer."
According to TheBookseller.com, King's U.K. editor Phillippa Pride is similarly head-over-heels for '11/22/63,' calling it "the best 'What if...?' novel I have ever read."
King's official website describes the book as follows:
The New York Times Arts Beat writes that "the new book is 1,000 pages long -- enormous by most standards, but cruising length for Mr. King -- and is apparently a 'counterfactual,' a novel that imagines what would have happened had history turned out differently."
Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students-a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night 50 years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk.
Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane-and insanely possible-mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life-a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
While the dip into history and the realm of the "counterfactual" is a departure from King's usual fare, the length is not -- it will be King's second 1,000-page book in as many years. His 2009 tome 'Under the Dome' was his third-longest novel at 1,074 pages in hardcover.
Perhaps more impressive is King's hot streak in recent years. '11/22/63' will be the Maine author's 13th book in seven years (two novellas, two short fiction collections, one co-authored nonfiction offering, and eight novels). That count doesn't include his collaborative work in the graphic novel marketplace in the last several years. His last release was 2010's 'Full Dark, No Stars,' a collection of four grim novellas.
'11/22/63' is available for pre-order here.
See Stephen King talk about the writing process for his last doorstop, 'Under the Dome':
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