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Thread: King's novel: 11/22/63

  1. #301
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    http://consequenceofsound.net/2012/0...or-yesteryear/
    “I have never been what you’d call a crying man,” Jake Epping states in Stephen King’s latest work, 11/22/63. It’s a running sentiment throughout the 849-page novel, which follows a time traveler (Epping) aimed at stopping the death of President John F. Kennedy. King, best known for his macabre fiction and the sensational, critically acclaimed The Dark Tower series, carves out an adventurous, sweeping, and emotional novella that takes the reader to 1958 and the years following. There are deathly sweet root beer floats, classic cars, and countless references to the author’s previous works, including his 1986 novel, It. What’s most fascinating about the book, however, is how endearing it all is. Two to three hundred pages into the story, you start thinking, Christ, I’d never want to leave. There’s this charming innocence to the way people lived during that era – from manners of speech to the fabrics of love to the unity of small town life. Admittedly, you’re not thinking about how fucked life was for some people – you know, like minorities? – and that’s because King only whispers about it. Instead, you’re too swept up in the glistening, Norman Rockwell-like details: family dinners, school dances, weekend getaways, and, um, pound cake. Did I mention love, too?

    I cried after reading this book – which startled me. Like Epping’s character, I hardly cry. It’s not that I’m this chauvinistic male who thinks crying is for wimps, not at all. I’m a big fan of crying and an even bigger fan of those who cry well. In fact, I have this mental (and completely asinine) list of some of the best actors to cry in film. Mel Gibson? Tom Cruise? Your average psychopaths, I guess. In all seriousness, though, crying is an important part of life; it lets us release all the angst we’ve built up over short, or often long, periods of time. My problem is that I feel like I shed tears over the most insignificant things and it weirds me out. Did I cry when my mother was admitted to a psychiatric ward? No. But, pop in The Untouchables, let an hour and 30 minutes pass – roughly when “that Sean Connery scene” occurs – and I’m catching snot in my hands. This year has lead me to believe things might change; already I’ve cried twice. Once after reading the book I’m currently discussing here, and then last Friday at the news of Etta James’ death.

    Okay, so that last part is only a half-truth, but only because of my situational discomfort. I was sitting in my office, doing half a dozen things, and I hardly had the concentration to really cry. It didn’t help that my door was open, either. However, that didn’t stop me from shedding a tear, or two, or three. What’s so perverse about this is that I’m not even a huge fan! Off the top of my head, I can’t even name two songs by James, but I can name one. And it’s that one song that triggered those tears, namely because it’s one of the most singular, beautiful tracks in music history. You guessed it… “At Last”. Let’s talk about it for a second.

    Originally written in 1941 by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical Orchestra Wives, “At Last” was first recorded by Glenn Miller and His Orchestra with vocals provided by Ray Eberle and Pat Friday. (I only know this because of Wikipedia.) Prior to James’ death, I was convinced it was hers and it essentially is. Like Jimi Hendrix’s cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” or Gary Jules’ take on Tears for Fears’ “Mad World”, James took the song on paper and breathed a soul into the notes and lines. Prior to 1960, it belonged to Gordon or Warren or Miller or whoever fiddled about with it. But after James issued the single, it would always be hers. Just listen to it! The strings that FedEx shivers down one’s neck, the balmy piano and percussion work that lures you in, and James’ velvet, mesmerizing vocals paint a timeless portrait assuring everyone that beauty truly does lie in simplicity. Few songs work with this sort of magic, and hardly anyone has ever conjured it since.

    I’m quick to contend that’s the reason I cried on Friday, but in my heart, I know there’s a deeper reason. It goes back to my fruitless desire to live in the past. You see, I’m an increasingly nostalgic person, but it’s more problematic than that. Although I’m quick to fall for the current trends that capitalize on my past childhood (e.g. Teen Nick’s recent The 90′s Are All That programming, Urban Outfitters’ new line of neon-clad winter wear, or Yuck’s self-titled debut), I’m overwhelmed by this awkward nostalgia for periods of time I’ve never lived. Woody Allen’s most recent film, Midnight in Paris, deals with this conundrum. In it, Owen Wilson stars as a Hollywood screenwriter whose recent passion has skewed from the silver screen to that of the Golden era of literature. While in Paris, and appropriately at midnight, he finds a way to travel back to the 1920′s. He drinks with Hemingway, goes to parties with the Fitzgeralds, and falls for a woman named Adriana. Without spoiling too much, because it’s really a splendid film and Allen’s first grand slam in years, Michael Sheen tells Wilson early on, “Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present… the name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.”

    He’s not wrong, but to me, he’s not right, either. I just feel it’s more difficult than that. It’s not that I think a different time period is better; instead, I’m envious of certain aspects of particular eras. When listening to James belt out “At Last”, I yearn for a time when that was an essential track, where something so simple was considered landmark, where time felt so delicate. To me, today races by too fast. We’re juiced by the Internet and flogged by the rapidity of digital information. “At Last” is an absorbing track that slowly embraces you and asks for your time. You don’t listen to it while doing errands, or commuting on the train, or even while you’re writing at home. This is the activity. Personally, I don’t think our society is really cut out for that anymore. I also don’t think anyone could produce a track like this, either. Today, a singer like James would essentially be “pasteurized” in the studio, or oversold to countless ads, shattering the raw talent and its unique intimacy altogether. Maybe I’m wrong, or just making too general of assumptions, but it depresses me to cope with the present sometimes.

    These feelings I have toward “At Last” mirror my thrill and enjoyment of King’s latest work. About halfway into the book, Epping – once again, the story’s time traveling protagonist – falls helplessly in love with another character named Sadie Dunhill. A troubled librarian, on the run from an abusive, psycho-sexual husband (classic King, amirite?), Sadie is dazzled by the man with the ultimate foresight. It’s less King and more Nicholas Sparks, but it’s a new side to Maine’s finest, and I went with it. I went a little too far, really. My love for these characters turned to obsession and eventually into a passionate respite from reality. I romanticized not only the characters, but their situations, and each page offered another extension on my mental trip back in time. I’d visualize quiet sunsets over healthy fields, I’d dream for the intimate nights where only souls could entertain and the digital escapes were still decades ahead, and I’d pine for the innocent, star-crossed romances – the sort of love sensationalized in songs by The Beach Boys or The Beatles. By the end, I think I cried because that trip had come to an end, and I realized it was all just a fantasy. There was no return.

    Everyone has a tragic flaw. Mine is that I’m always looking for a way to escape the present; it’s just my nature. It should be no surprise then that my favorite film is Back to the Future or that my favorite band still remains The Beach Boys, a group whose best album (Pet Sounds) features a song titled, “I Just Wasn’t Made for These Times”. What perfect poetry to underscore my dilemma: “Every time I get the inspiration/To go change things around/No one wants to help me look for places/Where new things might be found.” To play Devil’s advocate, new things surface left and right in today’s day and age, and I’m constantly surprised and bewildered by all of them. But, they’ll never pluck the same chords that Etta James’ “At Last” does for me. To reiterate Brian Wilson’s past fears, I guess I really wasn’t made for these times – maybe one day I’ll stop crying over that.

  2. #302
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    http://www.bigshinyrobot.com/reviews/archives/36137
    This week’s Book of the Week may be a book you’ve heard mentioned before over the last few months. It’s Stephen King’s latest novel, 11/22/63, and marks a first for me. Up until this book I had never read any Stephen King, never so much as added any of his work to my lengthy “Must Read” list. However, the story that Mr. King weaves and the pictures he paints in this novel left a lasting impression on me, which is why I’ve selected his latest for Big Shiny Robot’s Book of the Week.

    11/22/63 begins of course by introducing us to our protagonist, Jake Epping – a 35-year old English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine. Recently divorced from his alcoholic wife, Epping is not an extraordinary man, but certainly an interesting one. He’s intelligent, resourceful, caring, and at times very charming. The book doesn’t take long before diving in to the time traveling aspect. Epping is approached by his long-time friend, Al, owner of a local diner, who divulges a secret he’s been keeping for years: In the store room of his diner is a portal that leads to 1958 Lisbon Falls, Maine.

    From here this novel truly becomes nothing short of a page-turner. As Jake Epping takes his first steps into the past we find out that this portal takes him back to the exact same moment in time in 1958, every time – and if one steps back through the portal to the present, then back again to the past, all the changes one would have made on that previous trip are reset and you have only been gone 3 minutes in the present. After a brief trip to 1958 to have a milk shake at a local shop, Epping returns to the present completely convinced of this impossible portal and Al approaches him with a plan: To stop the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Al had been living in the past for 4 years (still, just 3 minutes in present time) attempting to do this, but had become ill with lung cancer and had to abandon his mission. After some convincing, and armed with all of Al’s notes of the past containing crucial information about Lee Harvey Oswald and a suitcase full of cash from some sports gambling, Epping takes on this task and steps through the portal to live in the past for the next 5 years and eventually stop the assassination of JFK.

    For a good portion of this book we live in the late 50′s and early 60′s with Jake Epping, who takes on the false identity of George Amberson. Over the course of these 5 years, Epping has a sort of to-do list of things to accomplish in the past; stop the murder of the family of one of his students from his adult GED classes he teaches on the side in the present, prevent the paralyzation of a young girl at the hands of her own father in a hunting accident, and spend a great deal of time in the latter years spying on Oswald to find if he works alone in the assassination or if there was truly a second shooter. Epping finds himself more and more becoming his false identity of George Amberson, and as he settles into his life in the past makes some memorable friends and even falls in love with a local school teacher in Texas, Sadie Dunhill. But even as Jake Epping carves out a wonderful life for himself while keeping his true intentions and origins a secret, the past is obdurate, and is constantly trying to dispose of this virus from the present who his attempting to change the timeline. During his time in the past, Jake makes dangerous associations with shady bookies, must constantly face the past head-on as it fights back against the changes he’s trying to make, fight for the love of a woman he never expected to meet, find what connections the mysterious ”Yellow Card Man” has to the past and present, and face extraordinary violence as he moves forward with his plans to stop the assassination of JFK to -in theory- make the present a much better place.

    King paints an incredibly beautiful picture of a more simple time in America, capturing apple pie-eating Americana while keeping the story firmly planted in a believable setting in that among the romance that many have with this time in American history, there was also a lot of turmoil. As King pulls Jake Epping through his adventures in the past he creates a sense of suspense and mystery that only escalates as it moves forward, and even as our main character begins to find happiness in his new life in the past with the love of his life, there is constantly that voice in the back of your head reminding you that he doesn’t belong and the past is going to fight back to remove him from the equation to retain the timeline as it is.

    I honestly can’t recommend 11/22/63 enough. Being that this is my first introduction to Stephen King’s writing, I can’t say how this stacks up to his other works, but I can tell you as someone who does a lot of reading across many different genres, this is a must read as far as I’m concerned.

  3. #303
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    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jack...ists-2011.html
    What do Michael Ondaatje, Manning Marable and Stephen King have in common? They're all in the running for 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. The finalists -- five each, in 10 categories -- were announced Tuesday. The 32nd annual prizes will be awarded at a public ceremony April 20 at USC's Bovard Auditorium.

    The Robert Kirsch Award for significant contribution to American letters will be presented to Rudolfo Anaya, it was also announced. Anaya's 1972 bestselling coming-of-age story, “Bless Me, Ultima,” is a seminal work of Chicano literature; in 2002, for this and subsequent books, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

    Figment, a collaborative digital writing community for teens, will receive the third Innovator's Award. Its previous winners are writer and publisher Dave Eggers and Powell's Books.

    Awards will be presented in current interest, fiction, first fiction, biography, history, mystery-thriller, science and technology, graphic novel, poetry and young adult literature. King's book about time travel and the JFK assassination, “11/22/63,” is in the running in the mystery-thriller category. His competition includes A.D. Miller's “Snowdrops,” which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

    Two National Book Award finalists are competing in the fiction category: Julie Otsuka's “The Buddha in the Attic” and Edith Pearlman's short story collection, “Binocular Vision.” Among the books they'll be facing is Michael Ondaatje's “The Cat's Table.”

    For the second year in a row, veteran author Jim Woodring is a finalist in the graphic novel category. Woodring is the only graphic novelist to be a two-time finalist for the award, now in its third year.

    The young adult category boasts 2004 National Book Award winner Pete Hautman for his latest, “The Big Crunch,” and Printz Award winner Libba Bray, for the book “Beauty Queens.”

    The finalists for biography include Manning Marable, who died just days before his long-awaited “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” was published, and Alexandra Styron, who in “Reading My Father: A Memoir,” writes of her father William, best known for “Sophie's Choice.”

    Other notable finalists include Bruce Smith in poetry, James Gleick in science and technology, Ioan Grillo in current interest, Adam Hochschild in history and Chad Harbach for first fiction. The complete list of finalists is after the jump.

    The L.A. Times Book Prizes are awarded the night before the weekend's Festival of Books, which will take place at USC. Tickets for the Book Prizes ceremony will be available for purchase on March 26; check the Festival of Books website for details.

    2011 LA Times Book Prize Finalists

    Biography
    “Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned” by John A. Farrell (Doubleday)
    “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” by Manning Marable (Viking)
    “Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman” by Robert K. Massie (Random House)
    “Reading My Father: A Memoir” by Alexandra Styron (Scribner)
    “My Long Trip Home” by Mark Whitaker (Simon & Schuster)

    Current Interest
    “Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything” by David Bellos (Faber & Faber/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
    “El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency” by Ioan Grillo (Bloomsbury Press)
    “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
    “Pakistan: A Hard Country” by Anatol Lieven (PublicAffairs)
    “The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science and Fear” by Seth Mnookin (Simon & Schuster)

    Fiction
    “Ghost Light” by Joseph O'Connor (Frances Coady Book/Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
    “The Cat's Table” by Michael Ondaatje (Knopf)
    “The Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka (Knopf)
    “Binocular Vision: New & Selected Stories” by Edith Pearlman (Lookout Books/University of North Carolina Wilmington)
    “Luminarium” by Alex Shakar (SoHo Press)

    The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction
    “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach (Little, Brown)
    “Ten Thousand Saints” by Eleanor Henderson (Ecco/HarperCollins)
    “Leaving the Atocha Station” by Ben Lerner (Coffee House Press)
    “Shards” by Ismet Prcic (Grove Press, Black Cat)
    “The Arriviste” by James Wallenstein (Milkweed Editions)

    Graphic Novel
    “I Will Bite You! And Other Stories” by Joseph Lambert (Secret Acres)
    “Celluloid” by Dave McKean (Fantagraphics)
    “Finder: Voice” by Carla Speed McNeil (Dark Horse)
    “Congress of the Animals” by Jim Woodring (Fantagraphics)
    “Garden” by Yuichi Yokoyama (PictureBox)

    History
    “The Anatomy of a Moment: Thirty-Five Minutes in History and Imagination” by Javier Cercas (Bloomsbury Press)
    “1861: The Civil War Awakening” by Adam Goodheart (Knopf)
    “To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918” by Adam Hochschild (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
    “Molotov's Magic Lantern: A Journey in Russian History” by Rachel Polonsky (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
    “Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America” by Richard White (W.W. Norton)

    Mystery-Thriller
    “Started Early, Took My Dog” by Kate Atkinson (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)
    “Plugged” by Eoin Colfer (Overlook Press)
    “11/22/63” by Stephen King (Scribner)
    “Snowdrops: A Novel” by A.D. Miller (Doubleday)
    “The End of Wasp Season” by Denise Mina (Reagan Arthur Books/Hachette Book Group)

    Poetry
    “Songs of Unreason” by Jim Harrison (Copper Canyon Press)
    “Discipline” by Dawn Lundy Martin (Nightboat Books)
    “The Public Gardens” by Linda Norton (Pressed Wafer)
    “Double Shadow: Poems” by Carl Phillips (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
    “Devotions” by Bruce Smith (University of Chicago Press)

    Science & Technology
    “A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea: The Race to Kill the BP Oil Gusher” by Joel Achenbach (Simon & Schuster)
    “The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood” by James Gleick (Pantheon)
    “Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men” by Mara Hvistendahl (PublicAffairs)
    “Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius” by Sylvia Nasar (Simon & Schuster)
    “Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution” by Holly Tucker (W.W. Norton)

    Young Adult Literature
    “Beauty Queens” by Libba Bray (Scholastic Press)
    “The Big Crunch” by Pete Hautman (Scholastic Press)
    “A Monster Calls: Inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd” by Patrick Ness (Candlewick Press)
    “Life: An Exploded Diagram” by Mal Peet (Candlewick Press)
    “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press)

    The Robert Kirsch Award
    Rudolfo Anaya

    The Innovator's Award
    Figment

  4. #304
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    International Thriller Award nominations

    Best Hard Cover Novel:

    Joseph Finder - BURIED SECRETS (St. Martin’s Press)
    Jonathan Hayes - A HARD DEATH (Harper)
    Stephen King - 11/22/63 (Scribner)
    Michael Koryta - THE RIDGE (Little, Brown and Co.)
    Marcus Sakey - THE TWO DEATHS OF DANIEL HAYES (Dutton Adult)

    2012 Thriller Awards Winners to be announced at ThrillerFest VI July 14, 2012, Grand Hyatt, NYC.

  5. #305
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    Jon Carroll-Time Traveling With Stephen King-San Francisco Chronicle April 10, 2012

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...DD9V1NVKHP.DTL

  6. #306
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    Alex Shakar, Stephen King win Times Book Prizes

    Alex Shakar's novel "Luminarium," about the role technology and spirituality play in shaping people's reality, and Stephen King's "11/22/1963," about a time traveler who attempts to prevent John F. Kennedy's assassination, were among the winners Friday at the 32nd annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes.


    Was nominated to the Best Mystery-Thriller : 11.22.63.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jack...ok-prizes.html

    Complete list of nominees & winners : http://events.latimes.com/bookprizes/
    ------------------------------------------------
    CLUB STEPHEN KING (french website about STEPHEN KING, since 1992) : on : Facebook | Twitter
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  7. #307
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    Excellent news!!
    Congratulations, Mr. King.

    sk

  8. #308
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    Nominated to the British Fantasy Awards, 2012, for the best novel

    http://www.britishfantasysociety.co....ist-announced/
    ------------------------------------------------
    CLUB STEPHEN KING (french website about STEPHEN KING, since 1992) : on : Facebook | Twitter
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  9. #309
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbertwest View Post
    Nominated to the British Fantasy Awards, 2012, for the best novel

    http://www.britishfantasysociety.co....ist-announced/
    Cool!! I bet George R.R. Martin wins though. Home team advantage and all!!! LOL

  10. #310
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    11.22.63 will come as a UK mass paperback on the 5th of july
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  11. #311
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    Quote Originally Posted by herbertwest View Post
    Nominated to the British Fantasy Awards, 2012, for the best novel

    http://www.britishfantasysociety.co....ist-announced/
    Did not win: http://www.britishfantasysociety.co....y-awards-2012/

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    Kindle eBook now on sale for just $3.99. Probably for a limited time. Enhanced version for iPad is $7.99

  13. #313
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    Oh, I forgot about that enhaced version. Anyone here got it? What was different about it?
    Wanted list:
    The girl who loved tom gordon ARC with King's letter
    The Plant #3 Unsigned.

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    "This Enhanced eBook Edition contains a 13-minute film, written and narrated by Stephen King and enhanced with historic footage from CBS News, that will take you back—as King’s novel does—to Kennedy era America."

    I think there's also an excerpt from the audio book.

  15. #315
    Honky Mahfah Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing's Avatar

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    THanks, Bev. Gotta get my hands on one of those. Did anyone got a copy of it digitally? What's the extension of the video? Because I can't watch it in my Nook (no color or video reproduction), but of course can on the pc.

    Also, the film was present in the S/L edition of the book, right?
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  17. #317
    Honky Mahfah Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing has much to be proud of Ari_Racing's Avatar

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    Excellent! Thanks!
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    http://www.indiewire.com/article/112...ranco-20160416
    Fans couldn’t get enough of the Stephen King-based television mini-series, “11.22.63,” and are asking for more. During a Q&A on the show’s Facebook page, the author was asked a series questions, one including the chance of seeing a sequel or a spin-off of the James Franco-starring show.

    When asked if he would consider revisiting the characters and seeing how things panned out differently, King replied: “I’d love to revisit Jake and Sadie, and also revisit the rabbit hole that dumps people into the past, but sometimes it’s best not to go back for a second helping.”

    While he may not want to continue with the series, the novelist did add what his ideal second-part to the story would be. “If I were to write a sequel, it would be about Jake trying to stop unscrupulous people from using the rabbit hole to change the past in some terrible way,” added King.

    In the Q&A fans also found out that King was “scared to death” about writing about Lee Harvey Oswald. “I felt a little like Jake, messing with the past. '11.22.63' was my first stab at a novel with actual historical figures in it, and I felt like I was actually watching them come to life,” confessed the writer.

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