Thursday, 30 August 2012

11.22.63 Book Review author Stephen King

This week 'The Grumbling Gargoyle' gives us her thoughts on Stephen King's novel 11.22.63.  We all know Stephen King as the master of the horror novel, but it seems even when he breaks out of his comfort zone Mr King is still at his best.

Imagine if you could travel back in time. Imagine if it was within your power to change history. History as pivotal as the JFK assassination...11.22.63...What would you do?
Jake Epping, a high school English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, is about to go on a journey that will propel him from the fast track techno era of 2011 back to the more sedate simplicity of 1958.
Here he will breathe the same air as Elvis and J.F.Kennedy...Lee Harvey Oswald and Jerry Lee Lewis...and Sadie Dunhill, librarian and love of his life. Could things get any better?...Jake thinks they could...

I’ll be honest. I wasn’t overly keen on reading this at first. Not because the concept didn’t appeal to did, very much so!...but because I’ve found some of King’s more recent works to be akin to wading through quicksand in leaden altogether seriously disappointing drag towards an equally dreary destination.
However, thank God I did read it!
King manages to fuse the machinations of the two worlds perfectly whilst incorporating a flawless transition from one to the other. His imagery of vintage America in the 50’s is so successfully graphic that you’re almost dazed by the modernity of your own world, should you look up from the book for a moment...( if you are able to do so! ).

You know when you go on holiday and you step from the plane and all the sights and sensations of a new culture instantly smack you in the face?..Well that’s what it’s like reading this book! King’s skillful writing saturates your senses with every nuance of the life and attitudes of that time. Indeed, it’s difficult to read these pages without pangs of nostalgia permeating your psyche as you are so cruelly reminded of how it used to be back when we socialised in person...rather than via technology.

However, this is not some flowery time travel log and it’s to King’s credit that he does not sentimentalise the past through his evocative descriptions...’he keeps it real’, as it were. There is some serious stuff going on here!...with powerful possibilities of political pandemonium within the fractious societies of either world if not both should Jake dare dabble with changing history! Despite politics being at the core of the storyline, however, other essential aspects of the book hold an equally prevalent part.  Indeed,the entire experience is an amalgamation of thriller, chiller, love story and all round time traveling genius!
Characters are exceptionally well developed and most believable. They hurt , you hurt...they laugh, you laugh...they make love you ( well, I’ll leave that up to you )...but trust’ll feel you’ve known them all of your life...and wish you had.
This book is quite a tome at 750 pages but I shall tell you this in earnest...I wish there had been 750 pages more! Many have said that this was Stephen King writing as he used to ‘back in the day’...well, whilst I enjoyed King at that time, I disagree. This book, was for me, Stephen King reinvented...and quite frankly...I prefer the new him! You make your own mind up...just brace yourself for an epic ride!

Definitely worth 5 out of 5 stars
By The Grumbling Gargoyle

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