I don't mind admitting to my biases. At the library, browsing the shelves of audio books on CD, when I got to "K" I'd sidestep right by "King, Stephen." Why? Two reasons. In high school I saw The Shining in the theater and it scared the bujeebus out of me. A decade or so later I saw The Langoliers TV mini-series and bored the doodie out of me. Therefore, no more from Mr. King.
That is, no more until a friend (thanks, JP) told me he was in the middle of King's 11/22/63 and said it was quite good and his wife liked it too. Given those recommendations and the additional fact that I've read quite a bit non-fiction about the JFK assassination (most notably, Vincent Bugliosi's 1,000+ page tome Reclaiming History), 11/22/63 was my next checkout from the library.
Stephen King's 11/22/63 is at the top of the list of novels I've enjoyed most in the past couple of years. Part sci-fi, part historical fiction, part love story, 11/22/63 succeeds with all three.
Suppose you had been given the ability to go back in time to save JFK from Oswald's bullet. Would you do it? Could you do it? And then what? Can you even foresee the obstacles you might face? The historical fiction part of 11/22/63 succeeded for me because as a Fort Worth residence I delighted in hearing native places and names brought back to life in the "present," first person. The sci-fi part of it succeeded for me because I was so engaged by the concept that I found myself extrapolating the plot with my own theories of what might happen when someone starts messing with past. (None of my theories turned out to be part of King's plot.) But what pulled me in and kept me circling the block so I could hear more of the audio book, was the seemingly tangential issue of who else you might meet in the past and how they might change you, in the present, in the future, and for all time.
Actor Craig Wasson provided the narration and greatly contributed to my appreciation of 11/22/63.
"Nothing can be said about writing except when it's bad. When it is good, one can only read and be grateful."
I received no compensation of any kind for this review.