Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Shouted Out "Who Killed the Kennedies?"...

While I'll have to put off a detailed review of Stephen King's 11/22/63 until I have more time, I still wanted to share a few observations now that I've finished it:

(1) While the book deals with a time-traveling English teacher's efforts to stop the assassination of John Kennedy, the book is at its strongest when it's not dealing with Kennedy.

(2) King's view of 2011 in a reality in which Kennedy lived is more of an outline than a narrative--I can't avoid the feeling that it's only here because he feels that it has to be.

(3) I suspect that Stephen King is a big fan of Mad Men.

(4) I really enjoyed the leaner, almost pulp-influenced writing style that King used for the first part of the book. As the story went on, his more complex style and sentence structure crept back in (and that's not a bad thing, either), but the lean style of the early chapters was quite refreshing, and a sort of literary nod to the era.

(5) As is the case with many Stephen King books, his ending isn't as strong as his set-up and plot development. It's not bad, but seems a bit rushed.

(6) I also suspect that Stephen King is a big fan of Fringe.

(7) I bet it would be very easy to convince a person from 1960 or 1961 that the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" was an obscure country-western song from that era.

(8) In some ways, 11/22/63 comes across as a thought-provoking counterbalance to The Dead Zone.

(9) Stephen King is at heart a fantasist, not a science fiction writer, and you'll realize why I say that once you've finished the book.

(10) Betcha Stephen King has watched It's a Wonderful Life a time or two...

All in all, a compelling read, which is why I set aside most of Sunday evening and Monday to complete this massive doorstop of a book.

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