11/22/63 is one of my new favorite Stephen King books. In 1963 I was 10 years old. I have very vivid memories of the 22nd of November. If you were alive in ’63 I’m sure you remember where you were when you heard that the president had been shot. What if you had the opportunity to go back to that day and try to stop that tragic event from happening, would you? Or maybe a better question would be, should you? If we could change history what would the effect be on all of the events that would follow?
Jake Epping is a high school teacher and is convinced by the owner of Al’s Diner to look at something really interesting behind the pantry door of the diner. Jake had just seen Al less than 24 hours ago and is shocked to see that Al was very ill. He had lost 30 or 40 pounds, his hair had turned white, he had lost some teeth, and he was coughing up blood. Al claimed it was lung cancer, but it didn’t seem right that he would have deteriorated this badly overnight. Jake also noted Al’s confusion about time. Al said that he started coughing 7 months ago, in May, but it was June, so 7 months ago would have been December. Seeing that Al was so sick, Jake decided to humor him and take a look at what was so interesting behind the pantry door.
When Stephen King has Jake go into the pantry and walk down the short flight of stairs, he ventures into the past. To be exact, it is always 11:58 A.M. on the morning of September 9th, 1958 when you walk into the past. He can stay as long as he likes and when he returns, only 2 minutes have passed. Wait, you might be thinking, 9/9/1958? I thought this story was in 1963. Well, as in all of Stephen King’s novels, that’s the interesting part. To try and stop the assassination of JFK you would have to spend 5 years, 2 months, and 13 days of your life.
Sounds complicated doesn’t it? Well, no one said that time travel was easy. Good Luck!