Friday, May 04, 2012

11-22-1963 - a book report

I just finished reading 11-22-1963 by Stephen King. If You were about ten years or older on that date I think you will know what was significant that day: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. You know the book is going to be about that.

I read it on an ipad but I might refer to it as a book, but I suppose novel would be the correct word. It starts off in the year 2011. It is told in first person  by a high school English teacher. He is divorced. He eats at a greasy non-franchised burger joint fairly often. Often enough to know the owner, Al, enough to talk to, and the owner knows him visa-versa.

Al shared a secret with the protagonist: Walk through a door in the back and you will be in the year 1958. Al has made plenty of money on bets and the stock market going in and out of that door. He also can afford to sell his hamburgers at 1958 prices – do you wonder why? Al also has a problem. He is dying of cancer and there is one thing he wanted to do with this new found time travel: Save John F. Kennedy’s life. Because of his pending death, he wants the hero take over his ambition. 

Also, I noticed what may be an error on Mr. King’s part.  First I need to qualify myself:  I have been into family research since 1976.  I have looked at many censuses from many counties from 1820 on up to 1930.  I know a few things about censuses.  They do a census every  ten years and for privacy they release them when they are about 72 years old. They are coming out with the 1940 Census this year.  In the novel Stephen King mentions the protagonist goes to the library looking for the 1950 census and the librarian told him that all the censuses have been move to the county’s records.  And he goes to the county offices and they tell him they put them up to keep moisture away from them, and if I remember correctly, now they are misplaced.  Well, there would be no way they would have them to misplace.  At the time period probably the 1880 Census would be the latest available.  *
The main plot that took up most the reading was trying to avert Kennedy’s assignation.  He had about 5 years to get to Dallas in November 1963.  He lived in Maine for a while, then  moved to Florida, then to the Dallas, Texas, area.  He got to know Lee Harvey Oswald well.  I believe it was a very well researched novel, caring over the slightest detail of real history.  I have no doubt there is a Mercedes Drive in Fort Worth that Lee Harvey Oswald and his abused wife Marina  and daughter June lived.  Although I’m not too sure about the girls playing jump-rope close by – I haven’t heard anything of  them since they were in the hotel in THE SHINING.

There are a few laws of time-physics and nature : You are able to alter history but it sends it going in another direction, which could be good or it could be bad.. To make things interesting, how do you think Stephen King made it? An example was that the janitor at the high school was partially deaf and in generally an intimidated person, who as a child witnessed his father kill his whole family and he was next but was saved by an intruder. The protagonist went back into time and altered things and the kid that would be janitor went to the Vietnam War (he had good hearing) and was killed there.   He didn't live as long as he would have in the previous arragement of tme.

When leaping through time all sorts of paradoxes could happen. This did not happen in the book but I thought it might: What if the protagonist shot and killed somebody in 1963? He killed the person because he knew they were about to commit an everlasting historical crime, and of course the law has to take things as they are and chases the hero back to Maine and they all run through the secret door then he jumps out of their grasp and runs back into the secret magic door with the law in hot pursuit and they are suddenly in the year 1958 and nab him. What could they arrest him for? The murder happened in 1963 which hasn’t happened yet. Just wondering..*

I think Stephen King wrote another masterpiece.*

* I have no idea why the fonts keep changing on me. This is another problem I been having with their improving their blogging system - which wasn't broken.

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Anonymous Reuben said...

Do you remember how we spend that day huddled around a radio in the C.O.'s outter office listening for any news, then going back to the barracks and being glued to the TV well into the night?

3:10 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Reuben - I missed out on huddling around the radio. The night before I drove all night long driving from Georgia, bringing my car back from Georgia. I was in the barracks alseep all day.

5:04 AM  

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