I am not a big fan of the horror genre and Stephen King, even though I have read and enjoyed several of his books. "11/22/63" is unlike anything he has ever written.
If you could go back in time and change the past would you? Jake Epping, a recently divorced high school English teacher is given that option. The owner of Jake's favorite greasy spoon restaurant, Al Templeton, becomes terminally ill with lung cancer and summons Jake to his diner. After much discussion, Al explains to Jake that the diner's pantry is actually a portal to the past and that he had been taking trips to the past for years. On Al's last trip to the past, his intention was to stop the assassination of JFK. He becomes too weak due to his cancer and returns to the future to enlist Jake to fulfill his goal. Jake reluctantly agrees and tests out the portal, traveling to 1958. On his first trip back he enjoys a ten cent soda fountain root beer. He returns to the future and Al explains the few rules of time travel using this portal. Each trip starts in 1958, every trip back changes everything that had been changed on a past trip and no matter how long he stays in the past, only two minutes pass in the future.
As scary as this sounds, Jake's life is totally enriched by traveling to the past. He meets the love of his life, enjoys the little things that he can no longer find in the future such as movie theater popcorn with REAL butter, fast cars and sock hops. Over his trips back to the past as he tries to make changes, he comes to the realization that the past is "obdurate" and does not want to change. He prevents several tragic events of the past and returns to the future only to find that while his changes may have prevented certain tragic events, they did not prevent other tragedies affecting the same people and the world. This book is filled with pain, sorrow and love. Yes this book is a love story. I would highly recommend this book.
Recommended by Pam Wiseman