By Brandon Walker
My fiancée gave me Stephen King’s 11/22/63 for Christmas and the timing couldn’t have been better. I’m halfway through the book and am excited to watch the eight-part miniseries starring James Franco and produced by JJ Abrams, which premieres Monday, Feb. 15 on the Hulu streaming service (not available in Canada) and on the Super Channel (available in Canada) on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 9 pm.
If the series is anything like the book, it will be quite epic. I won’t provide any spoilers (mainly because I don’t have any, yet). The main character, Jake Epping, travels back in time to the 1960s to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
This is not a typical Stephen King novel, unless you consider that King also wrote the Green Mile and the short story that Shawshank Redemption was based on (called Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption).
King’s writing in 11/22/63 reminds me of the way King’s other dramas were written. I think King writes his horror stories quickly and his dramas slowly. This story is written in a way that’s slower paced (unlike most of King’s stories, which get to the gore fast) but still draws the reader in.
The protagonist is likeable, which is important because throughout the first 400 plus pages you’re seeing and hearing through his eyes, ears and mind. The man who killed JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, will be Jake’s main antagonist, but there’s a lot of build up to that in the 850-page novel.
So far, I’m 400 pages in and there have been two antagonists, but I’ll only mention one in this blog: the past, because it’s “obdurate.”
Obdurate is not a word I was familiar with until reading this book. It means someone or something that is stubborn.
That’s one of the great twists to this story – the past doesn’t want to be changed, and because of that things get very difficult for Jake to complete his mission. Like Back to the Future and other time travel stories, there are rules that he must keep in mind.
Check out King’s 11/22/63 and/or the miniseries and let me know what you think at
Oh, and by the way, some of the miniseries was filmed in Southern Ontario. Pretty cool, eh?