Stephen King goes back to 1958 with new novel
March 4th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

Stephen King goes back to 1958 with new novel

What would you do if you could change history?

It’s a question Stephen King raises with his upcoming novel, “11/22/63,” which is scheduled to be released in November.

The book focuses on Jake Epping, a high school English teacher who travels back to 1958 through a time portal found at a friend’s local diner.

Epping becomes George Amberson when he time-travels, and while discovering a life-changing love in a different era, he also finds himself on an "insane" yet "insanely possible mission" to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy, as King's website describes. Will he succeed? And if he does, how will that change the course of history?

“The new book," describes Charles McGrath of The New York Times, "is 1,000 pages long - enormous by most standards, but cruising length for Mr. King - and is apparently a ‘counterfactual,' a novel that imagines what would have happened had history turned out differently.”

“11/22/63” will be released on November 8, and you can read more about the book at Stephen King's website.

Do you think you'll pick up a copy?


soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. CHELLY MCKEE

    Stephen King is brillient. I have everything he has ever written. I absolutely adore his writing style and all of his books have always kept my interest. Who ever thinks he is a "terrible writer" has absolutely so taste and no imagination.. Keep the books coming Stephen.

    March 11, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  2. MJD

    Stephan King is a good writer and a charming person. Personally I find that every other book he writes is wonderful and the others are predictable (i.e. "Salem's Lot - knew it was vampires on page two). I would pick up the paperback of his newest.
    As to Richard and his comments. Richard what do you read that is soooo superior?

    March 7, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dew

    As much as I liked The Stand....I think The Shining is the scariest thing I've ever read. I still can't walk by bushes 30+ years later.

    Heck...Joey Tribiani had to put The Shining in his freezer! ;)

    @objective_observer....you betcha...Salem's Lot was another one that had me keeping my lights on and not inviting anyone in hovering near my window...

    March 7, 2011 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • objective_observer

      @Dew: remember the part with the dead kid's body in the coroner's office? (or was it a hospital?) still gives me the creeps after all these years.

      March 8, 2011 at 3:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Robert

    Oh, God. King is really scraping the bottom of the barrel here. He said he was retiring from writing. Why, oh why didn't he? This is embarrassing, even by his standards.

    March 7, 2011 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. objective_observer

    i agree. SK is not just about horror. and many of his non-horror books are beautifully written and are incisive explorations of the human psyche. my favorites include the stand and different seasons (the shawshank redemption and apt pupil in particular).

    when it comes to his horror collection, 'salem's lot scared the bejeesus out of me.

    March 7, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  6. Dee

    Mr. King is a fantastic writer. The stand was a very good book. I have not loved all of his books though but to call him a hack is just not true. The best read of a book for me was the green mile I never cried over words on a page of fiction as I did that book. Desparation scared me to death. It was a good book too.

    March 7, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
  7. The Princess of Darkness

    S. King has proven he is far more than a 'mediocore' author as some here claim. Maybe if you tried harder the 1st × or took a fresher course in Reading Comprehension you wouldn't be so bitter or sinster. Though he is not my #1 favorite he is certainly one of the best modern authors. Probably because at this stage I'm far more a Mystery/Thriller fan : Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter, Dean Koontz... As for S. King I can't narrow it down 1 all time favorite but instead 2 of them those being 'The Eyes of The Dragon' & 'The Stand'. The former proving over 25 yrs ago that Mr. King's greatest writing talents are NOT limited to the 'Sci-Fi Horror' genre.
    'The Eyes of The Dragon' was and still IS a great read in the 'Fantasy' genre, not only bringing to light a wonderful tale rooted in Good Vs. Evil, but also delivered with a few interesting morals as well.

    March 7, 2011 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Shoooo

    I just let a stinker. Shoooo it stinks. : ]

    March 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. erica

    YYYYYUCK to dean koontz! he is NOT my kind of series....i love steven king! my mother got me into him and shes been collecting his books since i can remember! i reckon i have to buy 2 books then :P

    March 6, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Stephanie

    Pet Semetary was one of the scariest books I ever read. I've read many Stephen King books and think he is a very good writer. I'm looking forward to this new one

    March 6, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Kathi

    The Stand is what got me hooked on King.....Christine is another great story of his....but when it came to Cujo...I kind of lost interest in most of his books after that, his style has changed drastically since the early days, IMHO...But I am looking forward to this new book, just because I was born in the 50's.

    March 6, 2011 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  12. CHRIS

    ron howard? not opie ! arrrrrrgggghhhh : )

    March 6, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Marrr

    Did someone say Dean Koontz? I tried reading his stuff but spent too much time correcting his english and rewriting the paragraphs into something that didn't sound like a 6th grade essay.
    Its hard to convince people that King is not all about 'horror'. He can tell a great story , and is finally getting some notice for that fact that he's a great writer in general. About time! If I was still teaching college lit, I"d definitely start getting some of his stuff in my courses.

    March 6, 2011 at 5:36 am | Report abuse |
  14. TampaMel

    I have read a number of books by Stephen King, all were very good. The question I have is, "for such a good writer and with so many of his books made into movies, how come all those movies are so bad?"

    March 6, 2011 at 3:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. JeB

    I'm in the middle of Under The Dome and love it! Great social commentary.

    March 6, 2011 at 1:51 am | Report abuse |
  16. ES

    Moved on to other authors but always thought Drawing of the Three was his best, just sayin'

    March 5, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Report abuse |
  17. kane

    No doubt, i may not be standing in line but will deff get my hands on a copy.

    March 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Beautiful Vixen

    He is okay but there are much better authors out there. I don't like all the weird monsters and stuff that he usually has but maybe his writing has changed since I last picked up one of his books.His looks are as weird as his books. He is a creepy looking man. Dean Koontz and James Patterson are two of my favorites.

    March 5, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • D

      Those are good authors too, also with Patricia Cornwell and her mystery novels.

      March 7, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  19. Tod

    I'll certainly buy it. While I'll agree partly with those here saying The Stand was his best (1972, better than "Complete & Uncut"), I'm slightly more inclined toward either The Dead Zone or Firestarter as a "best."

    His recent, not so "frightening" books are pretty darn good, too. Blockade Billy - a defintely "could've happened" non-terror book was really good! Just don't make a movie of it, please!!! The Shining (the first one) was the only good movie adapted one.

    Happy reading!

    March 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  20. edye

    I have read everything he has ever done, I have loved him from the moment I read carrie and then firestarter, the stand is the most awesome book, the gunslinger series would be wonderful as a mini series. They seem to do much better with his books as miniseries compared to feature films. I think the casting on the stand could have been a bit better, but IT was great. Can't say enough good thing about this author. It will be the world's darkest day when he passes which I hope will not be for a long long time.

    March 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Christopher

    Oh Boy! New Stephen King! Yes, please!

    March 5, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Richard Bachman

    Dean Koontz grows a better moustache.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  23. Meaella

    Say, has anyone here read The Stand, perchance? /End sarcasm. The Shining will always be his best work.

    March 5, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  24. Dee Tatchedretna

    Cant wait for braille edition.

    March 4, 2011 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  25. D

    Fantastic writer. looking foward to reading this book

    March 4, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  26. BENN

    just put me in prison for life with a copy of The STAND uncut and i will die a happy person. :)

    March 4, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Morganne Dark

      I'm with you. I'll take the cell next door. We can pass the book back and forth between the bars.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  27. castlerock

    Yep. Pleaase send me 10 copies ! Whoops I already have 6 first editions plus the limited slipcased edition.and 1 signed. THIS REALLY IS THE GREATEST NOVEL
    EVER WRITTEN. Just read it.

    March 4, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  28. ola

    I have read THE STAND 8 or 10 times. It still is the best book i have or ever will read. If you havent read it i will buy it for you. it is that good. simply the very very best novel ever written. no kidding.

    March 4, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Report abuse |
  29. LadyBronco

    The Stand is my favorite novel of all time, but I am absolutely going to buy a copy for my Kindle the moment it's available.

    March 4, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • bro2044

      The Stand may be his best single work, but its closely followed by IT, and my favorite "story" of his is the Dark Tower (particularly The Gunslinger, The Waste Lands, and Wizard and Glass...wow) honestly. I'll definitely read this one. King does have difficulty finishing in most peoples eyes, but he even says himself that he values the journey much more than the outcome... most of the times in life our "goals" dont linger as amazingly as the anticipation and anxiety that comes when trying to achieve said goal. SK seems to grab just the right mix of imagination, reality, heart, grit and description to catch my interest everytime. I've read some very good writers, but SK is probably my most personal favorite.

      March 5, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  30. jk

    About as original and thought-provoking as his "what if a dog got rabies" story. A hack who happened to tap boring suburban fears in a time of fearsomely expanding suburbia.

    March 4, 2011 at 9:40 pm | Report abuse |
  31. dairyrat

    The Stand is #1, cant be beat.

    March 4, 2011 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  32. IslandGirl

    While not exactly the same – it sounds like a bit of a spin-off on Ken Grimwood's "Replay".
    I'm a huge King fan, but when I started reading this article, "Replay" is what came to mind.
    BTW – I think The Dark Tower series could & should be made into a cable TV series. Think about it, an hour a week – one book per season....oh sweet bliss! :-)

    March 4, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jessica

      Thats actually in the works, three parts, two hours long. i dont know how theyre gonna fit it all in and im banking on being very disappointed since the dark tower is my favorite series of all time. ron howard is supposed to be directing.. we'll see..

      March 6, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  33. Connie

    King is my favorite writer and The Stand is the best book ever. But 11/22/63 sounds intriguing and I'll definitely get it. At 1,000 pages, it might make me finally get a Kindle!

    March 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Yes, by all means, reward the greedy publishers and the rats who run Amazon buy spending $150 on their toy and then pay as much for a download as a hard-bound book that had to be printed, housed, and transported. Baaaaa, Baaa.

      March 7, 2011 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Gruuvster2001

      don't waste it on a kindle. The nook is the only reader worthy of the King!

      March 7, 2011 at 6:33 am | Report abuse |
  34. Selena

    "Dolores Claiborne" was his best book ever!

    March 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Kathi

    By the way, nothing will ever beat The Stand....no way.

    March 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Kathi

    I will buy this book, it sounds great and King is my favorite author.

    March 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  37. LoveSK

    I will be buying it!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Tracy

    Yes The Stand is the best book I've ever read. I've read it over and over I like it that much. The movie they made was a little of a disappointment though. But, I"ll definitely be picking up this new one.

    March 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Jen

    I'm sorry about double posting. Thanks for understanding.

    March 4, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jen

    I am truly looking forward to reading Kings new novel. I am a huge fan and have read all of his books. I agree with you Jessica, this books sounds very interesting. :)

    March 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Jen

    I am truly looking forward to reading Kings new novel. I am a huge fan and have read all of his books.

    March 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Jessica@work

    I can't wait for this one to come out; seems really interesting!

    March 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  43. opa

    Yep. As a fancy book reviewer I have to agree. THE STAND is the greatest fictional book ever written.

    March 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  44. henry

    The Stand is still his best.

    March 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marilyn

      Henry I agree 100 percent that THE STAND is the Greatest – Story – Book written by Stephen King.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  45. Superhiro

    No lamp monster in this one? I'm insulted.

    March 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
  46. cheefsfury

    YAH MAN ILL MOST CERTAINLY PIK UP A COPY I TOTALLY THOUGHT UNDER THE DOMB WAS REAL GOOD AND BUT I WAS A LITTLE THROWN OFF BY THE DOOSE EX MAKINA ENDING WITH THE ALIENS AND I HOPE THAT THIS BOOK DOESNT GO THE SAME WAY

    March 4, 2011 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • LuisD

      Tehnically, aliens aren't Deus Ex Machina. If you wan't an example, read Koontz's 'Demon Seed' or see the film 'Collossus: The Forbin Project'. King has other aliens in his stories : Tommyknockers, Dreamcatcher, The Mist.

      March 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Chris

    Great writer. Interesting story. I will buy a copy.

    March 4, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      King is a mediocre writer with some good ideas. His books start out strong, but fall apart at the halfway point, always. The Stand, Tommyknockers are two examples.

      March 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Morganne Dark

      Richard, honey, please don't be offended but you're an idiot. But not an idiot alone. There are many people who look at the subject matter of King's work and dismiss it as "horror pulp" but he is at least in my opinion one of the most under-appreciated writers of our era.

      March 5, 2011 at 10:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • LuisD

      Have to agree with Morganne. Neither of your examples 'falls appart'. I've preferred Dean Koontz for supense and characterization, but King has grown significantly from his Bachman years. Both author's style has changed over the years, but Koontz has lost me of late with his 'Odd' series.

      March 6, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      @Richard. Is Stephen King really a mediocre writer with good ideas, or a brilliant writer with mediocre sci-fi ideas?

      March 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      The same barely literate people who think King is a good writer probably like Clive Cussler as well. They are both poor writers.

      March 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jonny

      Hey, Richard, have you ever actually read any of Stephen King's books or just read the reviews and watched crappy TV movies? Stephen King is an amazing writer.

      March 23, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Report abuse |

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