What if John F. Kennedy had never been shot? What if — YOU got the chance to go back in time and prevent the tragic event from happening? In fact, what if you could go back in time and prevent any tragic event from happening? This is exactly the premise that King’s 11-22-63 is built upon.
The story opens and introduces us to Jacob (Jake) Epping– a divorced high school teacher who has lost meaning to his life. One of his GED students — the school janitor named Harry Dunning — writes a story entitled “The Day That Changed My Life”. The story is about Harry’s alcoholic father who murders his mother and siblings and leaves him permanently brain-damaged. The story was so good that Jake gave Harry an A+.
Eventually Harry earns his GED. To celebrate, Jake takes him out to dinner at Al Templeton’s diner. Al’s diner is a place where Jake visits often. Although he is certain that Al has to be using rat meat for his famous hamburgers because the cost is so low.
A couple of years later, Al asks Jake to meet him at the diner. He then tells Jake that a few years ago, he found a time portal in the pantry. He used the portal to transport himself back in time to September 9, 1958 and that no matter how long he stays in the past, when he comes back to 2011 — he finds that he has only stayed for 2 minutes. Also, past events can be changed.
Jake decides to use the time portal to prevent the tragedy that befell Harry Dunning and his family.
King takes his readers on a wild ride with this story. You won’t believe some of the situations Jake ends up in.
Just because you can change the past, doesn’t mean you should.
My Rating For Steven King’s 11-22-63: