Saturday, January 14, 2012

Read-along | 11/22/63 by Stephen King [Parts 1-3]

Grace over at Feeding My Book Addiction is hosting a read-along of Stephen King's 11/22/63 through this month. If you haven't read it, please be aware this post will contain major spoilers. I will say to you now this book is awesome. You should go grab a copy and join us. If you have read it, feel free to jump in the comments with your thoughts!

Other read-along participant posts:
Grace at Feeding My Book Addiction
Brittany at Self-styled bibliophile
Alice at Tales of an Intrepid Pantser
Rachelkiwi at she is too fond of books 

Spoiler Thoughts 11/22/63 Parts 1-3 (pp. 1 - 350)

This book is fantastic. I really thought I was going to read this throughout the rest of the month along with my other reads but I'm so hooked you couldn't make me stop reading it. This is actually the kind of book you want to call in sick to keep reading.

I was surprised by how fast the time travel stuff came into play. I love when a book jumps straight into it. At first it seemed a lot like Groundhog Day with Al explaining how the past reset each time, but then... I still get goosebumps thinking about it. The Kennedy plan, the way Al tried saving that girl but it got reset, the way he did save that girl (happy ending!), then what?... wait... why is that girl in a wheelchair?... Jake got a rootbeer!!

I have no idea what to think of the yellow, orange, black card man. He really gave me the creeps from the beginning. I wanted Jake to follow Al's advice to a tee. He scared me. Then the whole black card throat slit thing... I wonder if Jake could even return to the past if he wanted to? It makes me feel like this is his only shot at it.

I'm also a little worried about him finding the steps to go home!

I really should have written this post when I finished Part 3. I'm on page 694 and all of my thoughts of the first half and the second half are running together. I will say I love that the past is obdurate. It's helping make this one hell of a story!

Are you guys loving it? What do you think of the yellow card man?


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  1. i read on too, i couldn't help it. im scared about the yellow card man too! he's creepy. also, im worried the shack is even gonna BE there if and when jake decides to return to the future. but my personal vote is that he stay back with sadie.

  2. I've gotten to page 539, and I'm getting the impression Sadie is an obstacle history has put in Jake's way. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the climax of the story will give Jake the choice between saving her or going through with his whole reason for traveling back in the first place.

    I like the ways King slowly closes in Jake's options throughout this book. First, there's the money concern - how can he afford to keep spending 5 years in the past? Then there's the Yellow/Orange/Black card man - is his death an indication Jake can't go back again? Then there's the sheer number of things Jake has to change all over again if he has to try again - Dunning, the paralyzed girl, then Oswald, and whatever happens to Sadie, if that's his motivation. And each time, he has to fight against history's obduracy.

    It's a great way of upping the stakes in a first-person narrative where you know he survives.

  3. Rachel: now I'm worried about the shack! LOL.

    Alice: I can't help but wonder if the black card man means this is the last time Jake can return to 1958. I think - like you said - the amount of things he would have to go through all over again would keep him from trying more than once. It's not like Groundhog Day where you just keep repeating the same day... it's 5 years!

  4. So glad you are loving this book! It's so much fun to read your thoughts, and it makes me want to go back a month and read 11/22/63 again! I loved this book so much and another reviewer wrote that even though it's a big book, it reads so easily and quickly. I am so glad you are enjoying it!

    The yellow card man totally freaked me out as well! I was so concerned that Jake wouldn't be able to control anything because of this odd yellow card man who seemed to know what the rules were, even though he's not communicating it!

  5. Oh the root beer! The way Jake talked about that root beer made my mouth water. The descriptions in this book leap off the page. While reading, I felt like I was constantly in a cloud of smoke - whether it be bus smoke, industrial smoke, or cigarette smoke.

  6. Jennifer, I had started to read ahead as well before I posted about parts 1-3, and even no more than 30 pages in, I was already having a hard time separating so I had to stop.

    I was definitely convinced throughout most of the book that the "steps" would have disappeared because of something irrevocable Jake did, too.


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