I just listened to the last few words of 11/22/63 as I pulled into the driveway at work after lunch. Of course, you are all reading this the next day since I’ve already posted something today and don’t want to do two posts. Anyway, I feel like I just got off an emotional roller coaster ride. I was crying as I listened to the end of this audio book.
This whole time travel thing starts out with a dying friend of Jake Epping asking him to go back in time “through the rabbit hole” to stop the assassination of JFK because the friend was now too sick to do it. I won’t explain all the particulars about it because, to me, they’re spoilers. You have to learn everything little by little when reading the book. So I think this is going to be more about how the book made me feel than about the book itself. I hate spoilers. Through this whole book, I felt closer and closer to Jake as I experienced with him so many things. He actually did more than just try to stop the Kennedy assassination. He changed some other things, too. His intentions were always good, but he had to do some unethical things for the greater good. I never blamed him. I wanted so much for everything to work out for the better, but there’s that little thing many call the “butterfly effect”. So many things happen in this book, some good, some bad. I couldn’t help empathizing with almost all the characters. And in typical Stephen King style, the characters were amazing. This book is SO character driven.
About the ending. I won’t tell you what happens, but it might be a little spoilery, so read on at your own risk. I write romances. I read a lot of them. I WANT an HEA. I NEED an HEA. I don’t know why I expected one in this book. It’s not a romance, so anything goes. I wasn’t happy with the way it ended, but it kind of ended the way it had to. Jake had to decide whether or not to be selfish. I realized what he was going to do before he did it, and I was like “No!”. There is actually a sort of almost HEA. I thought there wasn’t going to be, but King saved it. It wasn’t what I wanted, but it eased the pain a little. I still cried. And the ending line was perfect for what happened.
So now, I’m emotionally exhausted. I don’t know what to do with myself because the book is over. I’ll get in my car, and it won’t be there for me to listen to. I didn’t want it to ever end. I felt like I was in the story with Jake and Sadie, and all the rest. I’m sitting here at my desk trying not to cry. Stephen King is the MASTER. No one tells a story like King. I know not everyone will agree, but I can’t think of anyone who writes characters like this man does. This is definitely one of my favorite books of all time. I want to go to sleep now. I’m so tired….