Sunday, February 26, 2012
With a title that might turn some off, this is the story of an english teacher who is given an opportunity to go into the past and change the course of history. The event - the assassination of JFK. But the beauty of the time travel concept is that the device only allows him to travel back to 1958 - and every time he leaves and comes back he's only gone for two minutes in reality, and every time returns to the past it's still 1958. Which means that if he wants to stop the assassination of JFK he will have to live in the past for five years. That in and of itself is a brilliant concept.
At 800+ pages some of called this book longer than necessary. I wouldn't cut a single page. It's amazing how King finds a way to fill the time with such a massive ticking clock down the line. In truth he's built in several ticking clocks that always keeps us guessing and moving forward.
It's a book that's very clever, integrating a wonderful theme of the past harmonizing with it's old and new self, and ultimately not really wanting to be changed. It's heartbreaking and uplifting as well. I don't want to give away a single plot point since this book is just a plethora of discoveries. I'm not quite sure if this is the best Stephen King book I've ever read, but it's easily the best I've read in a long time. I'll even go so far as to call it a masterwork. King should be proud, and you should get your ass on reading it. Apparently Jonathon Demme is in the process of adapting it. If it's done properly, this could rank up there with another King adaptation, The Shawshank Redemption. And honestly, this could even be better.