My Rating: ★★★★★
Genre(s): Fiction; historical fiction
Format: Audible narration by Craig Wasson
Plot: Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warm-hearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
- I didn’t want to listen to this book on a faster speed to get through it quicker. It was too good.
- I learned a lot about American history.
- Sadie’s story line added a personal depth to the plot — it was no longer just about a man setting out to stop Lee Harvey Oswald.
- I honestly forgot about the Harry Dunning aspect until it was brought up, because I was so focused on Jake/George’s mission.
- I knew that he couldn’t ultimately keep Kennedy from dying because Kennedy died in real life, but that didn’t stop me from wondering how the heck he was going to stop Oswald.
- The “card man” subplot didn’t come full circle until the very end and it drove me crazy.
- I wished there was some way for him to figure out a way to get Sadie to the future with him.
My Thoughts: The sheer size of this book in physical form overwhelmed me, but I really wanted to read it. The Audible version was also pretty long, but I listened to the sample and just knew that I needed to listen to it.
Admittedly, I don’t have a whole lot of knowledge when it comes to American History because my high school teacher literally used “Forrest Gump” as his curriculum. So even though I know the basics surrounding the Kennedy assassination, I still went into this book historically blind.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew it was a book about a man who set out to stop Kennedy’s assassination. But what I got was a thrilling ride through time, and a heart-pounding adventure of the fate of the world resting on one man’s shoulders. There was romance, snark, suspense, emotion… this book truly had everything and more. I even let myself get behind on all of my podcasts to read it.
If you’re on the fence about Stephen King because he generally writes horror and that’s not your jam, definitely check this book out!