I have enjoyed many of Stephen King’s earlier novels and the movies made from them, but he went through a period where his stories were just not interesting. Last week, I had lunch with my friend Pam and she was telling me about a Stephen King novel she was reading called, 11/22/63. She said this very thick book was so good she could not put it down, and read it in a couple of days. The book was published on November 8, 2011, was a number-one bestseller, on the list for an extra seventeen weeks, and was nominated for the 2012 International Thriller Writers Award for Best Novel.
(from Wikipedia) Although the novel contains science fiction and alternate history elements, the majority of it is historical fiction dealing with real-life events and people between 1958 and 1963. The novel is a departure for King since it required deep research to accurately portray the late 1950s and early 1960s. King commented on the amount of research it required, saying "I've never tried to write anything like this before. It was really strange at first, like breaking in a new pair of shoes.”
The book was not something King thought of just recently, the idea came to him eight years after John F. Kennedy was murdered, November 22, 1963 (my little brother’s 3rd birthday). He was going to release the book at the same time as his novel “Carrie”, in 1971, but the book took too much research and he wasn’t ready for something that time consuming. In an open letter from Stephen King in a magazine, he explains his idea as a possible comic with the story unfolding like this: “I’d like to tell a time-travel story where this guy finds a diner that connects to 1958, where you always go back to the same day. So one day he goes back and just stays. He leaves his 2007 life behind. His goal is to get up to November 22, 1963, and stop Lee Harvey Oswald. He does, and he’s convinced he’s just FIXED THE WORLD. But when he goes back to 2007, the world’s a nuclear slag-heap. Not good to fool with Father Time. So then he has to go back again and stop himself, only he’s taken on a fatal dose of radiation, so it’s a race against time.”
My friend told me much more of the story with my urging, and I was totally captivated. If you like a story about time-travel, with a little bit of history, a love story, and messing with space-time continuum (as Doc Brown would say), then you would love this book.