Kindle Edition By Stephen King Published by Simon & Schuster – 2011 853 Pages
On November 22nd 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy from a 6th story window in Dallas, Texas right? No. Didn’t he have an accomplice who also fired from the grassy knoll and even someone else from behind a fence? The accurate answers to these questions will probably fade away with time like old memories. I imagine JFK enthusiasts and their close friends on a cold winter night, a hundred years from now, sitting close to fire a place, toasting their feet, drinking scotch, or brandy, and debating, did Lee act alone or did he have accomplices. Was it the mob or the Communists? Was Lee a patsy? That’s not what this book is about.
The question is: If you could travel back in time, change something, and come back, would you? What kind of effect would it have on future events?
Jake Epping A.K.A. George Amberson in the land of ago as King puts it, has exactly that opportunity. Jake travels back to September 1958 through a “rabbit hole” located in the back storage room of his buddy’s diner. He travels back a couple of times, changes something, comes back to see what effect it had, discovers not much really changes on the large scale of world events. The catch is, every time he goes back it is a total re-set of circumstances, so each time he goes back it’s the same date and same time and same place but only two minutes goes by in real time no matter how long he stays in the past.
Al, the owner of the diner, comes up with a plan to go back and stop the assassination of JFK. The only problem is he is dying of lung cancer. Al talks Jake into going back and doing the job for him and Jake agrees. Along the 5 years of waiting for the assassination attempt Jake comes across several events he wonders what kind of effect it will have on the future if he changed even the smallest thing.
This is a great story written by The Master Story Teller. He has such a talent for making you feel like you’re actually back in 1958. The characters are real, fully fleshed out. The setting flows throughout the story and brings along an atmosphere as thick as the cigarette smoke of its 1950’s characters. The only thing I disliked about the story is there could have been some areas cut that the reader wouldn’t miss or have any detriment to the plot line. I will get my man card yanked for saying this but it does have a great love story sub-plot.
The two questions still remain to be answered: What are the real circumstances surrounding the assassination of JFK, and would you go back and change anything? Perhaps you should read the story before you answer the second question.