11.22.63 was initially a project abandoned by Stephen King in his early years, conceived before the release of his first novel Carrie, which was written in 1974. I thank my lucky stars that King decided to give his idea another shot, as in my opinion it proved to be one of the best books that he has ever written, and with King being the author of over 40 international bestsellers, such as The Shining, The Green Mile, Christine and It, this is not a casual statement. King is even responsible for The Shawshank Redemption, an early short story of his that is still the highest rated film on IMDb. 11.22.63 is not an ordinary novel for King, as he decided to put the gore and the imaginative horror aside, and instead focussed on an enthralling science fiction adventure with a twist of romance that will stay with you.
11.22.63 is a story about a high school teacher, Jake Epping, whose friend Al discovers that his diner pantry is a portal into the past. However, like all of King’s novels, nothing is ever that simple, as the time travel has extremely fixed and specific rules.
- Every journey through the portal transports the traveller to 9th September, 1958, at precisely 11:58 a.m.
- No matter how long someone stays in the past—hours, days, weeks, or years—only two minutes have elapsed when they return to 2011.
- Past events can be changed; however, subsequent use of the portal “resets” the timeline and nullifies all changes made on the previous excursion.
- The “obdurate” past throws up obstacles to prevent history from being changed. Such resistance is proportional to the magnitude of the change.
Al has clocked onto the fact that September 9th 1958 is only three years away from the assassination of President Kennedy, in his eyes the trigger to many crippling events in the USA, such as the fizzling out of the civil rights movement, and the Vietnam War. Due to Al’s terminal illness that will claim him in less than three years, Jake Epping reluctantly decides to step up to the plate, and ventures into the past to stop the assassination. However, three years is a long time, and due to the fixed rules of time travel, Jake is forced to blend into the 50s and 60s as a normal citizen, as returning to the future will only reset his progress. The risks of his mission continue to escalate, as he falls in love with the gorgeous Sadie Dunhill, attempts to track the devious Lee Harvey Oswald, and fights with higher powers of nature that aim to ensure the past is never changed.
The 10th of April will see the release of 11.22.63 on FOX, as a T.V mini series starring James Franco as Jake Epping. My initial scepticism of one of my favourite books being turned into a T.V series was dashed, when I discovered that Stephen King himself was responsible for the screenplay and the production. The series shows a strong but carefully selected cast, all wrapped up in a neat mini-series of 8 episodes, unlike Under the Dome (another of King’s novels) which completely fell apart with a bland 39 episodes. The book of 11.22.63 is a long read, and an epic tale, one that a two and a half hour film could never give justice to, so I really hope that this mini-series will give the book the adaptation it deserves.
11.22.63 was written by Stephen King in 2011.