11/22/63 – Stephen King

So, I read another Stephen King novel. This one was about the JFK assassination. Sort of. It was really long and rambling and really only about a quarter of it was actually about the assassination; the vast majority of the book was given over to nostalgic ramblings about how great – how really really great – everything was back in the fifties. Sure, there was some racism and everybody smoked, but still… really great. There was also an extended, like, novella-length It story in there which was one of the most completely unnecessary bits of prose I’ve every seen. As if It needed to be longer. As if this needed to be longer. Anyway, this book should have been about three hundred pages, and ended a good dozen chapters before it did.

It was kinda surreal reading this book having only recently read Don Delillo’s Libra. Time 11_22_63travel stuff aside, there was a large amount of overlapping material between the two books. Frankly, it didn’t do King any favors. Now, I like Stevie just fine. He’s good enough at what he does, for the most part. But putting him up against a novelist of Delillo’s caliber just feels unfair. I mean, imagine if JK Rowling tried to write a book with the same subject matter as Beloved. It could only look silly and childish. Now that I think about it though, I’d love to read Toni Morrison’s Harry Potteresque boarding school for magical children book.

One last thing. “The past is obdurate.” Ho-ly fuck. You cannot know how old that phrase gets after the fiftieth time. If you’ve read the book, you know what I’m talking about.

Seriously King, get an editor.


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