11/22/63 by Stephen King

Posted: 28th August 2015 by Jacky Yong in Silly me
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have just put down what is literally the best book that I have ever read, PERIOD. I’ll be honest, I’m not a heavy reader, being a full-time daddy wrings you dry of any free time. But Steven King’s version of time travel really works for me!

Before you go on, I’d like to warn you that this article is intended for those who have read the book. If you have not and you intend to read it, please do yourself a big favour and ignore this article.

I’m not going into details of what the book is all about. For that you can Google it. But I’m going to tell you how I felt immediately after reading it, while the emotion is still fresh.

In short, I LOVED IT! It’s a huge book, more than 800 pages of pure madness. It’s a slow read, I think it took me 6 months to finish it, with what little time I have in between my free time. Although the book is about time travel, there is plenty of drama and romance thrown in. I can’t help feeling sad and pity for the protagonist when

I have never really been to America, but here in Malaysia we have enough reference to its culture and history through television, movies and the internet. Despite some readers who protested that the book focuses too much on American culture in the 50’s and the swinging 60’s, I feel at home with these. I could almost hear Elvis the King singing over the radios reading that book. King’s description of the era pretty much sums up what the older Americans remembers about it. Food were more delicious, water and the air much cleaner and there are no computers or smartphones to beep you every other minute. Kind of like how I remembers my childhood in Mambang Diawan as well. There is a sense of nostalgia, and you can’t help but feel sad that the age of innocence is now lost forever.

I’m fine with the JFK assassination story, but I felt the story of spying on the Oswald’s life a bit draggy. And the part where he explores the slum in Derry, Florida and Dallas. I understand that it is a necessary part of the story in order to flesh out the details. Give life to Oswald so to speak, and to explain why he does the things that he do. But if I were to re-read the story again, that is the part that I would most likely skip.

There is also the part about saving Al’s friend from a hunting accident and Harry Dunning from his alcoholic father. Again I would most likely skim through these parts. But they are important parts of the story, which lends itself to build the revelation in the end.

But the story in Jodie was beautiful! Specifically the part where he meets his lover and fiance Sadie Dunhill. Sadie is not your typical blonde-meets-guy and falls head over heels (literally, she tripped and fell down on their first meet). She has a strong character, beautiful, caring and loyal. Even when Jake tried to shake her off during his final encounter with Oswald, Sadie was very adamant about following him, helping him. You can’t help but feel for Jake when he tried to help Sadie to get back on her feet again, first during her drunken suicidal attempt, and more importantly when her face was scarred badly by her ex-husband. Not only did Jake not mind her scar, he brought sense back to her and became her pillar of support through it all. Only a true love would do that, and King has displayed his story-telling prowess with the development of Sadie’s story. Despite this not being a lovey-dovey story, I ended up feeling really sad for Jake, especially when he realised that he cannot stay in the pass and live a full life with Sadie. That moment was a real tear-jerker, and I still feel the goosebumps thinking about it.

I understand that the ending in the book was not the original King’s ending. There is actually an alternate ending to this story, which has a far bleaker ending. But I like how the ending in the book turned out. I can see them falling in love again, and in the months ahead that they are together, Jake finally tells the truth about how he actually met her in the other string of universe. (On a side note, ever wondered how to deflower an 80-year-old virgin? 😛 hehehehe )

The story of Jake and Sadie is so sweet. I would gladly re-read the book again, just to experience their first dance all over again. How they made love, how she had been hurt and he nursed her back to health. It was as if the whole book was about them. Their life has just grown on me by the time I was finished with the book, and I really don’t want to see them go. I’m having one of those post-reading depression syndrome. The journey is over, but I really don’t want it to end. I can re-read the book again, but the feeling will never be the same again compared to when I first read it . Someone should really make a fanfiction about their lives in 2012, this time a pure all-out romance. Who knows, if time permits, that someone could be me ….

Here’s a toast for Jake and Sadie, may we meet again!