Here's a long one for you epic readers. I'm 8 hours into the audiobook and only 1/4 of the way through the book. It is read by Craig Wasson, the actor best known for Body Double. Side note: I always thought when they were going to do a Ollie North movie that Craig Wasson would be the perfect North. I can only guess either he never tried for the part, or his agent is brain dead.
Back to the book. Everyone has wondered about time travel, heck my favorite book Lightning by Dean Koontz is a time travel super-highway from monumental points in history to (when written) present day. But 11-22-63 deals with paradox in ways other books I have read don't. Giving nothing away, the flow of time and the events that ride on its currents hate to stray far from course. As a force of its own manipulating other event to have what was meant to be, to still happen - so that the BIG PICTURE changes very little, time will do its best to keep things as they were supposed to be.
This makes changing event in this book interesting. Just as many people say they can't run in dreams or they feel as if they are walking in mud, time will do its best to keep you from changing event, small and large, even if it has to throw a tree across the road to stop your car dead in its tracks from accomplishing a goal you set to manipulate.
The title tells the main story, although in classic Stephen King super-novel style, he hasn't got to it yet. Yes, eight hours in and I've barely heard Oswalds name mentioned.
But what would you do if a door somewhere opened and it threw you back to 1958 (yes 5 years before Kennedy's death) and not only the mission you set out to do, but events and people you meet on the way also influence what you do also pile up on your to-do list - would you attempt to stop Oswald, in a world where you need to live and work and socialize and do the things people do every day? Knowing that you are also fighting time's laws of doing what it takes to NOT stray from its path.
It isn't that easy either SPOILER ALERT
I'm no where into the book far enough to spoil too much, but there are some interesting rules that make this post suitable for The Dark Side of the Moon Forum:
* No matter what you always age as you normally would.
* You can come back to present time, and it will always be just 2 minutes after you left.
* If you go back again, it is a reset! Everything you did will go back to how history wrote it.
* Time will fight to keep events as they were.
Pretty much the three rules. Sounds easy, but the killer is that 5 year wait for Kennedy, who at the time this story starts is a junior senator and Oswald is leaving the Marines to go to the Russia. None of the pieces are in place and knowing that time itself is a player, maybe the biggest player in a chess game where you can correct what is considered the moment that Americans lost faith in government and life would never be simple again.
See promised to give little away. I acquaint this book more with IT than with THE STAND. It doesn't have a scary clown but it isn't the most linear story either. The Stand started and ended around the same time line, where it went from the time the characters were kids in 1958 (I think) to present day, with many flashback moments.
11-22-63 could be a boring ride, imagine walking through a door to the past and every time you failed start over, meeting the same people and doing the same stuff over and over, hoping to get it right - like never being able to grab that ring as the merry-go-round turns and turns, always reaching a little further but the ring seems to pull away equally as much.
But so far (and I sure am not hoping for a corny ending) going back in time when the only TV around in most places are in windows at corner stores. Restarting through your doorway has definite advantages, you've met people, socialized with them, learned how you can befriend them or if you choose how to use them. You find out that TIME doesn't mind the small things: you being in a small Florida town doesn't effect things like the World Series for example. The butterfly effect is all but canceled out by times law of trying to keep on its original path. But you do find out that you can and do change things and with that knowledge, the real game is you against time, not in a race, but in a chess match!