Home > Books > I got a yellow card from the greenfront, so gimme a buck because today’s double-money day

I got a yellow card from the greenfront, so gimme a buck because today’s double-money day

This morning I finished my current reading material 11.22.63, one of Stephen King’s most recent offerings, with Saturday being my appointed “Book/TV Show/Movie” night it seemed like a good idea to share my thoughts.

For man who announced in 2002 that he would be retiring he is going damn strong!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, King is one of my favorite authors. The Dark Tower series ranks in my top 3, with The Wasteland being one of my favourite books of all time, so I do tend to pickup whatever he has to offer somewhere close to release although 11.22.63 had I admit slipped through net and it was only due to a collegue lending me the book that I got round to reading it.

But I’m very glad that I did.

Without giving anything away (Seriously this information can be gleamed from the back cover, no SPOILER alert needed) this is the story of Jake Epping a 35 year old high school English Teacher from Lisbon Falls, in (You Guessed it ) Maine, USA.

Jake is supplementing his income teaching adults gain their GED, upon setting a task to write an essay on a “Day that changed their lives” Jake receives a harrowing and disturbing story about the events that at very least contributed to, if not responsible for that students  lot in life.

This is the “watershed” moment that sets the whole book up, this is where Jake’s “life turns on a dime” if he doesn’t get that essay, doesn’t read it is as emotionally blocked as his ex wife claims none of the events of the next 700+ pages occur, in the context of the rest of the story I think that’s kind of poignant in its own right.

Its these events that lead to Jake being present at the Diner for Harry’s graduation Fatburger, perhaps it’s his being there that day that inspires Al to trust him with his secret as Jake makes clear there’s was strictly a “Cook and Client relationship” but either way Al does call him and tells him about the portal to 1958 and hands him his mission to prevent the Kennedy Assassination.

What follows is an outstanding book, with an interesting take on Time Travel. I love the fact that the hole always goes back to 1958 and going through is always a full reset. This made Jake and Al’s before him hold so much more weight, the event that they both wanted to prevent didn’t occur for a full 5 years after their start date. This added an extra level of risk to every choice made by Jake, as we find out from Al there is only so much time and the “past is obdurate”

The level of detail that King has gone into within the book and the amount of research that must have been put in is in itself an achievement, and it has left me with many questions regarding the Kennedy assassination, something which I find quite remarkable considering how stringently it seems to stick to just the facts, unless I’m mistaken the grassy knoll doesn’t even make an appearance. I have however been goggling many a name today in an attempt to learn more about those people who crossed paths with Oswald in the run up to 22.11.63.

 

POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERTS FROM HERE ON IN – you have been warned

The Kennedy Assassination is often used as waypoint in time travelling stories, it’s not surprising it’s a movement so ingrained in not just American History but world history and it’s interesting to think what would have happened if this monumental event hadn’t happened.   

Al paints a potentially brighter future with noting three other assassinations that would most likely not take place by saving JFK and stopping the resulting unrest caused by these, but as we find out the same applies to many of the positive things where introduced by his successor, such as the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Acts.

In many years time perhaps someone will write a similar story around 9/11, my generations “watershed” moment.

One of the things I enjoy about Kings Books is finding the links to Dark Tower, in 11.22.63 they are tough to find.  

There is a hefty link to IT whilst Pennywise himself doesn’t show up both Bev and Richie do and a significant portion of the book takes place in Derry, and A red and white Plymouth Fury is referenced several times in the book, which is the make and model of the title car in the novel Christine.

But as far as Dark Tower links go they are pretty tenuous, but if you look hard enough you can make anything fit.

In the “new 2011” Takuro Spirit car is mentioned. This is the car that the ka-tet see in Topeka during Dark Tower book IV Wizard and Glass .

The number 19 is used various times. When Jake Epping sees a Plymouth Fury the license plate number is 90-811 which adds up to 19 . His license plate also adds up to 19 , 23383IY. The for rent sign in New Orleans says to call MU3-4192 and that adds to 19 . And, the Dunnings live at 379 Kossuth St. in Derry. This address adds up to 19 . 19 is a recurring number in a majority of Stephen Kings works and not only The Dark Tower.

One of the characters, Beverly, asks Jake if “he knows about the turtle .” This may or may not be a reference to theTurtle Maturin in The Dark Tower Series .

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