In this brilliantly conceived tour de force, Stephen King - who has absorbed the social, political, and popular culture of his generation more imaginatively and thoroughly than any other writer - takes listeners on an incredible journey into the past and the possibility of altering it.
It begins with Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching GED classes. He asks his students to write about an event that changed their lives, and one essay blows him away: a gruesome, harrowing story about the night more than 50 years ago when Harry Dunning’s father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a sledgehammer. Reading the essay is a watershed moment for Jake, his life - like Harry’s, like America’s in 1963 - turning on a dime.
Not much later his friend Al, who owns the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, a particular day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession - to prevent the Kennedy assassination.
So begins Jake’s new life as George Amberson, in a different world - of Ike and JFK and Elvis, of big American cars and sock hops and cigarette smoke everywhere. From the dank little city of Derry, Maine (where there’s Dunning business to conduct), to the warmhearted small town of Jodie, Texas, where Jake falls dangerously in love, every turn is leading, eventually of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful - and where history might not be history anymore. Time-travel has never been so believable. Or so terrifying.
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Von bookworm Am hilfreichsten 06.05.2012
I must say I loved the story - there is so much background information and the feeling of the 50's ... beautifully done. I also liked Craig Wasson's reading. At times I was so immersed in the story I couldn't stop listening.
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Von BikerJoe Am hilfreichsten 10.08.2017
Do we really want to change history?
The editor called it a brilliantly conceived tour de force and I would agree that Stephen King came up with a brilliant concept of time travel, avoiding most of the common pitfalls and logical inconsistencies. I disagree with the tour de force, the story rather creeps up on you and takes its time. The story has epic dimensions, it is detailed and elaborate without being long winded. It takes a while until you see, where it is heading, but eventually you will get drawn into the maelstrom of the plot.
Apart from the great question, whether individual events can change the course of history dramatically, the journey back in time is fascinating. It is a loving, but accurate and detailed description of the sixties, the culture, the spirit and the anxieties. We relive the optimism of teenage America with its dream of a better life, the new pop culture, but also racism and the fear of a nuclear war. But above all that, this story is a great love story, the best, I read in a long time.
It is the story of Jake Epping, a middle aged, divorced English teacher in small town Maine. He likes his job and he seems to be fairly good at his job, but does not expect much from life anymore. He does not really have any friends, but likes to eat frequently at a diner, where he knows the owner well. Al, the owner, calls him one day and wants to meet him urgently. This meeting will change Jake’s life forever. Al, who suffers from terminal lung cancer and has just a couple days of life left, reveals an incredible secret to Jake, a gateway to the past, hidden in his diner. Al is obsessed with the idea to go back in time and prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He is convinced that if he could reverse this one event, the world would be a better place. Since Al does not have enough time left to do it himself, he pleads with Jake to take over the mission. Jake does not have much to lose and he makes the step back in time, into the world of 1958 and becomes George Amberson. But history does not want to get changed, it is resilient and fights back. But this is not the only problem, Jake feels more at home in the small town Jodie, Texas of the sixties than he ever felt in contemporary Maine.
It is an unusual Stephen King, but one of the best. He simply is a great story teller.
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