First things first, I’m a huge Stephen King fan. I’ve read every single one of his books (except for maybe Danse Macabre) and as many of his short stories as I could get my hands on. I love figuring out how threads of his stories link to other stories (most of which link to the Dark Tower series, which I adore). I first read The Shining when I was in 8th grade (and my mom even got it out of the library for me) — it scared me to death, and I loved it. When I read the Stand a few weeks later, I was so scared I couldn’t sleep for days. And then I read it again as soon as I finished it. And over the next few decades, I devoured them all. Even the forgettable ones with weak endings (hello, Lisey’s Story)…and it seemed like lots of recent ones have had endings that have disappointed lots of fans (Under the Dome was a great story and idea, but the ending didn’t quite hold up to the first 700 pages. And don’t even mention the end of The Dark Tower to most fans).
I’m very happy to report that while 11/22/63 isn’t perfect, it is definitely more like Stephen King of old — a huge story with richly drawn characters, and a chilling and fitting ending that works ideally (I guess we have the wonderful Joe Hill to thank for that, as Mr. King thanks his equally talented son in the afterword for helping him to correct the ending. If you haven’t read 20th Century Ghosts yet, run out and get it right now. It is awesome.).
Read my entire review here.