Some thoughts after re reading

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Andy1963

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2016
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I have listened to the audio version of 11.22.63 three times back to back and every time found even more to like. Each time I have found something new and thought I'd share some of my favourite parts here. I will try to do this without spoilers if I can.

The scene where we meet characters from IT is beautifully written. It's is subtly done and on my first listen it was a nice Easter Egg but seemed incongruous. Now I find it a wonderful look at to what will come and adds a perspective that Jake/George will himself discover when he gets to Jodie.

In another scene he is discussing why a student must continue to act. It is so full of emotion. I myself was a school teacher and have had similar experiences where a pupil simply does not want to do something through personal doubt or fearing failure and perhaps ridicule from friends, but it was my place as a teacher and a human being to make a difference and find a way to help them work things out. I can see several of my pupils in this scene and it brings a tear to my eye wondering what they are doing now. I will never know if I did indeed make a long term impact on their lives.

Dancing, great descriptions here in several scenes. I'm not a dancer, I did take lessons a few years back with my wife, but i t never felt natural to me. I really enjoyed myself, we both did, but we were never very good. Oh how I wish we'd kept going and learned to Lindy!
Descriptions of the past. I live in the UK so some references are somewhat meaningless to me: root beer, what on earth is that? Oh yes I've heard of it but haven't a clue what it's like! But the general feeling of nostalgia is wonderful. I was born in '63, just before the Kennedy assassination so much of this is history even to me, but I love the music, big bands, rock'n'roll, and the sixties stuff. I do find myself yearning for a slower pace of life with no mobile phones, fewer poor TV channels, no internet. I've just come back from a business trip with no internet access outside of work hours, I read and watched the sea outside. Slow down, it's bliss.
Of course the sad, bittersweet scenes with breakups and yearning. We've all been there, the thoughts afterwards, the missing you feelings, the wondering what the other is doing now, the caring still, the I love you but you are not here, the My Sadie but not my Sadie feeling. Beautifully expressed.

The community. Today it's gone, at least everywhere I have lived. Life has become insular and I wish it wasn't. I go to work, I come home, I sleep I wake and the cycle begins. I want time to slow down, say hello to others, be with friends and enjoy life. The best times in the book are those community times, those times with friends, the plays, the feeling of being there for each other. The times following the plot of watching LHO are like modern life, cut of and lonely hard work.
The ending. How often have we thought about someone we once knew? A friend we have lost contact with? A past love? How often have we wondered what they are doing now, are they happy, even are they still alive? I know I have. A few years back I went to a reunion with a couple of old school friends, it was great. It was as if the years between had gone and we were once again friends, we haven't seen each other since, pressures of work but I know they are OK and that makes a huge difference. There are still some I wonder about, perhaps one day.

Sorry this is long but I simply had to share.
 

Randolph Carter

Active Member
Sep 13, 2015
25
124
37
thanks for this. I just finished the book last night, and am still processing it (I'll have a lot more to say). But for now, that scene in Derry was incredible. The way he slowly made it clear to the reader that we're interacting with beloved characters from IT was powerful. But what's so great about it (and all of his work where he does this) is that it wasn't just an "easter egg," the connection to Derry and the evil in that town really mattered for the rest of the book.

And to champ1966's point about King not just being horror, I actually said to my wife after finishing this that if you took his name off the book and had someone read it, it would be magical realism or literary sci-fi. I've felt similarly about some of this other relatively recent work, like From a Buick 8. Nothing against horror or any of King's work, but I'm convinced 100 years from now these more recent books will be included in the canon of great American literature.
 

champ1966

Well-Known Member
Dec 3, 2011
4,008
10,839
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Wakefield Yorkshire England
And to champ1966's point about King not just being horror, I actually said to my wife after finishing this that if you took his name off the book and had someone read it, it would be magical realism or literary sci-fi. I've felt similarly about some of this other relatively recent work, like From a Buick 8. Nothing against horror or any of King's work, but I'm convinced 100 years from now these more recent books will be included in the canon of great American literature.
 

RichardX

Well-Known Member
Sep 26, 2006
1,727
4,383
King's book highlights how much things have changed in society - both for good and ill - just over the last several decades. I'm fairly certain my kids have never seen a typewriter (much less that horrible white out stuff you had to use to correct a typo). The Natural History Museum in DC has those metal lunch boxes on display that I used to carry as a kid with various cartoon and superhero characters on them. That is a bit sobering. One of the best books on what it "felt like" to live in each decade of the 20th century is a short book by Henry Allen. It gives a good sense of the sounds, sights, and general feeling of what it would have been like living in America from decade to decade.

What It Felt Like: Living in the American Century: Henry Allen: 9780375420634: Amazon.com: Books
 
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muskrat

Dis-Member
Nov 8, 2010
4,514
19,499
Under your bed
As a proud GenXer, I can vividly recall much of 20 century culture and tech that is now obsolete, as well as the attitudes and opinions that have fallen by the way side (for good or ill) in our journey into Star Trekland Futuramaville. I've learned to accept the future, but have a fondness for history--and have always enjoyed much of 20th century culture. Hell, I was a film noir Bogie buff way back in elementary school.

What irks me is how these kids today look back at almost everything from the last century with scorn, hate, and sometimes downright suspicion. They seem to want nothing to do with history, and get all huffy if you even talk about things like guitar solos, VHS tapes, or landline telephones. And this goes beyond the mere 'trust no one over thirty' mentality of most youth. These Kids Today possess an unprecedented hatred for anything 'pre-2000'. Or, hell, we'll say pre-2010.

Yeah, I have a teenaged son. So what?
 

Towerbent BreakSlinger

Well-Known Member
Sep 25, 2016
128
420
43
thanks for this. I just finished the book last night, and am still processing it (I'll have a lot more to say). But for now, that scene in Derry was incredible. The way he slowly made it clear to the reader that we're interacting with beloved characters from IT was powerful. But what's so great about it (and all of his work where he does this) is that it wasn't just an "easter egg," the connection to Derry and the evil in that town really mattered for the rest of the book.

And to champ1966's point about King not just being horror, I actually said to my wife after finishing this that if you took his name off the book and had someone read it, it would be magical realism or literary sci-fi. I've felt similarly about some of this other relatively recent work, like From a Buick 8. Nothing against horror or any of King's work, but I'm convinced 100 years from now these more recent books will be included in the canon of great American literature.
I agree wholeheartedly- my first Stephen King novel was firestarter, and I have always loved his work not because of the horror but in spite of it or around it. I fell first for his engaging and (I actually am qualified to say this, as someone who has been surrounded by the interaction of the occult, the spiritual and the supernatural, and learned to love it and thrive there as a modern follower of the path of the shaman) pretty on point understanding of the functioning of the light and that faculty that stands against the the shadow forms and evils we sometimes encounter. There has been no other who has always seemed able to peer past the dusty unpleasant line of demarcation between you and the unspeakable dread. And no one else who has clearly felt the touch of that which stands beside you in those moments and tries to find you an escape
 
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Kingunlucky

Well-Known Member
Aug 20, 2016
368
1,681
King's book highlights how much things have changed in society - both for good and ill - just over the last several decades. I'm fairly certain my kids have never seen a typewriter (much less that horrible white out stuff you had to use to correct a typo). The Natural History Museum in DC has those metal lunch boxes on display that I used to carry as a kid with various cartoon and superhero characters on them. That is a bit sobering. One of the best books on what it "felt like" to live in each decade of the 20th century is a short book by Henry Allen. It gives a good sense of the sounds, sights, and general feeling of what it would have been like living in America from decade to decade.

What It Felt Like: Living in the American Century: Henry Allen: 9780375420634: Amazon.com: Books
Oooooh thanks for the link to the book!

It looks extremely helpful. I do a lot of historical writing on occasion (well more here and there).

Also yep one of King's best.
 
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Mihaip

New Member
Jan 10, 2017
1
3
34
thanks for this. I just finished the book last night, and am still processing it (I'll have a lot more to say). But for now, that scene in Derry was incredible. The way he slowly made it clear to the reader that we're interacting with beloved characters from IT was powerful. But what's so great about it (and all of his work where he does this) is that it wasn't just an "easter egg," the connection to Derry and the evil in that town really mattered for the rest of the book.

And to champ1966's point about King not just being horror, I actually said to my wife after finishing this that if you took his name off the book and had someone read it, it would be magical realism or literary sci-fi. I've felt similarly about some of this other relatively recent work, like From a Buick 8. Nothing against horror or any of King's work, but I'm convinced 100 years from now these more recent books will be included in the canon of great American literature.
I read the book three years ago.Still fascinated.
How did the evil in Derry connected to the rest of the book?
 
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