What I’m Reading Wednesday: 1/4/2012

In the name of attempting to produce enough content post somewhat regularly, I’m going to start a series. It’s called “What I’m Reading Wednesday.” Disclaimers: I’ll never claim to be a serious critic, so take this with a grain of salt. Also, I’ll try not to post spoilers in case you haven’t read something that I write about. I’m going to write a little bit about everything and then rate it according to my favorite food, which is pizza. A typical pie has eight slices. (Rating systems with stars or thumbs-up are so overdone).

Today we will be discussing “11/22/63” by Stephen King, a guy who has written approximately several thousand books. I’ve barely scratched the surface of his stuff, despite going through a King phase in high school where I sampled classics such as “IT,” “Carrie,” and “Pet Semetary.” (All made into movies, and for all of which the books were better). My general feeling was that Stephen King’s books were creepy, but entertaining. Around that time, my grandma bought me a copy of “On Writing” – this was supposed to be inspirational in a time when everyone still expected me to grow up and become a writer – and I liked it. But I can’t recall reading any Stephen King book that I absolutely loved.

That changed within the last few weeks. I got my hands on a copy of his latest, “11/22/63,” and the story was compelling right from the synopsis on Amazon. The basic premise is, a guy from 2011 travels back in time to stop the assassination of JFK. There are 850 pages to the book, so as you can imagine, there’s a lot more mixed up into the adventures. You’ll find a healthy dose of violence, love, and life lessons to be found in here. Through it all, the storyline was shockingly addictive.

As true cynic who is skeptical of all popular entertainment, I like my sci-fi to come without pretensions. It’s the worst thing ever when you’re, say, watching a TV show that seems true-to-life and then all of a sudden there’s a stupid ghost in the mix. (Example: Grey’s Anatomy, Season 3, when Meredith “died” and my love for Grey’s Anatomy was murdered). Nope. That just doesn’t work. Note to all TV writers: either be whimsical and paranormal from the start, or don’t do it at all.

That’s why I liked “11/22/63.” The WTF-factor was present right from the beginning, and it’s as believable and realistic as time travel gets. Furthermore, it made me want to travel in time. Although the book is long, it’s a fast and entertaining read that will keep you captivated throughout. Also, the ending comes as a complete surprise – always a bonus for someone who loves trying to predict what happens! I’d fully recommend this book to anyone.

The bottom line: read it!
7/8 slices.

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