President John F. Kennedy is dead.
Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away . . . but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke. . . . Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten . . . and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
The following is the Library of Congress Summary
On November 22, 1963, three shots rang out in Dallas, President Kennedy died, and the world changed. What if you could change it back? The author's new novel is about a man who travels back in time to prevent the JFK assassination. In this novel that is a tribute to a simpler era, he sweeps readers back in time to another moment, a real life moment, when everything went wrong: the JFK assassination. And he introduces readers to a character who has the power to change the course of history. Jake Epping is a thirty-five-year-old high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine, who makes extra money teaching adults in the GED program. He receives an essay from one of the students, a gruesome, harrowing first person story about the night fifty years ago when Harry Dunning's father came home and killed his mother, his sister, and his brother with a hammer. Harry escaped with a smashed leg, as evidenced by his crooked walk. Not much later, Jake's friend Al, who runs the local diner, divulges a secret: his storeroom is a portal to 1958. He enlists Jake on an insane, and insanely possible, mission to try to prevent the Kennedy assassination. So begins Jake's new life as George Amberson and his new world of Elvis and JFK, of big American cars and sock hops, of a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and a beautiful high school librarian named Sadie Dunhill, who becomes the love of Jake's life, a life that transgresses all the normal rules of time.
This is the full sized trade paperback, nearly identical to the first hardback edition. The back of the dust jacket from the hardcover edition, became page one on this full sized trade paperback.@goodreads
Here is another book I wasn't sure I would like as I don't care for time travel books. BUT.. once again I was wrong and this time travel book was AWESOME!
Jake Epping is having a normal day when his friend Al, who owns a diner, lets him in on a big secret.
Al's little diner has a portal that leads back to the 1950's - 60's! And Al wants Jake to go back and try to save Kennedy to see if the world would be a better place. Al has been trying for awhile but now he's going to die of cancer and he can't do it any more. But if Jake goes into that time and comes back to 2011 and has to go back then it resets.
More slowly than ever, I said: "Every . . . time . . . is . . . the . . . first time."
Al has this whole thing set up with money from that time, instructions on Oswald's movements, what to buy, what to do.. it's been a long time in the making for Al so he's prepared and gets Jake ready as much as he can for the journey.
Jake heads over a few times in the book just to get the feel of what he's trying to do. He wants to help save a persons family that he knows from this time. Anyhoo, while he's over there he gets himself a 1954 Ford Ragtop Sunliner to cruise around in and it's cherry red. Oh and cheap, back in the day and all!
At one point poor ole Jake thinks he's done cracked his nut, and who wouldn't?
I'm crazy, I thought. Crazy and having a terribly involved hallucination in a mental hospital somewhere. Perhaps some doctor will write me up for a psychiatric journal. Instead of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, I'll be The Man Who Thought He Was in 1958
When Jake goes to help his friend Henry's family, he has to go to Derry, Maine and spend some time there. He feels like the place is not right.... well, all Stephen King fans know who or what is in Derry :-)
This is actually one of my favorite, if not favorite parts of the book because not only does he go through some crazy stuff to help his friend... he talks to some of the kids from the book "IT" !!!! I was so crazy reading this part. Some of the towns people also talk about some of the stuff that happened when you know who was around. And don't mention clowns in the town! It was just bittersweet to me because I could picture some of the things from the other book with the descriptions in this book.
So Jake gets what he wants done in Derry after two attempts of resetting and then he's off to do the main deed. But, first he gets some jobs as a substitute teacher etc. (He's a teacher in 2011) And he falls in love. Yep, can't do nothing without falling in love!
And the lovely lady would be Sadie Dunhill. At first I was a little irritated that we had to go off track and fall in love. I wanted to continue on and not get into the drama that came with Sadie but it all worked out in the end. Sadie was a sweet person and I can't really say anything else without major spoilers.
Either way, I loved the stories and I loved the characters! If you haven't looked at the end of the book there are some lovely things added. Obviously you have the Afterword, You have questions for discussion for your book group, A conversation with Stephen King, Playlist from the book, Menu from the book which I am excited over as I'm going to make some of the food :-)
Another winner in my book, Mr. King! Pun intended!
I have yet to see the mini series but it comes out on blu-ray in August so I'm hoping I can get it and see if it's good too!
AMAZON LINK TO THE BOOK: