Tuesday 8 November 2011

The Scotsman Abroad | Time Turns on a Dime in 11/22/63

Yesterday was A Good Day. I do decree it.

Today should be swell too: after all it's the release date of 11/22/63, the new Stephen King novel. He says it's his final word on time travel. Just so happens it's pretty terrific, too.

But for me - bearing in mind I've had my copy of 11/22/63 for ages - I kinda preferred yesterday. Because yesterday I made my debut on the mighty tor.com. Yesterday my huge review of the new Stephen King hit the one genre blog to rule them all. Yesterday I could hardly have been happier.

Now I pimped the bejesus out of the piece on Twitter yesterday - when else? - but if you missed it, here's a snippet:

I never really had a head for numbers... for dates and times in particular. Rather, language was my forte — you might say from word one — so in school, I found those salient facts I was to absorb from history classes fell away faster than the hours in a day.

In any event, as a Brit, and a Scot, what history I was taught, whether I recall it or not, was the history of Britain, and of Scotland. Which is to say, before now — before immersing myself in the latest tome to come from the undisputed King of pop genre fiction — I couldn’t have told you very much at all about the significance of the 22nd November in the year of our lord 1963; the date the 35th President of the United States of America, the democrat John Fitzgerald Kennedy, was shot dead in Dallas, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Now JFK was not the first American President to be assassinated by some disillusioned so-and-so — in fact he was the fourth... I know these things now — and there would be unsuccessful attempts on the lives of several subsequent holders of the one office to rule them all thereafter, yet it is commonly thought that Kennedy’s death had such far-reaching ramifications as to alter not just the patchwork fabric of the United States, but that of human society entirely. And perhaps it did: borne as it is of the philosophy of chaos, which holds that everything — bar nothing — is uncertain, the butterfly effect may be far from a verifiable fact in and of itself, but science certainly concurs that from each and every action springs an equal and opposite reaction, and the assassination of arguably the most powerful person in the world is no exception to the rule.

11/22/63 begins with a bona fide believer in that theory.
I wouldn't have missed this book for the world. Nor should you.

Will it be a serious contender come Top of the Scots? We'll see. But I'll tell you this for free: I haven't had such fun reading Stephen King this side of the century.


  1. Whoa, moving up in the world I see! Great review of King's latest.

  2. Congratulations