Three shots were fired in Dallas on November 22, 1963, and President John F. Kennedy died. What if you could undo it?
Stephen King, who has absorbed his generation’s social, political, and popular culture more imaginatively and profoundly than any other writer, takes listeners on an extraordinary voyage into the past and the prospect of changing it in this brilliantly conceived tour de force.
Jake Epping, a 35-year-old English teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, earns additional money by giving GED lessons. He encourages his students to write about a life-changing incident, and one essay in particular stands out: a grisly, harrowing account of Harry Dunning’s father coming home and murdering his mother, sister, and brother with a sledgehammer more than 50 years ago. Jake’s life, like Harry’s and America’s in 1963, turns on a dime after reading the article.
Soon after, his friend Al, the local restaurant owner, reveals a secret: his storeroom is a portal to the past, to a specific day in 1958. And Al enlists Jake’s help in carrying out the goal that has become his obsession: preventing the killing of John F. Kennedy.
So begins Jake’s new existence as George Amberson, in a strange world populated by Ike, JFK, and Elvis, with large American vehicles, sock hops, and cigarette smoke in the air. Every turn leads, of course, to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald and to Dallas, where the past becomes heart-stoppingly suspenseful – and where history might not be history anymore. Never before has time travel seemed so plausible. Or so frightening.
"One of the best time-travel stories since H. G. Wells. King has captured something wonderful. Could it be the bottomlessness of reality? The closer you get to history, the more mysterious it becomes. He has written a deeply romantic and pessimistic book. It’s romantic about the real possibility of love, and pessimistic about everything else." - Errol Morris, The New York Times