Published by Scribner on November 8 2011
Genres: fantasy, speculative fiction
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Powell's • Indiebound
I was not one of those kids who read Stephen King novels at a young age. I was more of a RL Stine girl thankyouverymuch.
This novel is not the creep fest that most people expect from King. Jake Epping is a normal English teacher when his friend Al calls him, frantic and sick, and asks him to stop by his diner. Al shows Jake the ‘rabbit hole’, a portal in the storage room that takes you back to a beautiful fall day in 1958.
Al has a plan. Jake is going to step through the rabbit hole, armed with Al’s notes and knowledge of the past (err, present?), and live there long enough to prevent the assassination of JFK and hopefully turn the tide of events toward a more utopian future.
Sounds easy enough, right? Not so much.
Not only does Jake have to figure out if Oswald was working alone (was there someone on the grassy knoll?), he has to fight the tide of history. The past does not want to be changed and as he pushes to change the events that are unfolding the past pushes back harder and with a vengeance.
Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. 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.