Stephen King's new novel 11/22/63 isn't a horror novel, but there's still a monster in it.
The monster is past history and the past doesn't want to be changed. The past is capable of many vicious tricks to keep anyone from ever altering it.
The book's main character, Jake Epping, tries to do just that when he uses a freak time portal anomaly to go back into the past to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. But the huge, implacable machine that is Time itself repeatedly throws up roadblocks to stop Jake. The constant fatalistic theme of the story is that Time is a relentless and often cruel thing that humans have futile power to affect.
Although it's not a horror novel, the usual eerie King touches are still there. A clown-faced killer in the town of Derry, Maine that echoes King's earlier novel It. A sinister two-tone Plymouth Fury in Dallas that recalls the malevolent auto in Christine. Then there's something that guards the time portal that's called the Yellow Card Man.
11/22/63 is an enormous, disturbing novel that deals with the unpredictable and dangerous consequences of trying to alter history. Each small change in the past can have unforeseen results in the future. We've all had the desire to be able to go back and change something in the past that we wish had never happened.
Just don't ever try to go back to do it. Because the past will get you for it.
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