Books: Can Stephen King Prevent JFK’s Assassination?


11/22/63 was a day that changed American history. This November Stephen King will release a novel that attempts to tackle JFK’s assassination through a story that is not surprisingly based in Maine and includes an, ahem, time-travel machine in the back of a diner. Can two regular guys from Lisbon Falls, Maine prevent Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting the President?

Nothing was more disruptive to the American political landscape in the early ’60s then JFK’s assassination, which is why it’s going to be challenging for many readers to suspend disbelief when they delve into King’s upcoming 1,000-page tome. Plus, as Alison Flood over at the Guardian writes, “the assassination of JFK is hardly new in fiction; it’s been done by authors from Don DeLillo to James Ellroy, Stephen Baxter and JG Ballard.” And then there’s King’s recent track record. His last book, titled Full Dark, No Stars — purportedly the final in a set of novellas — it was released last winter and received mixed reviews, from gushing to damning.

People really do seem to either love or hate the guy, though we are reminded in his Paris Review interview that, contrary to popular belief, he is a real person. When asked what we’re afraid of, he astutely answers, “Chaos. The outsider. We’re afraid of change. We’re afraid of disruption, and that is what I’m interested in.” So what do you think? Should we be concerned about his forthcoming novel? Or are you actually looking forward to it?