This morning I had over 200 pages left in the book 11/22/63 by Stephen King.
200 pages is a lot, but after reading two novel length’s worth of pages it seems like you’re almost there. Just the last few pages left. And with 200 pages left I was finally getting to the part where the main character, Jake Epping, is going to attempt to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from killing JFK.
I took notice of 11/22/63 when it first came out a few years ago. It was a book that was immediately added to my To Be Read list, and as with most books on my TBR list it quickly slipped down the priority rankings and moved to the back of my mind.
But then I started seeing posts and articles about the Hulu series and that got me interested again. I was excited to read the book.
But instead of loading the behemoth of a novel onto my Kindle Paperwhite and making it easy to hold in my hand I decided to go to the local library and check it out.
Borrowing the book saves me a few bucks, and even though I love my Kindle I still like the feel of a good book in my hand.
I sailed through the first couple of hundred pages like nothing. When the main character goes back in time and tries to fix something in the past to see if it will work is a great story by itself. But that means a novel length of story that isn’t really the main story.
In fact, the main character doesn’t even get to Dallas for a few hundred pages and he doesn’t get his first look at Lee Harvey Oswald until around page 460 or so.
Those are a lot of pages of extra story telling, and in typical King fashion he writes an 800 page novel that could have probably been 500 pages or less…but it didn’t feel that way when I was reading it. The story was rich and the world around me was three dimensional. When I was reading the pages of 11/22/63 I was there, with Jake Epping, living in the past.
So this morning when I woke up and saw I only had 210 pages left I knew that was a bite size chunk that had to be finished.
I spent almost my entire Sunday reading those last pages. And a lot happened in those pages.
I started doubting Jake Epping’s ability to stop Lee Harvey Oswald. I started wondering if he would need help stopping him or if there was anyone that could actually stop him.
When I started reading on Sunday morning we were months from the assassination, After reading less than a hundred pages I was now at the day of the assassination and everything was amped up.
I would read big chunks of story and then need to step away from the book for a few minutes to take it in and recharge myself. Words on the page were making my nervous and excited and crazy. Reading it caused me to feel like I was carrying a heavy cloud around me. A cloud full of emotion and anticipation.
When I finally finished the book I put it down for the last time and needed to catch my breath. I processed what I had read and thought about the story as a whole.
I finished that book, and those last 200 pages specifically, feeling spent.
I am sitting here now physically and mentally tired.
11/22/63 is a long read, but one hell of a ride.