11/22/63 is a Historical Fiction novel written by Stephen King.Jake Epping, a divorced high school teacher, discovers from his dying friend a time portal to a date in 1958 at the back of his friend's diner. His friend proposes that he go back in time to stop John F. Kennedy's assassination. There, Jake lives a different life and falls in love all while preparing for the eventual date that will change history.A movie version of the book is, of course, in the works.
This story provides examples of:
The Alleged Car: When Jake tries to change the past, every single car he touches turns into this.
Anachronism Stew: One of Jake's friends tells him to stop wasting his time and bet the Bears to win the NFC in 1963. The Bears did win the title that year, but it was still the NFL. The league didn't merge for years afterwards.
And I Must Scream: The Guardians. They are not only confined to an extremely small area (in this case over a broken sewer pipe), but the Time Travelers' effects drive them all insane.
Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Subverted. Sadie is disfigured and given a Glasgow Grin on one side of her face by her crazy ex-husband. She gets better by the end of the book but still retains a scar.
Bittersweet Ending: Jake finds out that not only did stopping the Kennedy assassination make a world far worse, it will eventually destroy the fabric of time. Jake is able to undo this easily, but sadly he can't ever meet Sadie again. Thankfully, she turns out to still be alive in modern days, albeit wounded by her crazy ex.
Bystander Syndrome: Jake notes humorously that the broken sewer pipe never gets fixed in any of the alternate realities.
CIA Evil, FBI Good: Zig-Zagged on the FBI. After saving Kennedy, the FBI agent in charge is content to help Jake disappear and gives him a large amount of money to do so. However, in the Crapsack Future, it is revealed that Hoover actually ordered the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
During his stay in Derry, Jake runs into Richie Tozier and Beverly Marsh, two of the "Losers Club" from It. A certain clown is referenced as well.
The number 19 crops in a few places. An example would be Jake's safe deposit box number being 775. This may make this book fit in with The Dark Tower series. June 19,1999, the day King was hit by a car and nearly killed, is mentioned as the day nuclear war broke out.
One of the cars seen in the Bad Future is a Takura Spirit, also from The Dark Tower series.
Everything Trying to Kill You: When Jake tries to change the past, ever more significant calamities befall him. When he gets close to making a big change, the universe stops dicking around and tries to kill him repeatedly.
The Fifties: Technically straddles the 50's and 60's, but Central Texas isn't exactly known for being on the forefront of social trends.
For the Evulz: George de Mohrenschildt basically confesses that he baited Lee Harvey Oswald into shooting at Edwin Walker for fun.
Grandfather Paradox: Hand Waved. When Jake asks about it, Al just asks what kind of sicko would even want to try? As Jake goes on, it becomes evident that if possible, it would at the least be very, very difficult.
Al wants to prevent the Kennedy assassination, but he only feels 95% sure that Lee Harvey Oswald is the real killer and acted alone, so he (and later, Jake) spends five years in the past attempting to make sure. Why not just track down and kill Oswald right away, head back through the portal, and spend five minutes on the Internet checking to see if Kennedy was still killed? You can always just hit the Reset Button and try again if you got it wrong.
By the time Al gets back from his mission to save Kennedy, it has become clear that the timeline resists change, that the resistance is proportional to the magnitude of the change, and that it will resist a large change like preventing the Kennedy assassination with near-irresistible lethal force. Being too ill to complete the mission himself, he passes it on to Jake... who proceeds to go on a potential suicide mission without informing anyone else of he's up to. Okay, granted, he wants to keep the time portal a secret, but surely he could have found ONE trustworthy person to sit outside the portal with instructions that if Jake is not back in two minutes (meaning he has died in the past), to find ANOTHER trustworthy person to wait while the first attempts to complete the mission that both Al and Jake have failed.
It's for a Book: Jake's original cover story as to why he was traveling to Dallas. Eventually, he actually started writing a book.
Like in It, Derry is meant as a stand-in for Bangor, Maine.
King never states outright exactly where Jodie, TX (or Denholm County, in which it is located) is meant to be but it is close enough to Dallas/Fort Worth, where Jake moves to in order to spy on Oswald.
One Steve Limit: Averted all over the place. The pseudonym the protagonist uses in the past is George, and he has dealings with George de Mohrenschildt and observes another George interacting with Marina and Lee Oswald. His girlfriend, Sadie Doris Dunhill, has a very similar name to a woman in Derry with the surname of Dunning, who Jake comes back in time to save. Of course, the past harmonizes.
Phony Degree: Jake has a genuine degree ... from 2011, and knows better than to produce it to get a job in the late 1950s/early 1960s. So he gets a second degree from a diploma mill.
Politically Correct History: Averted. While traveling through the Jim Crow-era South, Jake notices that the "Colored" toilets at a gas station are a stump over a stream surrounded by poison ivy. He mentions that he thinks about it every time he starts to romanticize the past.
Series Continuity Error: while in Derry in 1958, Jake is told the body of Patrick Hockstetter, one of the victims of Pennywise, has recently been found in The Barrens. However, in "IT" Patrick was dragged into the tunnels underneath Derry by Pennywise and remained there undiscovered for decades. The Losers encounter his (skeletal) remains down in the tunnels in both 1958 and again in 1985. Likewise, by this time Henry Bowers should have been apprehended by the Derry Police, and under intense pressure from both police questioning and severe psychological strain from what transpired in the sewers, falsely confessed to the murders and sent off to Juniper Hill. The townspeople of Derry don't seem to be aware of this, however, even suspecting that the killer may still be out there, or even unsure that the murders have stopped for good.
Shaggy Dog Story: Jake rescues President Kennedy in the last moment, but Sadie is killed. When he returns to the present, he finds out that this only made things a lot worse, and changing history always does. So, he goes back in time once more, which resets the whole thing.
Jake's attempts to save the Dunnings become this. The first time he does it, one of the Dunning children still ends up dead, and in that timeline, Harry died in Vietnam. In the spectacularly Bad Future created by saving Kennedy, Harry is still alive, but still paralyzed, this time in the Vietnam War.
Shout-Out: The male protagonist of a Time Travel story falls in love with a girl whose (married) name is "Clayton". Said Time Traveller also funds their stay by gambling on longshot sports upsets with future information. Does this remind you of anything?
Shown Their Work: King did extensive research on what life in the 1950s was like and even interviewed historians about what life may have been like had Kennedy not been shot.
Time Travel for Fun and Profit: Al Templeton used the portal to get meat from the same day in 1958 and make a profit selling it for cheap in the present. As a result, everyone assumes that he's using roadkill in his burgers.
Town with a Dark Secret: Jake feels this hanging over him all during the time he spends in Derry. On the other hand, Jodie, TX may be the first small town to ever appear in a Stephen King novel which isn't an example of this.
Two Lines, No Waiting: In addition to stopping Kennedy's assassination, a large chunk of the novel is spent on Jake's life and various relationships while living in the '50s.
Who Shot JFK?: One of the reasons why Jake just doesn't kill Lee Harvey Oswald right off the bat is because of the conspiracy theories surrounding Kennedy's assassination and the possibility that another person may have been involved. In the end, it's just Oswald working alone. In the afterword, King notes that after reading all he could on the subject, this is the situation he considers by far the most likely.
Year Inside, Hour Outside: No matter how long one spends in the past, returning through the portal dumps you two minutes after you left.