best tracker Skip to main content

If you’re looking for a thrilling audiobook to add to your digital bookshelf, look no further than Stephen King’s “11/22/63.” Described as a time-travel thriller, this novel is sure to keep readers entertained from start to finish. In this audiobook review, we will dive into the captivating storytelling and masterful narration that make “11/22/63” a must-listen for Stephen King fans and lovers of gripping fiction.

With its rich historical backdrop and intriguing characters, “11/22/63” has become a fan-favorite. The audiobook narrated by Craig Wasson is masterfully produced, delivering a compelling audio experience throughout the entirety of the book. In this review, we’ll explore the plot, characters, narration, and more to provide a comprehensive overview of this highly-acclaimed novel.

Join us as we take a deep dive into “11/22/63” by Stephen King and discover why this time-travel thriller has captivated audiences around the world.

Plot Overview

In this section, we will provide a brief summary and overview of the plot of “11/22/63”. The story follows Jake Epping, a high school English teacher, who discovers a portal that leads back to 1958. He is tasked with going back in time to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. As Jake sets out on his mission, he encounters a series of obstacles, including the impact of changing history and falling in love.

The main storyline focuses on Jake’s journey to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating JFK. Along the way, Jake must navigate the complexities of the past and the dangers that come with changing history. The time-travel element adds an intriguing dimension to the story and raises questions about the consequences of altering the course of events.

Key events in the plot include Jake’s efforts to establish a new identity in the past, his relationship with fellow time traveler Sadie Dunhill, and his mission to track down and stop Oswald. The story builds to a climactic finale as Jake races against time to prevent the assassination and preserve the future as he knows it.

Characters Analysis

Stephen King’s “11/22/63” features a range of complex characters whose personalities and motivations contribute to the overall narrative. Jake Epping, the protagonist, is a high school English teacher who travels back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. His character is shaped by his experiences in the past and his desire to alter history.

Another central character is Sadie Dunhill, a woman that Jake meets in the past and falls in love with. Her strength, resilience, and intelligence make her a key player in the story, as she becomes caught up in Jake’s mission to change the course of history.

Other Characters:

Character Description
Lee Harvey Oswald The man accused of assassinating JFK. Oswald’s character is portrayed as complex and tortured, with a tendency towards violence and instability.
Al Templeton Jake’s friend and mentor, who sends him back in time with the mission to stop JFK’s assassination. Templeton is portrayed as driven and obsessive, with a deep commitment to changing the course of history.
Harry Dunning A janitor at the high school where Jake works, Harry is also a key character in the story. His tragic past and desire for revenge are catalysts for some of the events in the narrative.

Through the character analysis of “11/22/63”, we gain a deeper understanding of the story’s complex and intriguing characters, whose emotions and motivations propel the story forward.

Narration and Production Quality

The “11/22/63” audiobook is a masterful production that draws listeners into the captivating story with immersive narration and impeccable sound design. Narrator Craig Wasson delivers a memorable performance that breathes life into Stephen King’s characters, bringing their personalities and emotions to the forefront. Wasson uses his voice to differentiate each character, making it easy to follow along and keep track of the ensemble cast throughout the audiobook.

The production quality of the audiobook is top-notch, with crisp sound effects and seamless transitions that enhance the overall listening experience. The voice acting is engaging and allows listeners to connect with the characters on a deeper level, making the twists and turns of the story all the more impactful.

The Performance of Craig Wasson

Craig Wasson’s narration is a standout feature of the “11/22/63” audiobook. The actor’s versatility shines through as he brings each character to life with distinct vocal mannerisms and emotional depth. Wasson’s pacing is just right, keeping listeners engaged throughout the story, while his use of inflection and emphasis adds nuance and texture to the dialogue.

Sound Design and Voice Acting

The sound design and voice acting in the “11/22/63” audiobook work together seamlessly to create a fully immersive listening experience. Sound effects, such as snippets of music from the time period and background noise, add depth and nuance to the story, while voice actors bring secondary characters to life with their impeccable performances. Together, these elements create a vivid soundscape that transports listeners back in time to the world of “11/22/63.”

Themes and Symbolism

Stephen King’s “11/22/63” is a rich and intricate tale that explores a variety of themes and employs symbolism to convey its message. One core theme is the concept of fate and the idea that even small actions can have significant consequences. King uses the motif of the butterfly effect to illustrate this idea, showing how unexpected changes to the past can have profound effects on the future.

Another theme that the author touches on is the power of love and the lengths to which people will go to protect those they care about. This theme is exemplified by Jake’s willingness to risk everything to save the life of his friend Harry and by his love for Sadie, which ultimately leads to his decision to stay in the past.

The novel also explores the theme of nostalgia and the ways in which people are shaped by their memories of the past. King uses both the historical backdrop of the 1960s and Jake’s personal history to illustrate this point.

The symbolism in “11/22/63” is also noteworthy. The color red, for example, is used throughout the novel to represent danger and violence. The yellow card man, who appears throughout the story as a harbinger of danger, wears a red hat and trench coat. The image of the yellow card itself is also symbolic, representing the choices we make and the paths we take in life.

Stephen King 11/22/63

Themes and Symbolism in “11/22/63”

Themes Symbolism
Fate and consequences The butterfly effect
Love and sacrifice The color red
Nostalgia The yellow card

Pacing and Suspense

“11/22/63” is a masterclass in pacing and suspense. From start to finish, the audiobook keeps readers engaged and on the edge of their seats.

The narrative builds tension slowly but surely, with Stephen King carefully crafting each scene to heighten the suspense. The time-travel element of the story adds an extra layer of intrigue, and readers are constantly left wondering what might happen next.

The pacing is expertly managed, with action-packed moments interspersed with slower, more introspective passages. This ensures that the story never feels rushed and that readers have time to fully invest in the characters and their journey.

The Role of Suspense

The suspense in “11/22/63” plays a crucial role in keeping readers engaged with the story. By withholding information and slowly building tension, Stephen King creates a sense of anticipation that keeps readers eager to find out what happens next.

The audiobook is also full of unexpected twists and turns, ensuring that readers are never quite sure of what’s going to happen. This unpredictability is key to keeping the story fresh and exciting, and it ensures that readers are fully invested in the outcome.

Pacing Suspense
The pacing is carefully managed, ensuring that the story never feels rushed The suspense is expertly crafted, with the withholding of information and unexpected twists and turns
The audiobook balances action-packed moments with slower, more introspective passages Readers are constantly left wondering what might happen next, creating an overall sense of anticipation
The deliberate pacing ensures that readers have time to fully invest in the characters and their journey The sense of unpredictability keeps the story fresh and exciting, ensuring that readers are fully invested in the outcome

Overall, the pacing and suspense in “11/22/63” are nothing short of masterful. Stephen King’s expert storytelling and careful attention to detail ensure that readers are kept on the edge of their seats throughout the audiobook.

Historical Accuracy

Stephen King’s dedication to research and meticulous attention to historical details greatly contribute to the novel’s authenticity, enriching the reader’s experience. In “11/22/63,” King successfully brings to life the time and place of the 1960s, providing a rich backdrop of historical accuracy that adds depth and realism to the story.

Real-Life Events and Figures

Using actual events, such as the Kennedy assassination and the Civil Rights Act, and real-world figures, such as Lee Harvey Oswald and Martin Luther King Jr., King weaves a fictional narrative that seamlessly blends with reality. The incorporation of historical details and context enriches the story’s setting and gives it a nuanced and immersive feel.

Accuracy in Reproduction

From the clothes that the characters wear to the cars they drive, the reproductions of the past in “11/22/63” are painstakingly accurate. King’s ability to capture the essence of the era transports readers to a different time, immersing them in a world of intrigue and suspense.

Veracity of Language

The language and dialogue used in the novel are also reflective of the time period, adding to the authenticity of the work. The colloquialisms, idioms, and expressions used by the characters bring a sense of realism to the dialogue and contribute to the nostalgic atmosphere of the novel.

Overall, Stephen King’s “11/22/63” accurately captures the essence of the 1960s, providing a rich historical backdrop that enhances the story’s intrigue and suspense. King’s dedication to research and attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the novel, resulting in an immersive experience that leaves readers captivated and engaged.

Critical Reception and Awards

Since its release in 2011, “11/22/63” has received critical acclaim for its captivating storytelling and masterful blend of history and fiction. The novel was a #1 New York Times bestseller, as well as a winner of the Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Science Fiction.

Many of the reviews noted the novel’s meticulous research and incorporation of historical events, particularly surrounding the JFK assassination, as well as Stephen King’s signature suspenseful storytelling.

According to The New York Times Book Review, “11/22/63” is “ambitious and sprawling… [a] tour de force of King’s talents.” Meanwhile, Publishers Weekly praised the “ingenious and gripping” plot, calling it “one of King’s best efforts in years.”

The audiobook of “11/22/63” has also received high praise for its narration by actor Craig Wasson. The production was awarded an Audie Award for Best Male Solo Narration in 2012, further cementing the novel’s status as an outstanding work of literature.

Awards Table

Award Year Category Outcome
Goodreads Choice Awards 2011 Best Science Fiction Winner
Audie Awards 2012 Best Male Solo Narration Winner

Comparison to Other Stephen King Novels

Stephen King’s extensive bibliography includes a plethora of classics that have captivated readers for decades. Comparing “11/22/63” to some of King’s most notable works, such as “The Shining,” “Carrie,” and “It,” shows how this novel stands out as a unique addition to his repertoire.

“The Shining”

“The Shining” is another iconic Stephen King novel that explores themes of isolation and the paranormal. While “11/22/63” shares some similarities, such as the element of time travel, it differs significantly in tone and style. Where “The Shining” is a horror masterpiece, “11/22/63” is more of a historical thriller that immerses readers in the events leading up to the assassination of JFK.


“Carrie” is another classic King novel that explores themes of power and alienation. While the main character of “11/22/63,” Jake Epping, is also an outsider who hopes to change his fate, the book’s focus on historical events sets it apart from “Carrie”‘s supernatural horror aspect.


“It” is another Stephen King novel that explores the connections between the past and the present. While “11/22/63” also explores these themes, its focus on actual historical events adds an extra layer of depth and intrigue to the story, allowing readers to view pivotal moments in American history with a fresh perspective and new understanding.

Overall, “11/22/63” is a unique Stephen King novel that stands out from the rest of his works due to its historical element and time travel themes. While it may share some similarities with other classics in King’s bibliography, it offers a distinct and compelling narrative that keeps readers engaged from start to finish.


In conclusion, “11/22/63” is a superb audiobook that showcases Stephen King’s mastery of suspenseful storytelling. The plot is intricate, and the characters are well-developed, making for an enthralling experience that keeps listeners engaged from beginning to end.

The narration and production quality of the audiobook are exceptional, with the narrator delivering a superb performance that brings the story to life. The pacing and suspense are perfectly executed, with tension and anticipation building throughout the narrative to an explosive climax.

The historical accuracy of the novel adds a layer of depth to the storyline, and the themes and symbolism enrich the narrative, illuminating the deeper meanings behind the events of the story.

“11/22/63” has been highly acclaimed by critics and has won numerous awards, cementing its place as one of Stephen King’s most notable works. It stands out among his other novels, showcasing his versatility and skill as a writer.

All in all, “11/22/63” is a must-listen for anyone who loves gripping fiction and a masterful audiobook experience.


What is the genre of “11/22/63” by Stephen King?

“11/22/63” is a time-travel thriller.

Can you provide a brief plot overview of “11/22/63”?

“11/22/63” follows the story of a man who discovers a portal that allows him to travel back in time. He embarks on a mission to prevent the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but soon realizes that altering history comes with its own consequences.

Who are the main characters in “11/22/63”?

The main characters in “11/22/63” include Jake Epping, Sadie Dunhill, and Lee Harvey Oswald.

How is the narration and production quality of the audiobook?

The narration and production quality of the “11/22/63” audiobook are exceptional. The narrator brings the story to life with captivating performances and the overall audio experience is top-notch.

What are the themes and symbolism in “11/22/63”?

“11/22/63” explores themes of time, destiny, and the consequences of altering history. Stephen King also employs various symbolic elements throughout the narrative to convey deeper meanings.

How does “11/22/63” maintain pacing and suspense?

“11/22/63” maintains pacing and suspense through its well-crafted plot, strategic revelations, and intense character-driven moments. The story keeps readers on the edge of their seats, craving for what comes next.

Is “11/22/63” historically accurate?

While “11/22/63” incorporates real historical events and details, it is important to note that it is a work of fiction. Stephen King blends historical accuracy with fictional elements to create an engaging narrative.

How has “11/22/63” been received critically? Has it won any awards?

“11/22/63” has received widespread critical acclaim, with many praising its storytelling and depth. It has won several awards, including the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Science Fiction in 2011.

How does “11/22/63” compare to other Stephen King novels?

“11/22/63” stands out as a unique and compelling novel within Stephen King’s vast collection of works. Its combination of time travel, historical backdrop, and gripping narrative sets it apart from other novels by the author.

Leave a Reply