after 11-22-63

by Andrea Elizabeth

I just finished listening to 11-23-66 (serendipitously while they are filming it in Dallas) and King’s personally recorded afterward while cross-stitching my header picture. Two things. Interesting ideas of free will and destiny are explored. I agree with most of them but would add that while it may be best to keep the demons you know rather than the ones you don’t, I’ll not definitively say that if I had known other demons first they wouldn’t have been better.

Second, I’m glad he addressed criticisms that he was too hard on Dallas. I am concurrently reading The Shining on ibooks when I have my hands free. I was attributing the difference in style as being due to the time lapse between his third book written in 1977 and his 47th book written in 2011. The only other King books I’ve read are The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and On Writing. I was engrossed in the content of those two at the time and didn’t pay much attention to style. But the styles of these two are completely different. The Shining is more poetically and gently written despite the scary and suspenseful gruesomeness. I also think the characters are more realistic as to motive and action. In 11-22-63, the characters are more idealistically written with a confident he is doing right hero and the dainty yet spunky heroine. The art in 11-22-63 is in the complexity of time travel and details of history and early ’60’s speech, especially the DJ speak. But the prose is very stark and unadorned compared to The Shining. King lived in Colorado briefly, probably because he thought it was beautiful but isolated. He seems to have dutifully visited Dallas for no other reason than to explore where a very traumatic event occurred. He says in the afterward that he has very hard feelings about Dallas. How can one wax poetic when one deeply resents what occurred in that setting? It seems he doesn’t have any other point of reference except that one. I agree there are seedy places in Dallas and Ft. Worth, but most of us don’t dwell there and have other impressions of the two cities. He probably also justifies his critique by being critical of Derry, which is Bangor, as well. I don’t doubt it also has a seedy side, but isn’t that the nature of big cities in general? Seedy people like close quarters apparently, so they go there. Bangor is a beautiful city with some of the most interesting architecture I’ve seen. Is there a big cloud of not rightness that dominates any city in particular? Maybe Sodom and Gomorrah, but other than that I don’t think so. There’s good and bad everywhere. I don’t like Dallas because of the traffic and flatness and starkness, but there’s some nice spots like Highland Park, Turtle Creek, and The House of Blues where I saw David Garret in concert. It is horrible that racism holds on so strongly in some southern places, but I wish the north didn’t paint us all that color. Or consider those who aren’t the exception to the rule like King seems to.