James Franco is a bit of an odd duck. That said, he has a BA in English from UCLA, an MFA from Columbia, and was in enrolled in a Ph.D program at Yale. Regardless of the rumors swirling around his actual participation and whether or not he had preferential treatment as a Hollywood A-Lister – you simply cannot be around that much fine literary art without some of it rubbing off on you. So when I saw that he was starring in Hulu’s adaptation of Stephen King’s 11/22/63I figured that it would be a safe bet.
That’s not to say I’ve ever stumbled across anything by Stephen King that wasn’t a safe bet. Actually, I take that back. The Tommyknockers had one of the biggest letdowns of an ending that I’ve ever read. That aside, Stephen King is one of those ultra-prolific mainstays that nearly every serious reader and writer has on their bookshelf in one form or another. It will continue to make me question every clown I lay my eyes on and don’t get me started on On Writing. Seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read.
I’m only 420 pages into this 1,089 page tome but it already has me shirking workouts and anxiously rushing home after work to keep reading. Generally I’m not one for time travel stories but I’ll be damned if King has me rope-a-doped into this one. Once again Stephen King reminds me of what I want to accomplish as a writer. He has connected me so intimately with the character of Jake Epping that sometimes I have to remind myself that I’m actually sitting on my couch in Sammamish, WA, 2016 rather than driving a Sunliner through the haunted town of Derry, Maine circa 1958.
Maybe it is my initial return to the world of adult stories after an extended stint in the world of YA novels/series. Maybe it’s the fact that I bought this book during my inaugural visit to the great Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. (If you don’t know what Powell’s Books is, all you need to know is that it is a multi-story bookstore that is an entire city block and a Pacific Northwest landmark.) Maybe it’s the fact that I have an eternal Stephen King hard-on after On Writing. Regardless, despite being less than halfway through 11/22/63 I cannot imagine a world in which King could mess this up. I feel more than comfortable recommending this novel, if only as an example of time travel done oh so well.
Now that I’ve shared what I’m reading, what book is currently in your hands?
Until next time, keep turning those pages.