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1. What were your general impressions of the novel - did you enjoy it? Why or why not?

2. Have you read other books by this author? a) If so, how does this compare to the author's other work? b) If not, will you be reading other books by Stephen King?

3. In this novel, any time you travel back in time, it's to the exact same day and time. Thus, everything is reset with the future as a clean slate. What do you think about the time travel rules Stephen King has set up in this novel?

4. Stephen King was a teacher before he became a full-time writer. Do you think this influenced his characterization of Jake?

5. 11/22/63 is filled with historical research—it twins real events with events and characters from King’s imagination. Did you learn anything surprising about the actual events leading up to the Kennedy assassination while reading this novel?

6. How would you describe Jake—what kind of man is he? Why does Jake agree to go back in time? At this stage in your own life, would you be willing to travel back to the past? What conditions would you require to do so?

7. Describe the kind of world that Jake of 2011 finds himself in when he arrives in 1958? What changes have 50 years made in our culture? What has not changed? Do you...would you...prefer to live in one era over the other?

8. What does Jake's first stop in Derry, Main, have to do with Dallas, Texas? Why does King inject this subplot into the main plot? What is the point he wants to make regarding the events in Derry? Is Derry necessary to the plot—or does it drag down the novel's pace?

9. In King's novel, Jake has knowledge of the future behavior of certain people. The janitor's father, who is destined to commit a horrific crime, is a jovial and well-liked man prior to that crime...but because of his foreknowledge, Jake sees only a horrible man. If you knew what someone would do in the future (good or bad), how might that change your interactions with them in the present? Would you feel compelled to try to change their behavior before it happened? Would you consider murder as an ethical choice to un-do something horrible?

10. Jake is the narrator and one of the main characters of the book. He is characterized as a good and decent man, someone who cares deeply for others. And yet, he is willing to commit murder and also make money by using his knowledge of the future. What do these things say about Jake's character? Did his willingness to stretch morality change how you felt about him? Do you think his "bad" acts make him less likable or trustworthy?

11. What about George's sports betting? Is it a fair way to make a living? It's certainly not honest, but then again...why not? Has Jake's moral compass shifted somehow, now that he's George Amberson?

12. One of the themes in 11/22/63 is about traveling back in time and un-doing the past to change the future. If you could go back to the past, what year would you want to visit and what historical event would you like to change? Based on the idea of the Butterfly Effect, what effects do you think those changes would have on the future?

13. Why does Sadie sense that there's something odd about George? a) What are some of the ways that George's knowledge of the future betray him? b) Why doesn't George tell Sadie who he is? c) How would you handle such information if you were told that the person you loved came from the future?

14. What makes George (and the author) conclude that Oswald acted alone? What do you think? Have you done any prior reading that would make you agree or disagree that Oswald as the lone gunman?

15. 11/22/63 deals with traveling back more than 50 years into the past. But what about time travel into the future? If you could travel 50 years into the future, would you? If not, why not?

16. If things had been different and Sadie had been able to go to the future, how do you think she would have handled it?

17. How is the Yellow Card Man significant? What does he symbolize?

18. Jake encounters an eerie resistance to changing the past. He notes that "history repeats itself" and there are certain "harmonies" which weave through his life. At one point another character tells Jake "everything happens for a reason." When Jake returns to 2011 after saving Kennedy, he finds a world much different - and not better - than the world in which Kennedy was assassinated. What do you think - do things happen for a reason? Is there a harmony to our world, even when bad things happen? 19. Jake seems destined to be with Sadie, but he must make a decision at the end of the book which changes the course of their relationship. Did you like the ending? Could King have ended his book another way?

20. King paints a dire portrait of the world at large in the 50s and 60s—the geopolitics and existential dread of nuclear war. Yet in many ways, the centerpiece of the novel is George's relationship with Sadie—the detail of their small, beautiful romance. Why would King choose to juxtapose the grand scale with the quotidian of everyday life—and an intimate love story at that?

21. Do the events in the novel—transporting Jake from 2011 to 1958, moving him from Maine to Texas, and putting him near the Oswalds—seem at all plausible? Is King able to construct his plot in such a way that it makes sense? Or is the entire construct too preposterous to be enjoyable or taken seriously as literature?

22. If you could go back in time to one particular day in your life, what day would that be?

23. If you could bring one thing back from 1963, what would it be?

24. Stephen King has set his novel in a very detailed 1950s. Have you read any other time travel novels that truly have felt as if they were transporting you to that time or place with a similar level of detail? (Hint: Timeline)

25. In the afterword, Stephen King says that his son suggested the ending that was published. However, the original ending was very different. You can find the original, unpublished ending.

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