11/22/63 Book and TV Review


I had already started reading Stephen King’s 11/22/63 when hulu aired the adaptation of his time traveling drama, which centers around the assassination of John F. Kennedy. However, there is much more happening in this story around the plot. When it comes to books and movies, I have take away pros from both. and I try to enjoy those pros as opposed to comparing the book to the film or TV show to decide which one is best. The books always provide me more detail.The visual effects in movies and TV shows captures my attention. After watching a TV show or movie, I can read a novel and still learn new things about the fictional world. Movies and TV shows do exceptionally well with direction and visual arts. Major differences and similarities can be found in the book and adaptation, including the characters, setting, and the action.

For the prevention of spoilers, I am going to restrain on elaborating on much of the character development, since it can easily give important events away.

The front of the news paper after an attempt on JFK failed.

Subplots in the book develop between characters. Many characters play important roles in the book, while characters in the TV show are more limited. They are portrayed differently.  I feel both, show and book, do a great job developing the main characters. The story of love and the importance of making choices holds true for both the book and TV show. The love affair between Sadie and George (protagonist) is touching and realistic. In the show, Sadie replaces Miz as the librarian, and is a lady who has escaped her abusive husband. More emphasis is placed on George as a novelist in the book; whereas, in the TV show, there is less focus on him writing the book than his mission to stop Kennedy’s assassination. Perhaps, if the show was going to have seasons as opposed to one miniseries, more details from the book could have been included. Another difference is that time travel is extended in the book, showing the protagonist travel back and forth between the era of the Kennedy assassination and the present time. In the book he does this more often, not only to prevent the assassination, but to change other events he comes to care about.

George and Sadie in 11/22/63.

The setting between late 1950’s and early 1960’s is accurate in both the book and TV show. However, there is more of the little things, such as George’s root beer float when he first enters the past (time warps through a rabbit hole), included in the book, and his observation of Sadie when he first sees and meets her. Nonetheless, the details in the show portrays a 1950’s and 1960’s environment vividly: from the old buildings and old vehicles, men dressed in suites and women in dresses, to the people’s mannerisms.

As usual, the main difference I see between a book and film/TV show, is with the details. The TV show followed the plot and subplot clearly, yet did some renovating with details and the characters. I would have never known Sadie was a flawed character until I read King’s description of her in the book(George’s perception of her) To me, this made her and her relationship with George more realistic and special. This is not to say, it isn’t special in the adaptation, too, in its own way.  I can watch the TV show, then read the book and learn new things about the characters and world. I recommend fans of this story do the same and see what they think.

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