The first-person point of view storyline and the epistolary writing method made ‘11/22/63‘ feel natural. Every step the characters make gives a thrill and curiosity on what happens next. The book characters’ definition made it worthy of being called one of Stephen King’s best books. ‘11/22/63′ did not only give a realistic alternate history story, but it also defined characters who existed in real life in a way never thought of before.
Jake Epping is the main character of ’11/22/63.’ With the book written in the first-person point of view, every action is directly observed and narrated by Jake, and at some point, he talks to the reader.
Jake is emotionless and rarely sheds tears, even when his parents die. Though he always had no expression, Jake still cared about people. Jake’s sympathy led him to change the time so that Harry’s father would not have killed his mother and siblings.
Jake is a high school English teacher who takes a GED class to make an extra income source. After his divorce, because of his wife’s drinking problem, Jake learns time travel existed. With the persuasion of AL Templeton, Jake enters the portal back to the late 1950s, where he conceives a plan to kill Oswald, the President’s murderer. Taking up George Amberson as his alias, Jake establishes himself in Jodie, Texas, where he planned to stop Oswald.
Al is the middle-aged owner of Al’s diner and keeps the secret of time travel, a secret he eventually shares with Jake. After a failed attempt to stop JFK’s assassination, Al decides to tell Jake of the time portal, which made one travel back in time and change it. Al eventually convinces Jake, who also believed that if the President did not die in 1963, then the world would have been a much better place to live in, to take up the mission of stopping Oswald from pulling the trigger on the President.
After Jake enters the portal and prevents Frank Dunning from murdering his family, he returns to meet a world without Harry Dunning and finds out his actions had directly led to Harry’s death. Al finally commits suicide to motivate Jake to go back in time and finish the mission.
Harry is a janitor at Lisbon Falls high school and a student in Jake’s evening GED class. Harry earned a nickname and was called ‘hop toad Harry’ by the students of Lisbon Falls, but after reading his essay on the day that changed his life, Jake decides he would change Harry’s past after Al told him about time travel. On Jake’s second attempt at time-traveling. He successfully kills Harry’s father, Frank Dunning, before he kills Harry’s mother and siblings.
On returning to the present, Harry did not exist as he died in the Vietnam war, this made Jake re-enter the portal, and after he saves Harry the second time, Harry lives. After saving the President, Jake returns to see that Harry is alive but now a war veteran in a destroyed Lisbon Falls. After Harry gives Jake a disturbing history of what happened between 1963 and 2011, Jake returns and resets everything.
Sadie is a woman from Savannah, Georgia, who runs away from an abusive husband, Johnny Clayton. After running away, Sadie finds herself in Jodie, Texas, where she worked as a librarian at Denholm Consolidated High School, DCHS. Sadie eventually meets Jake, whose alias was George Amberson, and they fall in love. Sadie then travels to Reno to divorce Johnny, but he kidnaps her to lure Jake out. Jake eventually rescues Sadie, who sustains an injury to the face.
Finally, Jake tells Sadie he is from the future, and she helps him in confronting Oswald. Sadie dies from a gunshot by Oswald during his confrontation with her and Jake. Watching her die in his arms, Jake erases his actions by re-entering the portal and leaving the past unchanged for good. Jake later travels to present-day Jodie, where he discovers Sadie survived the ordeal involving her husband, and she was now 80 years old. Jake and Sadie share a dance.
Frank Dunning is the murderous father of Harry Dunning, who, with a hammer, murdered his wife and children and injured Harry, permanently making him limp. After reading Harry’s essay, Jake travels to the past, where he stalks Frank Dunning and kills him before he injures Harry and kills his mother and siblings. After Jake discovers his change killed Harry, he re-enters the portal to try to save Harry’s family in a way Harry did not die.
Deacon Simmons, also called Deke, is the principal of Denholm Consolidated High School in ‘11/22/63.’ He hires Jake, who called himself George Amberson as an English teacher for a probationary year. Deke eventually retires after marrying Mimi Corcoran, and he becomes Jake’s friend. Deke is one of only two people to know Jake’s mission to stop JFK’s assassination.
Lee Harvey Oswald
Oswald is a historic figure popular for murdering the President of the United States on November 22, 1963. Jake stalks Oswald and finally confronts him on the day of the President’s arrival, and after shooting at him, Oswald returns fire, killing Sadie. The police and secret service eventually shoot Oswald, killing him.
George De Mohrenschildt
George is a soviet emigrant who becomes friends with Oswald and stirs up Oswald with his political propaganda. Jake suspected George to be behind Oswald’s resolve for killing the President but later finds out George was just an eccentric man who found Oswald amusing. Jake eventually poses as a government agent and threatens George to cutting off ties with Oswald.
James Patrick Hosty
Jake is an FBI agent who interviews Jake after he foils the attempt on the President’s life. James eventually lets Jake free partly because of him not wanting to be held responsible for not properly investigating Oswald.
Did Jake kill Frank Dunning?
Yes, Jake killed Harry’s father saving him, his mother, and his siblings. However, on returning to the present, Jake discovered that altering the past made Harry die in the Vietnam war.
Did Jake kill Oswald himself?
Oswald was shot by the secret service and police; Jake did not land the finishing shot but prevented Oswald from killing the President.
Who is Johnny Clayton?
Johnny Clayton is Sadie’s abusive husband. He tried to lure out Jake after kidnapping Sadie.
Why did Al kill himself?
Al killed himself in the hopes of enabling Jake to act hastily to save the President from getting killed.
What happened at the end of ‘11/22/63?’
At the end of ‘11/22/63,’ Jake and an 80-year-old Sadie share a dance as she experiences Deja Vu and asks Jake if she knew him.