Typical Book Group met to discuss 11/22/63 by Stephen King. There were 11 of us there, which just might be a record turn out! Each summer, we pick a Big Fat Book ("BFB") to read, and then we get back together in August or September to discuss it. Usually we are struggling to finish the book before the meeting, but this summer it seems that everyone tore through 11/22/63 in June or July, so we had to work to remember the details.
All of us liked 11/22/63, even though none of us would consider ourselves Stephen King fans. In fact, we were glad that one member's daughter was there to fill us in on the references to his earlier book, It, which we all missed. Apparently Derry, one of the towns that Jake visited, was the town featured in It, and the kids that were dancing were characters in the earlier book.
One of the things that we wondered was whether there were other historical events that Jake could have chosen to influence rather than the JFK assassination. We didn't like how Jake gambled to make money, instead of finding another, safer way to profit from his knowledge of the future, but it did fit the story well, and gave us a Jack Ruby tie in. Our host, Kim, printed out Stephen King's letter to the NYT Editor about Oswald's motivations for us, and we talked about that. We wondered whether Oswald, at least as written by King, would have been smart enough to come up with the assassination plan on his own. It seemed that the assassination might have been a lot of bad luck, in that Oswald might not have put in the effort to try and kill Kennedy if the President wasn't scheduled to drive right by him.
We're reading Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst for the next Typical Book Group meeting. Several Typical Book Groupers had already finished that one too, so they are going to get started on Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which the Friends Book Group is reading, and they'll join me at that meeting next month.