Friday, February 10, 2012

Where were you?

This morning, I had a great chat with my uncle about our family history, and he remarked that I had a crazy memory for knowing dates that people in our family were born, got married, or passed away.  I'm no history buff, but I do like many others, I am sure...I make it relative to me (let's face it, we're a pretty ego centric society).  I remember when my little cousins were born...that was the summer I had my first serious boyfriend.  I remember when my second cousin got married....the woman he married had the same name as me, and he had the same name as the guy I was crushing on that year.  (weird).  I remember when my great aunt passed away....her funeral was the morning after my 9th grade lock in, and I was sooo tired but obviously had to go anyways.  Strange how you remember things.
Maybe not so strange, though.  Ask any American, depending on their generation, one of two questions:
1.  Where were you at 8:07am on 9/11/01?
2.  Where were you at 12:30pm on 11/22/63?
Clearly, I'm in the first camp.  Psy 352, Social Psychology (how ironic is that?).  Sophomore year, SUNY Geneseo.  We were actually getting ready to take a test (which I was nowhere near ready for!) when the first plane hit.  The rest of the day was so surreal....I had quite a few friends from the NYC area on campus and they were obviously a mess.  I didn't know anyone personally that was there, but it didn't diminish the fear and uncertaintly surrounding the day.
In my parent's generation.....their "9/11" was the assassination of JFK.  My mom, my uncle, my older cousins...they can all tell me, without a doubt, what they were doing when America's most "charismatic" president was shot while riding the motorcade in Dallas, Texas.  I've taken enough American History to know the basics, but never really got into the whole Kennedy mess.  Until I picked up this book.  Not a huge Stephen King fan, but I've never seen him write a novel based on actual historical events, so when I saw this 842 page tome on my "speed read in a week" rack at the the public library, I figured, why not?  (Note-I am a super speedy reader...and this was tough to get through!)
The basic premise:  A modern day school teacher becomes friends with a man that owns a diner that has a "portal" that takes you back to 1958.  Every time you go into the portal, it spits you out at the same time, place, and date.  No matter how long you stay in, you are gone from 2011 for exactly 2 minutes.  Whatever you change in the portal will affect the next 53 years...but if you come back to 2011 and don't like what you see, you can go back to the portal for a "reset".  However, if you prevent something from happening in 1958, come back to the future, then go back need to "fix" that event again, or it will happen the same way history had planned.  The diner owner is convinced that the pivotal event that changed America occurred on 11/22/63-the assassination of JFK.  His rationale-if JFK survived, LBJ would not become president.  MLK Jr would not have been shot.  We would not have gone to Vietnam....and on and on with the butterfly effect.  So the school teacher goes back in time to live in the '50s and '60s for 5 years to try to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting the president.  Does he do it?  Is America better off in 2011 if Kennedy lives?  Well, you hafta read the book!
My rating: 9/10.  Kept me super interested, and the only lame bit that kept it from being a 10 was the last page.  Ugh.  The hubster is getting used to my last 50 page shenanigans...."Honey, only 50 pages till the end!"  "Give me a half hour, I'll be done!"  29 minutes later of forced silence in the TFB household....THWACK.  The book goes flying. The cat runs off. I hear from the other room..."Guess you're done, huh?  Is it safe?"
File that under, yup.  I have issues.  Get a bit too obsessed with two dimensional people.  On paper.
Does that ever happen to you?  Read any page turners or ending tossers lately?

1 comment:

  1. I thought it was a good book, although I never really like King's endings -- they feel too quick after a long, drawn-out rest of the book. Have you read "It?" I read it so long ago that I had to doublecheck on the internet that Richie and Bevvie were from that book -- interesting twist!