Looking for more books like 11/22/63?
11/22/63 is a gigantic novel: it’s over 1000 pages long, and yet it’s so gripping, so original in concept, that it doesn’t feel that way. The novel follows Jake Epping, a recently divorced teacher, who comes across a secret in his local diner: it contains a time travel portal to 1958.
Your friend Al tells you he’s been on a mission to stop the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but since then he’s too sick to complete the task, hoping Jake will fill in for him. After much deliberation, Jake agrees and transports himself to 1958, where he must lie low for five years before he can go through with the plan.
What Jake doesn’t expect is how quickly he infiltrates this life, finding it more attractive than the one he left behind in the present, and eventually falling in love with his fellow teacher Sadie. The novel required a great deal of research into the years leading up to JFK’s death, as well as how life worked back then; It was an extraordinary achievement on King’s part.
You are reading: Books like 11 22 63
Although there aren’t many novels that can compare in terms of the true story, the following novels focus on characters who must band together to fight something bigger than themselves, often falling in and out of love in the process, just as than on 11/22/63.
8 books as 11/22/63
never let me go, by kazuo ishiguro
the bond between jake and sadie in 11/22/63 is not unlike kathy and tommy in never let me go. Meeting at school, Kathy and Tommy have always had a friendship and understanding, often meaning more to each other than anyone cares to admit.
As they grow up, they learn that they will only live a short life, but they also discover that there may be a way to stave off their destiny, if they can show that they love each other.
So the pair take on the forces against them, despite all odds, just like Sadie and Jake do in books like 11/22/63; They know the chance of them succeeding is slim, but it’s worth it if it means they get a shot at happiness together.
This kind of love strengthens both novels, providing something the reader can lean on, even when we doubt whether their goals will be possible.
Have you already read this novel? Check out our list for more books like never let me go.
the wall, by john lanchester
the wall remains very vague about the circumstances that led britain to build a wall around it, but the reader gains insight into the life of a defender, those who must watch the wall in search of invaders. . one of them is joseph, who begins his two-year sentence, which he can get rid of if he succeeds in his term.
Here he meets hifa, another defender, and the pair begin a relationship, even discussing becoming breeders to escape their fate.
Just like in books like 11/22/63, these two lovers face much more than the typical obstacles a relationship faces: if they disobey their orders, they have little choice but death or exile, this last of which often ends in the first.
They face the odds of survival and happiness, and yet they continue to fight together, hoping to one day settle into a happy future, not unlike Jake and Sadie on 11/22/63.
atonement, by ian mcewan
Atonementwas shortlisted for the booker award in 2001 and was made into a movie in 2007 starring keira knightley and james mcavoy.
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The novel tells the harrowing story of Robbie and Cecilia, in a story as old as time, from different worlds, but desperately attracted to each other. However, when Cecilia’s sister, Briony, sees something she doesn’t understand, the lovers are separated for years, only able to communicate through letters.
Although Robbie is sent to fight in World War II, Cecilia waits for him despite everything, hoping that one day he will return to her. The relationship is reminiscent of Jake and Sadie: Although Jake loves Sadie, he traveled back in time to complete a mission, and this is the first and most important thing he must do before they can be together.
robbie is also on a path he can’t control and must continue whether he likes it or not. In novels like 11/22/63, love isn’t always enough, and that’s the cast of atonement when outside forces come to tear robbie and cecilia apart.
the handmaid’s tale, by margaret atwood
The totalitarian state of Gilead in The Handmaid’s Tale acts greatly as a force to separate people. This dystopian novel follows the anonymous narrator, who has been given the title Ofred, after the man she will give a baby to.
with fertility rates falling worldwide, the united states is taken over by a group of religious fanatics, and fertile women who have “sinned” are taken from their partners and turned into servants, providing babies to rich families and sterile. Ofred is first separated from her husband and her son and placed in the house of Waterford, where a rich commander and his wife live.
When it becomes clear that she can’t have children from her commander, Offred begins a relationship with Nick, her driver, and together they regain what little power they can. Offred shouldn’t really be with Nick, just like on 11/22/63, Jake shouldn’t be with Sadie, and yet they can’t stay away from each other, even as the whole world collapses around them. .
For much of the novel, where Offred’s existence is one trauma after another, Nick provides some solace from this evil and makes a better future worth fighting for.
Have you already read this novel? see our list of more books like The Handmaid’s Tale.
the green mile, by stephen king
The Green Mile doesn’t have as much of a love story, so to speak, as the others on this list of books like 11/22/63, but it’s also written by Stephen King.
paul edgecombe is a prison officer who supervises death row inmates before they have to walk the dreaded green mile to the electric chair. His job is difficult, but he takes pride in his efforts to keep the prisoners comfortable and at peace before their execution.
His job is complicated when John Coffey is sentenced to death, a man accused of raping and killing two girls, although he seems completely incapable of committing such an act. the novel is set in 1932, and although 11/22/63 is set many years later, in 1958, the same level of research goes into achieving a realistic setting.
As on 11/22/63, death draws near, and as Jake and Sadie try to stop JFK’s murder, Paul and his comrades desperately try to prove Coffey’s innocence, which they become more and more convinced with. every day that passes. These are two of Stephen King’s best novels, and both implement levels of magical realism to perfection.
vox, by christina dalcher
dalcher creates a dystopian world in vox where women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day, counted by a bracelet on their wrists. Exceeding this limitation causes electric shock, even for children.
The novel follows Jean, a former doctor, who is desperately trying to keep her daughter safe in this new misogynistic world. she can no longer work and must simply be a housekeeper, while her husband is in full control of his finances. When the new corrupt government approaches Jean with the promise of freedom, she’s not sure she can trust them.
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They want her to work on a special project, and in return, she won’t be monitored for her speech, but what if the research she’s doing has the potential to further hamper her gender?
Just like Offred and Nick in The Handmaid’s Tale, and Jake and Sadie in 11/22/63, Jean teams up with former colleagues and an old flame to bring down the system, even when it seems impossible.
lady in the lake, by laura lippman
The Lady of the Lake is set in the same period as 11/22/63 and follows an unlikely couple as they try to uncover the truth about a murder everyone seems hell-bent on forgetting. .
maddie schwartz just separated from her husband, moved into a small apartment and took a police officer as a lover. She believes she partially solved a crime before and wishes to do it again, with the woman who was dredged from the lake, Cleo Sherwood.
maddie starts a job as a journalist, hoping to rise through the ranks despite living in a man’s world, and in this way, she is no different than sadie from 11/22/63, a woman who also had separated from her. husband when she would have been frowned upon to do so.
Maddie and her lover, the police officer, try to discover the truth about Cleo, although that truth is entangled in a web of lies, and just like in novels like 11/22/63, they find themselves in grave danger due to to his meddling.
There is no time travel in the novel, but if you liked 11/22/63 because of the date it was set, you will also enjoy The Lady of the Lake
1984, by george orwell
orwell published 1984 in 1949: he created a dystopian future based on what he was seeing happening in the world at the time with the tensions of the cold war. while 11/22/63 takes us back in time to stop a potentially damaging future, 1984 portrays just how bad that future can go.
winston works at the ministry of truth, where he is constantly being asked to rewrite history to present whatever propaganda the state of oceania wants to show. He secretly has terrible thoughts about the state and writes them down in a diary even though it’s forbidden, and finally, he starts an affair with a woman who works in the fiction department, Julia.
The pair talk about their hatred for Oceania and what it stands for, and even though they know they’ll likely be caught one day and punished for their transgressions, they can’t help but indulge.
As of 11/22/63, they are on an almost impossible mission to dismantle something that absolutely resists change. While Jake and Sadie fight against the past, which never wants to be undone, Winston and Julia try to fight against the system, as unlikely as it seems.
Have you already read this novel? see our list for more books like 1984.
11/22/63 has such a unique premise that there aren’t many novels like it. However, if you liked the love story and the struggles Jake and Sadie face to be together, then you’ll love the previous novels. There is something so special about stories in which a group of friends or a couple fight for or against an entity much larger than themselves.
Looking for more books like 11/22/63? Do you have any recommendations that are not on the list? tell us in the comments!
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