Tag Archives: Hulu

11.22.63 Book Review & Mini Series Preview

In honor of tomorrow’s premier of the 11.22.63 mini-series on Hulu, I’m re-posting my original review of the novel by Stephen King. Don’t worry, I don’t do spoilers.

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Yes, I realize that Stephen King doesn’t need my review to help his sales, but every once in awhile you read a book that captures your imagination so much that you want to tell everyone to read it. 11/22/63 is one of those books.

When it first came out in November of 2011 I had no interest in reading the book. I hated the title and the cover art. That’s usually enough to steer me away from any book. I’m a Stephen King fan though, so about 6 months ago when I hit a dry spell in finding a book to read I gave 11/22/63 another look. Two things helped to convince me to give it a chance. The new book price had come down after it had been out over a year and I read the synopsis and discovered that it was a time travel story. Anyone with an imagination has thought about time travel. Most of us have wondered about the great what ifs both large and small, whether it be correcting mistakes in our own life or changing the world for the better.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to give out any spoilers here. In 11/22/63 school teacher Jake Epping is a likable fellow but a little lonely since his divorce. When his elderly, ailing friend reveals that he has discovered a “rabbit hole” in the back room of his diner that takes a person back in time Jake is of course skeptical, until he tries it.

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Once Jake is convinced, his friend throws out the really big bait. What if Jake could travel back in time to stop the Kennedy assassination? Would the Vietnam war be avoided thus saving thousands and thousand of young men’s lives? What other positive changes to history might occur if John F. Kennedy hadn’t died?

The book is  historically accurate and painstaking in many of the details. Stephen King builds a fascinating tale around that framework, adding flesh to the skeleton of information we all know about the event.

Of course if everything went according to plan Mr. King wouldn’t have much of a novel here, and that’s where this story gets really fun. What if, when you travel back in time, every little thing you do has a ripple effect that leads to unintended changes that you can’t possibly foresee? What if your interactions with people changed the course of their lives? How would your future be different when you got back?

In the end 11.22.63 turns out to be a surprising love story with a  surprising ending that Stephen King credits to his son Joe Hill, who is a successful horror/suspense writer in his own right. As with any Stephen King novel, going in you have to know you’re making a significant time investment, but for this ending 11.22.63 is worth it. If the Hulu mini-series is half as good as the book, you’ll come away happy having invested your time in it.

As always, if you enjoy what you read at #ThePhilFactor please hit the Facebook, Twitter, or other share buttons below.

Top Ten Tuesday! Ten Unusual Things I’m Thankful For

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With the American holiday of Thanksgiving upon us later this week it’s time to think about what we’re thankful for. Sure, it would be easy to say family, health, friends etc. That’s easy and obvious. Of course we’re all thankful for those things. I want to get to the other things we’re thankful for; the unusual, quirky little things that make our life bearable. Here’s my top ten for this year:

10. England: I’m half English, but having grown up in America I had no strong affiliation or identity with the homeland of my ancestors. This year, however, in anticipation of a work trip to London, I immersed myself in English culture the only way I knew how: by watching British TV shows on Netflix and Hulu. The British are very funny.

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9. Netflix and Hulu: Duh! How did you not see this coming? TV shows with few if any commercials? Best invention since TV shows with commercials.

8. Keurig: I can have a cup of coffee within 60 seconds of waking up? Yes please!

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7. Wi-Fi: When I’m elected President, or Sexiest Man Alive, whichever comes first, I will decree that free wi-fi be available everywhere. Everywhere. I will herd all the worlds wi-fi experts into a room and not let them out until they develop a plan to use satellites to create world-wide wi-fi.

6. The funny shaped neck pillows: It may seem odd and goofy, but I’m telling you, whether you have any neck issues or not, get one of these pillows. It will feel odd at first, but once you get used to them you’ll never go back to ordinary pillows,

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5. Amazon: The website, not the rainforest. I’m sure the Amazon rainforest is pretty cool and all, what with all that oxygen it produces. That’s just air. The rainforest isn’t going to deliver me whatever I want within 48 hours. I like Amazon so much I’ve tried to look up job opportunities with them. Oh, by the way, you can get my books in both paperback and e-book editions on Amazon.  (they’d make great Christmas or Hanukkah gifts)

4. Thanksgiving is only one day: Yes, I’m thankful Thanksgiving is only one day. Heck, I’d be ecstatic if it was only one hour. At least it doesn’t get a whole month. Thanksgiving is not that great of a holiday. If the main meal were pizza however, it would be my favorite holiday.

3. I don’t live in Buffalo, N.Y.: Buffalo got 7 feet, over 2 metres, of snow last week. It’s been on the news constantly. Hey everybody, guess what? You live in Buffalo! It snows a lot there. I’m pretty sure that fact isn’t a surprise to anyone. You don’t hear people who moved to the desert complaining about the heat do you? If you don’t like snow don’t live there!

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2. Wegmans: The world’s best supermarket. Native to western New York but slowly spreading. The picture above applies to both Buffalo and Wegmans. Look, I know some of you will say that your local supermarket is the best. Trust me on this. It’s not. You need a Wegmans. Where I live you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a Wegmans and that’s just the way we like it.

1. Blogging: Yes, this may seem corny and obvious, but I love the blogosphere. Through reading little slices of peoples lives I’ve traveled the world and learned things I might never have known. Thank you to all my blogging friends. I like some of you more than some people I know in real life. In 5 months my blog will be ten years old and I expect it’ll still be around ten years from now.

In the comments please add your unusual things that you’re thankful for. As always, if you enjoy what you read at #ThePhilFactor please share by hitting the Facebook, Twitter, or re-blog buttons below. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil