Hulu is producing an eight-part miniseries based on Stephen King’s novel 11.22.63, a delightful time-travel novel that Chimesfreedomreviewed earlier. The new trailer for the miniseries features actor James Franco as the time-traveling Jake Epping.
As discussed in our review of the book, 11.22.63 centers on Epping’s attempts to stop the John F. Kennedy assassination. Before acting decisively, though, he has to investigate whether or not Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in killing the president. I loved the book, and this trailer makes me excited for the miniseries too.
The miniseries 11.22.63 is directed by Kevin Macdonald and also stars Chris Cooper, Cherry Jones, and Josh Duhamel. The miniseries hits Hulu on February 15, 2016, which is Presidents’ Day.
What is your favorite Stephen King adaptation? Leave your two cents in the comments.
On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as president of the United States. For many, the transition from President Eisenhower to this much younger man was the beginning of a new era. This short video captures much of the festivities of the inauguration.
President Kennedy gave one of the more famous inauguration speeches. And, for a more detailed look at the day, check out this longer video that includes Kennedy’s speech.
Robert Frost’s Inaugural Poem(s)
The above video makes a passing reference to poet Robert Frost’s appearance. At the inauguration, the 87-year-old poet attempted to read the poem “Dedication” that he wrote for the occasion.
Frost, however, had difficulty in the bright sun. Outgoing vice-president Richard Nixon attempted to help by using his hat to block the sun.
This short video below captures Frost’s famous struggle to read in the sunlight’s glare.
But Frost realized he could not get through the poem. So, he instead recited another one of his poems from memory.
He chose a much shorter poem about the United States, “The Gift Outright.” I could not find his full recitation at the inauguration in a video, but here is him reciting the poem on another occasion.
“Dedication,” the poem that Frost had planned to read, ended with the lines: “A golden age of poetry and power / Of which this noonday’s the beginning hour.” Little did anyone know that day how short would be that golden age. What is your favorite inauguration moment? Leave your two cents in the comments.
Less than five years after John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963, the country lost Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy to the bullets of assassins in 1968. Later that year, in tribute to the fallen men, Dion released the song, “Abraham, Martin, and John,” which became a hit in a country in shock and mourning.
The song, written by Dick Holler, has been performed by a number of artists, but nobody has matched Dion’s moving version. In the video below, he performs the song on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. [June 2014 Update: The performance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour is no longer available on YouTube, so below is a performance from Live Nashville Now, where Dion performs the song with Aaron Neville, where they intertwine the song with “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.”]
A number of television shows and movies have commemorated the anniversary of the death of President John F. Kennedy. PBS recently broadcast a new documentary in its American Experienceseries, JFK. The two-part examination of Kennedy’s life featured some new footage and it brought new understanding about Kennedy’s health problems. CNN’s The Assassination of President Kennedy is a fascinating portrayal of the events around the killing using a lot of archival footage I had never seen before (see video below). Meanwhile, the National Geographic Channel presented a dramatization of the period leading up to the assassination with its TV-movie version of Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Kennedy, which one might find superficial but still entertaining. While some have wondered if popular culture is overdoing the commemoration of the national tragedy of our president’s death, I found a quiet way to contemplate the anniversary by reading a novel related to the event: Stephen King‘s 11/22/63.
The novel explores a famous what-if question about “what if you could go back and time and prevent a horrible event from happening?” In 11/22/63, the narrator is Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Maine who learns from his friend Al about a time portal that will take him back to 1958. With some experimentation, Jake and Al discuss whether one may change the past and how the world might have been different had Lee Harvey Oswald not killed Kennedy. What happens if history is changed? Can it be changed? And what if Oswald was not the person who killed Kennedy?
As King explains in his “Afterword,” he did a significant amount of research about Oswald, and the book is informative about the main players we associate with the events leading up to the assassination. But the book is more than a novel about a killing. King provides an interesting portrayal of life in America in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The protagonist of the novel is not Oswald or Kennedy but Jake Epping, and it is his life that fascinates us. Epping becomes the focal point in the context of major world events while King meditates on the fragility of both life and history. The book is long, but it is fast reading, and it is Jake’s story that makes it a page-turner that you cannot put down.
Conclusion?11/22/63 is a fun read that also asks some big questions. And while enjoying the book you might learn a little bit along the way. Earlier this year it was reported that the novel may be made into a TV series or miniseries, but the book is so fun you should read it. In the meantime, below you may check out part one and part two of CNN’s The Assassination of President Kennedy.