Recently, one of the presidential candidates was asked what I thought was a pretty silly question by a reporter -- would he go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby? The question was irrelevant and doesn't really tell you anything helpful about the candidate. The candidate's valuable time, and the reader's, would have been much better spent with a different question.
But that doesn't mean that all of us -- including me -- aren't fascinated by such "what if?" questions.
My sister, not me, is the big Stephen King fan in our family, but I have to say King's "11/22/63" is one of the best novels I've ever read. And so I was excited when my sister sent me a link to this teaser trailer for the miniseries, which will air on Hulu next Feburary:
Reportedly, King himself has seen the finished product and is very pleased.
Even so, I would recommend reading the novel now -- or giving it as a Christmas gift to someone who hasn't read it yet -- before the miniseries gets here.
The plot is that Jake Epping, a divorced, somewhat disaffected teacher living in Maine, is introduced by a friend of his to a mysterious portal that always takes you to the exact same moment in 1958 (apparently, the miniseries portal goes to 1960 instead). The friend, who is dying of cancer, extracts a promise from Jake that he will use the portal to a) observe Lee Harvey Oswald at some key moments and confirm that he acted alone in the Kennedy assassination, and if so, b) kill or otherwise disable Oswald before he can kill John F. Kennedy.
Since Epping has no choice but to arrive five years prior to the assassination, he has some time to do his research and also take care of righting a couple of other past wrongs. He eventually kills time by settling in a small Texas town, where he gets a teaching job and develops some personal connections, causing complications as the fateful day in Dallas gets nearer.
It's a really well-told story that pulls you in and makes you care, not only about the historical story, but about the characters King has created.
J.J. Abrams of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" reboot fame is producing the miniseries, and James Franco stars as Jake Epping (unless they call him something different in this version).
I really look forward to seeing this -- I may have to sign up for Hulu, if only for a month or two. But I do encourage you to read the book first.