A story about preventing the murder of John F. Kennedy in order to make history after this (prevented) event much better. This becomes clear early on in a book whose characteristics otherwise hardly include hastiness.

A teacher is told a marvellous secret by a mortally sick friend. He also gets an assignment, seemingly simple but very demanding: not only is murder part of the job description, but a few years of waiting around in another era very different from ours. It entails leading another life under a false identity.

It’s a patiently told time travel story with a unique hook. Here, there is no effortless skipping between the ages. A real investment of a large chunk of your life is required. It offers nostalgia alongside criticism of a bygone age and the vivid feel for the environment and characters you expect from King.

It’s a book you live with for a time rather than devour, with an ending as serious as it is ironic. It’s great.