Monday, 30 January 2012

If You Could Turn Back Time...

I am in the middle of Stephen King's excellent new book 11:22:63, which I can thoroughly recommend, by the way.
It is his first venture into a time travel story and he delivers with his usual flair and excellence. I have to be (almost) physically prised away from it and, at well over 700 pages, it will be a few days before I reach the story's destination.

For anyone unfamiliar with the premise of the story: Jake Epping is given the chance to go back in time and prevent the assassination of President Kennedy. He decides to do so, knowing that every encounter he makes, every event he changes along the way, will have repercussions and will change history for all time.

Not the first time this type of 'What if...' scenario has been tackled of course. To cite just one example: many books have been written - and conjectures made - about how the world would look today if Germany had won World War II (or WorldWar I for that matter) but, as you might expect from a master storyteller, Stephen King provides his own unique slant.

So - a little challenge for you. If you had the chance to step back in time and change one key event in history, what would it be? How would the world be different today? Would there be any downsides to your proposed change?


  1. This book is on my TBR list. :) As for your question, I'd be too afraid to change anything because the repercussions would be widespread and unforeseen. I might unknowingly wipe out all the things I love right now. Scary thought!!

  2. I don't honestly think anyone has traveled back in time. Because if they had, we'd hear about it, right? Now, if I could go back...I'd go to the Native Indians in America and throw plant-destroying caterpillars on their very first tobacco crop.

  3. Hi, Catherine. Since I'm a humor guy...
    I would go back to game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series and tackle poor Steve Bartman and prevent him from touching that foul ball that caused my beloved Cubs to lose that game, when we were 5 outs away from our first World Series since 1908. It really wasn't his fault, but got everyone so stirred up that they lost their composure first, the game second and then the series the next night.


  4. I'd go back to May 1979 and make sure Thatcher lost the election. At least we'd be in with a chance of still having functioning services and to have avoided the greed of the financial markets that the deregulation she began has brought about. Not to mention her attack on gay rights. Those who don't remember the period have little idea of what a bigotted tyrant she was.

  5. Thanks for sharing everyone. Carolyn - I understand where you're coming from. If you change the big things, the small and unforeseen ones could so easily follow along the chain reaction. Sue - I would have saved a great deal of money and addiction between 1972 and 1992 if you had done that! Jimmy - being a Brit (whose favourite football - soccer - team is Liverpool), I have enough trouble trying to understand the vagaries of the Offside Rule, but wish your Cubs every success.

    Tristram - I also haven't forgiven her for what she did to the Coal Mining industry (among others)

  6. It's on my to-read list too--got to buy it first though.