I have to admit it: if this book had been written by someone *other* than Stephen King, I would have rated it at five stars. I do judge Mr. King more harshly than others because when something is written by America's storyteller, I expect more.
It isn't that the plot was poor, or that the story was badly written. It's that 11/22/63 didn't have the punch I've come to expect from a really great Stephen King novel. Although there were some wonderful Stephen King-esque moments (such as a grisly murder, a bizarre individual known only as the 'Yellow Card Man', and the idea that the past has teeth), the plot dragged. At times, it was as if I was living the story in real time. The book would have been twice as good if it had been half as long.
A problem with with writers who love their characters as Mr. King does is that they want to keep them onstage as much as possible. Unfortunately, this can become like watching a friend's vacation photos: the friend may love their 200 pictures of Old Faithful, but after five pictures, everyone else is bored silly.
Despite this, the story is engaging for the most part, but it wasn't the gripping novel I'd hoped it would be.