For those of us who are Baby Boomers, this book brought back fond memories and some not so fond. The 50's were terrific. We didn't worry about bad people or war. Kids on summer vacation would leave home early morning to play and show up at suppertime. Our parents had no worries about our safety. There were plenty of people like Ted Broadagan, nice people. This extremely well written book by Stephen King reminds us of that time, our first kiss, first love AND the uncertanty of the Viet Nam War years. Some of us fondly reminisce about the 60's and 70's. "The good old days." Some of that time WAS good. This book reminds us of how difficult a time it really was. A lot of us forgot (intentionally and not) what it was like. This book reminds us of a time when a war far off in the rice paddies came close to tearing our country apart. It reminded me of the friends who didn't come back from those rice paddies, the ones who came home in green plastic bags, the ones who came back...changed, some for the better, some not. I lost track of how many times I was listening in tears. This review was not intended to discourage anyone from "reading" the book, quite the contrary. I urge you to get this book and listen to all of it. It's an education of sorts. I hope you enjoy listening to it.
Thanks for the memories Stephen King.
Of the 500+ books I have purchased from Audible, William Hurt is the BEST narrator I have heard to date. Completely unexpected but there it is.
My awe of Stephen King's genius expands with each of his books I read or listen to. If you have enjoyed his work in the past, you will enjoy this book. It both helps to answer matters raised in previous books and, it is fun to read.
By the way Mr. King, when in the hell are you going to make "The Stand" available on Audible. In my opinion it is one of your top two or three novels. Perhaps Mr. Hurt might take a stab at it. In any event, please hurry.
I had only read bag of bones and liked it enough to try another, I'm now hooked. This was a great listen, I did find the Vietnam parts a bit long winded and repetitive but the other stories were simply magic, the interconnections were great. My favorite King so far ( well thats based on two :).
I have long considered Stephen King an underrated literary author, and this book proves me right. Here he is at his literary best - stories of depth and insight that define great storytellers.
Hurt's narration is slow at the beginning, and takes getting used to, but it fits with the slow summer days in Bobby Garfield's life and picks up right when it needs to. And King, as always, is simply brilliant reading his own work.
I must say that most of this book is good as in the first story and the last few stories in part 3. Part 2 however, from where which the title was taken is stellar. I really dont even mind King's narration -- while not as spectacular as Frank Muller, King's narration adds an essence of reality to the story being told in my opionion. As with most King novels you are not roped in at the very beginning but throughout Part 2 events/emotions keep tieing together completeting a wonderful symphony of a story by the end. Really moving adding a sense of realism that many novels do not achieve. I can also say wonderful things about part 1 -- but being a fan of The Dark Tower books and as my views may be biased on that note I will not comment. The third part of this book ties up the loose ends from parts one and 2 so while necessary for some, others could do without. I was not drawn in with the same magic as the First 2 stories in this book. These last stories seem cut and pasted together in a manner of speaking.
Overall -- Even if for the second story alone -- I would Recommend this book. In all reality the first 2 stories are excellent. Even the writing within part 3 is good -- just not stellar.
Two Thumbs Up Overall
This has to be one of the most memorable books I have listened to. Hurt is good King is good. I probably liked King better....It's his story.
I have recently become an audio book junkie. It started about six months ago when I got an Ipod and began listening to books rather than music on long car trips and plane flights. I came across the Dark Tower series by accident and was hooked from the start. The original narrator Frank Muller was amazing! He brought the story and the characters to an almost living state. Unfortunately he suffered a motorcycle accident and could not continue the series after the fourth installment. It was carried on by George Guidall whose voice was a bit too old and lacked the range to convey the story as Muller had portrayed it. (Although it was still the most captivating story I have ever heard.) Anyone familiar with the Dark Tower series knows that a lot of the characters have connections to other Stephen King novels, "Hearts in Atlantis" being one of them. I began this story with great expectations only to turn it off after three minutes due to the horrible narration by William Hurt. It honestly sounded like a stoned college kid mumbling through a book he was half heartedly paying attention to. I tried to start it over several times through several days thinking it couldn't be as bad as I remembered, but it was! I will save myself the agony and read the book myself. It's a shame because Stephen King is listed as a co-narrator and the stuff I've heard him read was really quite good. I just can't put myself through the long pauses halfway through a sentence (or a word, name, page turn, whatever), the monotone and partially confused sounding voice, and the loud intake of breath which comes every few seconds. Big disappointment.
I saw the movie and thought there must be a lot more to the book. There is a lot more to the book. William Hurt is an excellent narrator and Steven King is not just a great writer but a most excellent story teller.
Stephen King explores the viewpoints of several different players struggling with the before, the during and after of the Vietnam War. Great book but might be a little too cerebral for some.
King has been my favorite storyteller since "Carrie". I didn't realize there was so much more to "Atlantis" than the movie. Thank you for Audible since my eyes have grown too tired to read. As always, books give better depth than movies. This novel shares such a deep variety of emotions ala Mr. King. William Hurt's narration is as masterful as his acting!