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.
In the top third
In the prologue - Low Men in Yellow Coats - when you feel the character of Bobby shift from a nice, determined 11 year old into an older, wizened, and less nice near-grown-up
I thought William Hurt's performance and voice was absolutely perfect for this book. I have never been a huge fan of him as an actor, but cast in the narrator role for this audio book he was simply superb. I LOVE the writing of Stephen King, but I am lukewarm about his abilities narrating his own work. I can't put my finger on it - whether it is tenor or pronunciation - just what exactly, but I think his work fares better when actors perform his work.
On numerous occasions I found myself laughing out loud and tearing up. That, to me, is a sign of great writing, and great story-telling.
The only beef - and it is minor - that I have with the work of Stephen King is his unabashed liberal slant. I don't share those views, and it sometimes takes the edge off my enjoyment of his work, but his writing is just so darned compelling (most of the time) that I can get past it, and lose myself in the characters.
At first about the narration. Somewhere about chapter 3 I think, William Hurt finally got into it and lost the bored, uninterested, and monotone reading and came right to life! If he hadn't it would have killed a great story. At times the long pauses made me wonder if my phone was getting ready to ring. Got used to it though. Still in the middle of the audiobook with King narrating. Jury is still out on this part. I'd listen to Hearts in Atlantis again knowing what I know now!
this book was good for the first couple hour but seemed to struggle to grasp any real main storyline I have listened to a lot of Steven kings work and have love all of them besides this one, the book end with a very boring and uninteresting ending, he builds up characters that don't seem to add anything to the story, I really hope that these characters show up in more of his books because I know most of his book tie into the dark tower but this one is very minimal it seems, please if this is the first Steven king book you are planning to read or listen to DONT! start with something like revival or the dark tower series and you will not be dissapointed for over all performance this book had a very good narrater but the book fell flat.
if you want some more suggestions
IT (I've listen to it 3 times it was just as good each time)
The dark tower series (my favorite)
and more I can't think of off my head
The Wiz Kid
The narrator does seem a little off but it really works for how the story was written. For the two stories not directly involving bobby Mr King narrates and it's pretty cool to hear him read his own story how he thinks it should be read. Overall a great read or listen and it of course has a little to do with the dark tower... Teds Connecticut adventure!