I purhased Hearts in Atlantis based on the strength of Stephen King's writing and what I assumed would be a great narration by William Hurt. I assumed incorrectly. Hurt isn't without his moments and shines in a few character interpretations, but more often than not he plows through "Low Men in Yellow Coats" in a perpetual run-on sentence, rarely pausing for breath. It's a confusing listen, especially combined with the cheesy music that permeates the first half, always at the worst moments and often drowns Hurt out.
It might be a little unfair to compare Hurt with the Master himself, who handles the remainder of Hearts and delivers the characters as he woukd have you, Constant Reader, start to envision them, but it's an instantly recognizable improvement over the opening.
This was a well thought out book in the sense that it told many stories that sometimes got me wondering what was exactly going on, but then you'd realize what the focus was and how it was coming full circle. A way to describe this book was a quilt of circles. Many stories blurred into one another coming to a final crescendo at the end - enough to make me tear up walking down 42nd street during rush hour in NYC. It is a memorable journey I am glad I experienced.
Yes, I am a Stephen King fan. I bought this audio book on cassette when it first came out years ago. I loved it then, and I loved it again now when I listened to it, years later. I love the melancholy feel of the stories, and I think William Hurt delivers the perfect tone to fit the bitter sweet emotion running through them. This is a story that will make you want to cry in places, laugh like a child in places, and have you empathizing with the characters all the way through. I recommend it to hardcore King fans as well as those who have never opened one of his books.
Not a horror story like so many of Kings books although there were plenty of horrible things that happened... A story of coming of age in a turbulent time.
Too hard to pick a favorite
I was unprepared for the impact of this novel. Some of the details of childhood weren't familiar except in a very general way, but King's account of the era resonated in my heart as no other author's has. And so, to my children's generation, I say: read this book. This is how it was when I was young and impressionable. It explains some things, why it saddens me to remember my friends who were newly returned VietNam vets, most as thoroughly screwed up as Sully, why It depresses me that the idealism of the civil rights, anti-war, and environmentalist movements produced so little lasting change.
Yes, this book is very personal for me and really captures the coming of age stages of growing up quite well.
The closest thing I could think of is the movie "Stand by me"
The first segment of the book through the point of view of 11 year old Bobby Garfield
The end when an important character told another how brave they were in living their life.
I would but I would make sure they know that the story is only 10 hrs not 20 at the Audio book suggest.
I hated William Hurt at first but after 30 minutes I realized that he was the only one who could of told this story.
No they kind of ruined it by the story that followed something about the war.