I loved the book. Excellently written, and excellently performed by both the author and William Hurt. The only problem I had with the book is the cheesy music that they overlay on the end of each chapter. It detracts from the experience; sort of breaks the 4th wall so to speak. The only point where it actually adds to the story is the very end. Otherwise it's like overused laugh tracks in a 70's sit-com. Intrusive, unnecessary, and beneath the level of the work. It's sort of like being in a fine art museum admiring a painting or a sculpture and someone in the room rips a fart. It's that crass. Lose the cheese; leave the ending music, and the book would be five by five.
William Hurt was surprisingly excellent. I believed that he WAS Bobby Garfield! Great read. Stephen King's performance was spot on (as per usual). He wrote the characters; who better to give them voice?!
Yes for King, no for Hurt. Loved both of them. I'm looking for more of Hurt now.
Several times I was moved to laughter, and to tears. At one point when (spoiler alert) Sully John was sort of losing it talking about being in Nam I felt very anxious and nauseous. I felt as though I was experiencing the emotions of the character. William Hurt is THAT good!
As per above; the music almost ruined the book for me. It's got to go. It doesn't belong in the narration, and only fits the story one time; the very end. Otherwise it's like a mustache on a Mona Lisa. NFG.
I enjoyed listening to the book much more than reading it. I did read it when I was much younger though
The first story was by far the best, dipping down a little with the next two, and coming back up for the two final stories.
I began thinking that I would listen to William Hurt read the phone book, but now realize that even if he read something like the Twilight books, I may--even then; only then--listen. Stephen KIng pales by comparison
Absolutely spectacular narration by William Hurt and a compelling (if long) story. Stephen King isn't an actor so his narration pales in comparison, but he does a serviceable job of narrating as well. It was William Hurt's performance that pulled me into this story. One of my favorite audio books ever!
Say something about yourself!
This is a very compelling. King writes so convincingly from a child's point of view, and to create a compelling story. William Hurt is stunning as narrator and this audio production is the best I have ever heard (out of 200 audio books the past 10 years). This is a typical novel in that is contains 5 novellas. The first is the longest and the best. The other four pick up later in the sixties. The only problem with this audio book is that it has the picture from the dreadful movie of Hearts of Atlantis. Please don't ever go near the movie it will ruin your appreciation for the novel. .
I wasnt sure I would like listening to Stephen King read the book, but I was wrong. Good job.
Sullys traffic jam.
first for both
I remember getting angry with Bobbie's mom on several occasions and actually talking to my radio. I had true feeling of anger and hatred toward her fictional character.
The music between chapters was very annoying and often played over the narration making it difficult to understand.
Yes. As with many of his works, be prepared for more heartbreak than horror. He may be known as the "King of Horror", but he is simply a master story teller. Stephen King makes the routine riveting. To use his own words, he weaves ''that breathless sense of magic, that sense of the world as a thin veneer stretched over something else, something both brighter and darker.'' into our imaginations, giving the flat, ordinary surfaces of everyday life texture and intrigue. I have enjoyed almost everything I've read of Kings, even when the story doesn't speak to me, his writing style never fails to stir something in me.
All of the "relationships" in this story are memorable, but for me, none so much as that between 11 year old Bobby Garfield and the other-worldly, white-haired neighbor, Ted Brautigan. At times the chapters are seemingly different stories altogether, married in these extraordinarily ordinary threads, woven so tightly, you can't see the patterns emerge from a distance. From historical moments like the Vietnam war, to pivotal "coming of age" experiences, he creates a world you can step into and it's easy to imagine that you're sitting next to, or inside of, one of his many characters.
Tell us about yourself! Lifelong reader and passionate pursuer of knowledge. I love Audible because I never have to stop reading.
I have read and listened to King for years but somehow Hearts in Atlantis had escaped me. I listened almost straight through mesmerized by both the story and the incredible vocal performance by William Hurt. Mr. King I enjoyed, but I have never so completely enjoyed listening to anyone read a story like I did listening to Mr. Hurt. Please listen...it was one of the most enjoyable experiences with a book that I have had in sometime. To me, it is the definitive story of coming of age in the time of America in Vietnam...I know it may not be the most popular thought, but no author is as skilled at exposing the vagaries of the human heart as Mr. King is...thanks to Audible for this rare treat, and incredible pleasure,
Say something about yourself!
I read this book the first time probably not long after it was originally published. I liked it then. I picked it up both times because I was reading the Dark Tower series and there are links to that in this book. I do recommend it for that reason too.
I had forgotten how good this book is. I loved both of the narrations. I know some people don't care for Stephen King's narration but I do like it. William Hurt's reading was absolutely fantastic. I was blown away by this book. Well worth the credit!
Setphen King is a great storyteller. This is a good example of "crossover" into the general public interest. In other words, (not in the horror story "Genre"). this one, like "Joyland", has other human interest. It points to his diverse ability, which many do not understand that he has.
Probably not...William Hurt is a great actor; however the production of "Hearts In Atlantis" was not good. I've listened to other books read by Stephen King and I felt that his performance of the other short stories was better than that of William Hurt.
Let Stephen King read the whole thing, or do a better production job of William Hurt reading the entire story.
The only story elements I would've changed would be to take the short story "Hearts In Atlantis" and make it third person rather than first person. The first person narrative made it feel more like a college kid's journal rather than a good story.
William Hurt's reading was distracting in many ways:
1. You could hear him breathing.
2. You could hear him breath in through his nose before starting new sections.
3. You could hear him start to run out of steam has he read through lines of sentences and then bumble along the next few words.
4. Sometimes it sound like spit was forming at the corners of his mouth and he'd have to wipe them away to keep reading.
5. He had awkward pauses at random places in the story.
6. It seemed like sometimes he'd have to lick his lips in between reading, which didn't help the story flow very well.
I don't know who to blame on that one, but it was very disappointing.
Um, I'm pretty sure they made a movie out of "Hearts In Atlantis" starring Anthony Hopkins, which was adapted from "Low Men In Yellow Coats."
Overall, I thought “Hearts In Atlantis” was okay. Being a collection of short-stories, it is easy to pick the ones that I liked and the ones that I didn’t. I did not grow in the sixties or Vietnam-era, so I think much of the ‘haunting, political’ aspects were lost on me. For example, two of the short stories deal directly with guys who came back from Vietnam and another short story deals with kids in college right as the Vietnam War was getting started. I probably would’ve appreciated much of the elements King played to in these short stories had I grown up in the 1960s.
Rather than give “Hearts In Atlantis” and overall rating, I’d rather treat each story on it’s own merits:
“Low Men In Yellow Coats” – excellent story! The characters were layered very well and the dialogue was great. Ted Brautigan was an interesting and original character that was fun to read about and enjoyable. The interactions between Ted and the story’s main character – Bobby Garfield – was incredibly structured, thought-out, and had a nice pace to it. Nothing seemed forced or unnatural between the two of them, which could be tricky when writing about the relationship between a boy and an old man without it coming off as being creepy. This was an excellent story and worth reading again.
“Hearts In Atlantis” – way too long and undeserving of carrying the book’s title. This short story was nothing more than reading a college kid’s journal, and not even the cool kid. This was the kid that retreated to his dorm room to play games with his small circle of friends. Maybe King was writing more from personal experience on this one, but I was bored getting through this story. Maybe it was the first person perspective telling the story, or just too long – either way I wasn’t a fan.
“Blind Willie” – this story was a bit confusing to get into since the character’s blindness comes and goes. All of the multiple personalities was a bit difficult to keep up with as well.
“Why We’re In Vietnam” – this story was lost on me as well, dealing with Vietnam veterans and playing back the war-time events. Even the ghost “mama-san” was a bit strange to me. This story was okay, I guess, but certainly no jewel.
“Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling” – bringing closure to “Low Men In Yellow Coats”, I thought this story ended the book quite nicely. It felt more like an epilogue, so the length and quality of story was nicely done.
I’m a huge fan of the Dark Tower series, so the DT elements were greatly appreciated – especially with “Low Men In Yellow Coats”. I’m glad King dedicated a good piece of DT to this short story without it being distracting, but just enough to hold ones interest.
Pros: Low Men In Yellow Coats is worth the read, even if you don’t finish the whole book, plus any fan to the Dark Tower series will appreciate it.
Cons: The remaining short stories dealing with Vietnam-era ideas, attitudes, and elements did not translate very well to someone who did not grow up at that time.
Bottom Line: The good thing about short story collections is that you can easily pick and choose which stories you’d like to re-read and skip over the less interesting ones.