©1999 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved, (P)1999 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved
"We now know what Stephen King, the master of horror, is afraid of. The Vietnam War...scares him so bad he won't let his hero act imprudently." (The New York Times)
"...Hurt skillfully evokes pathos from the story's fine detailing...." (Publishers Weekly)
I've listened to hundreds of recorded books over past twenty years. This is my favorite. I was never much of a Stephen King fan. This changed that. I am, however, a huge admirer of actor (and reader) William Hurt. As far as I know, this is only recorded book he's performed.
The book starts with "last summer" of young boy's childhood in the late 1950's. And Hurt's reading of every boy, girl, lonely parent, friend, scumbag and guardian angel is absolutely real. Stephen King also reads a central portion of book and he's just fine - Funny as hell in fact, when recounting "his" college years in the 60's and amazingly touching - when reading the chapter about Vietnam Vet/Street Beggar 'Blind Willy'.
It's not horror, not really fantasy - although there's a supernatural thread that runs through the story, which took me a little off-guard when it first appeared, but I completely got caught up in. It's one of many layers in this amazingly well written and performed book. They should all be this good.
While this is not one of King's horror books, it is truly him at his best! The book is thoroughly interesting, the characters well-developed and thought-provoking. At first the 5 separate stories don't seem related, but they are all pulled together by having at least one or two characters in common. The book made me wonder what exactly happened in Vietnam... what life was like for those growing up in the 60s and 70s... I really couldn't put the book down and listened even when my mom came to visit!
I haven't read much Steven King as horror isn't really my genre, but I so thoroughly enjoyed On Writing that I picked this up on a whim - and it is one of the most enjoyable listening experiences I've had. William Hurt's performance is fantastic, the stories a gentle melange of nostalgia, fantasy, history and horror. It enveloped me so much I sat in my driveway for the last hour. If you haven't experienced any Steven King before, forget what you think you know about him and pick this up. I'd recommend this title to anyone and everyone who loves a great story.
I have read or listened to most all of Stephen Kings work. This is the only audio book that I have listened to multiple times. (Five times now.) William Hurt's reading performance is what brings me back again and again. Without a doubt, the best narration I have heard! He brings the story to life! Thank You Mr. King..........Bravo William Hurt!
A rich, emotional story with a touch of supernatural. Described as a collection of five short stories, but reads like a more cohesive novel No frights but some horror; all about life and love. The best and most beautiful writing about a first kiss I've ever come across - listened to that segment over and over again. Especially resonant with baby boomers touched by the 1960's - but don't be hesitant if you're younger than that...the movie The Best Years of Our Lives is still great even if you're too young for WWII. Note on narrator William Hurt, he comes to you from a whole different and far superior level of art form. I have never heard narration so complex and nuanced.
Spend the credit, you'll be charmed and remember this novel always.
I've been an audible listener for 5 years. This is still the best book I've ever heard. It sticks with me. I loved it. I'll probably listen to it again.
I knew and was prepared for how bad Stephen King is as a narrator but William Hurt sounded like it was his first time reading anything. Lots of pregnant pauses that should not have been there and little to no character differentiation. If the story had not been as interesting as it was, I would have stopped listening.
Now to the story...I cannot get enough of The Dark Tower and even though Roland doesn't appear here, some of the characters he touched are here.
I will recommend this book for the fantastic story but just beware of the 2 sets of fingernails continually scraping the chalkboard. It's hard to get used to but it can be done!
Hearts in Atlantis is the best writing I believe King has ever done. The way the stories connect like missing pieces to a puzzle is amazing. Also an ending that gives you closure and a peace that you don't really expect through out the novel. It gives you many different glimpses of life in the 60's from childhood to college to the Vietnam War All experienced by different characters. The book keeps you feeling a tinge of sadness throughout it of growing up and growing apart all the way up until the last 30min when you truly feel satisfied with the conclusion. I know for me after each story I couldn't wait to see who might get revisited next and if perhaps some character we had seen the last of. Although not typical King this story is still so enthralling that some of the real images described are more horrifying than anything from Kings other works (The Vietnam War). I love Kings terrifying novels but I must put this a little ahead of the rest. With DT references and short stories and novellas that all come together I truly believe this book is for anyone whether your a die hard King fan, enjoy short stories or novels, or just looking for a great story of life and friendship, Hearts in Atlantis is for you.
This is among the best Stephen King books, in my opinion. A fairly sublime blend of magic and melancholy, its an exploration of the 1960s through several intertwining stories with a sort of lyrical sci-fi touch that doesn't disrupt its seriousness (it lightly brushes against the Dark Tower series). Theres a sort of nostalgia and pathos here that you'll remember long afterwards. The movie only covers about 20 % of this. HIGHLY recommend. Not horror, FYI.
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