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Hearts in Atlantis | [Stephen King]

Hearts in Atlantis

All the stories in this collection from Stephen King are related to the Vietnam War. King fans will recognize echoes of The Dark Tower series in the collection's first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats." As the characters develop over the next four stories, King's version of the Vietnam War becomes one of his most frightening tales ever.
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Publisher's Summary

Each of these five interconnected, sequential narratives, set in the years from 1960 to 1999, are deeply rooted in the 60s culture and the haunting images of the Vietnam War. "Low Men in Yellow Coats" is the story of 11-year-old Bobby Garfield who discovers a world of predatory malice in his own neighborhood. Bobby also discovers that adults are sometimes not rescuers but at the heart of the terror. In the title story, a bunch of college kids get hooked on a card game when they discover the possibility of protest. In "Blind Willy" and "Why We're in Vietnam," two men who grew up with Bobby in suburban Connecticut try to fill the emptiness of the post-Vietnam era in an America which sometimes seems as hollow - and haunted - as their own lives. And in "Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling," this remarkable work's denouement, Bobby returns to his hometown where one final secret, the hope of redemption, and his heart's desire may await him.

©1999 Stephen King, All Rights Reserved, (P)1999 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    N Marlene Fleming 10-21-11 Member Since 2006
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    "Best Book EVER!"

    This is the most amazing book. Stephen King is brillant and at his best in this wonderful and amazing story. The movie was good, but it was only one part of this book. The other parts relate to the first, but in a strange and moving way. I could listen to this book a hundred times and never tire of it. The first part is read by William Hurt--amazing narrator! He is so perfect for the first story about the kids. Then you are jarred out of his reading by Stephen King reading the second part. His voice matches the weird and crazy events in the second part. Hurt again reads the third part, and you are relieved to have this story and his soothing voice again. brilliantly crafted writing and narration. I love this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Evans California 09-24-10
    Jason Evans California 09-24-10 Member Since 2009
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    "Amazing"

    William Hurt's reading of this novel is absolutely beautiful. Not all narrators of audiobooks are capable of bringing so much emotion, and life to the book's characters as Mr. Hurt. In addition, Stephen King narrates as well. King is probably my favorite narrator of his books. This is exemplified in his reading of Bag of Bones. In the beginning King's voice seems somewhat tight, but after an hour he finds his groove and the result swallows the listener until the end. In Hearts in Atlantis, William Hurt's acting talents bring the characters to life. His cadence and understanding of the of the words, and how they should be read result, in a very engaging, and emotional story.

    Additionally, anyone who is a fan of The Gunslinger series will feel right at home with this one. As with most of King's books, reading The Gunslinger first will give the reader much of insight into most of King's other books (and King's universe). It is no different with this one. Without spoiling the story, I will just say that this book tells of a character from Rowland's world, and how he went "on vacation".

    Any fan of Stephen King needs to read this book. I am often guilty of reading a book's synopsis, and deciding that "I'll pass on this one because it just doesn't sound intriguing enough". In these cases that is a sure sign to indeed read the book. Quite often it is these books that hold your attention most, and give the most in return for your time (Insomnia).

    In short, give ALL of King's books a chance. They do not disappoint.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Edgewood, NM, United States 04-18-10
    Joseph Edgewood, NM, United States 04-18-10
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    "Awesome Book"

    I initially thought the music was a distraction but after the first couple of chapters I found that it added to the effect of the story and was a good addition.

    I thought William Hurt did an excellent job reading and found Stephen Kings readings to be just outstanding.
    I have been a long time King fan (since the early 80's and have found having the books read to me even though I am somewhat familiar with the story only adds to the experience.

    Awesome story Highly reccomended.




    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey Dame Scottsdale, Az 12-24-09
    Jeffrey Dame Scottsdale, Az 12-24-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Wonderful, transcendent story and narration"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Troy Dawson 11-07-09
    Troy Dawson 11-07-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Best Reading of any Book I've heard yet"

    I read this book when it was first released, and decided to rediscover it mainly due to it's connection to The Dark Tower. (which I am also re-discovering through audio.)
    The story was not very memorable when I read it on paper, but William Hurt's reading has completely brought it into a new perspective for me. I am absolutely enjoying the hell out of this audio book! It is coming to life in a way that the printed version never did for me. Perhaps it's partially because I'm several years older, but I think it's mainly due to the emotion, the vitality and the CONVICTION with which the story is being read. It captures the weariness of Ted Brautigan, the desperate selfishness of Liz Garfield, and the wonder of life as seen from Bobby's eyes. Fantastic.
    I hope that many more of Stephen King's books can be adapted to audio with Mr. Hurt at the Microphone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clarence Portage, MI, USA 09-03-09
    Clarence Portage, MI, USA 09-03-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Hearts in Atlants"

    Fantastic, Best thing I've read or listened to from Stephen King.I relived the 60's and it definitely brought back memories.It makes you want to ask Stephen King if he was ever in jail in Chicago.Stephen King does one heck of a job narrating his books.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred Topsham, MA, United States 07-20-09
    Fred Topsham, MA, United States 07-20-09
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    "A Trip Down Memory Lane"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Leesburg, VA, USA 02-23-08
    Chris Leesburg, VA, USA 02-23-08
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    "For What It's Worth"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nigel Dover, NH, USA 06-21-05
    Nigel Dover, NH, USA 06-21-05 Member Since 2004
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    "Now I know why people love the King"

    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 :).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Lombard, IL, USA 05-09-05
    Andrew Lombard, IL, USA 05-09-05
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    "Brilliant - and proves my point"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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