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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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (962 )
5 star
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4.4 (430 )
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Performance
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  •  
    R. Moore Virginia, USA 12-15-06
    R. Moore Virginia, USA 12-15-06 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of King's best"

    This is one of the finest books I've ever heard. Absolute brilliant and emotional storytelling. This is King at his finest.

    It was also great, when later reading the Dark Tower series, to be able to connect some of the characters in here to the overall "Big Picture."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    O of awesome 06-16-06 Member Since 2003
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    "Great Dark Tower Subplot"

    "Low Men in Yellow Coats" is a great insight into Ted Brautigan, a major character in the last of the Dark Tower series.

    Admittedly, it took me a while to get used to William Hurt's narration style, slow with some strange pauses, but he really brought the characters alive for me in ways that Frank Muller and George Guidall never did.

    But mostly it is King's magic story telling that really hit me in this book. He perfectly captures coming of age events, like a first kiss and dealing with bullies. I loved this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 03-24-06
    Andrew 03-24-06 Member Since 2004
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    "Great, if yu can stand William Hurt"

    What a great story (ies). King is a great narrator, but Hurt sounds like someone recorded all of his words individually and then dubbed them together. Sentences stopping and starting midstream, very jerky. He is awful. If he was trying to use his style to "act", lord it took some getting used to. Otherwise, the story is great. Hurt, don't quit your acting job to become a narrator, you would starve.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Marker Boise, ID USA 05-18-04
    A. Marker Boise, ID USA 05-18-04 Member Since 2001
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    "Luke warm on the King - at least this time."

    I've been a Stephen King fan for years, to the extent that I've bought a copy of each and every one of his books and any audio book I could get my hands on. That said, I found myself distinctly luke warm to this collection of stories. While it does tie in - marginally - with the Dark Tower series, that tie is loose. Did I listen to it? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Sorta, kinda, maybe. Will I listen to it again? Well, perhaps, but not for quite a long while.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Everett, WA, USA 06-26-03
    Jennifer Everett, WA, USA 06-26-03
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    "Mixed Feelings"

    This one had my ear glued to it in the first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats." I absolutely loved it. A very intersting tale about childhood with a mix of Sci-Fi (King-style) mixed in. I listened to the next two stories and didn't know what to think. It was interesting to drop in on two later segments of the lives of the involved characters, however, there wasn't much point to it. I felt like the second story, "Hearts in Atlantis" was a waste of my time since it focused on college kids wasting time...I can see that anyday. The story seemed genuine, though, and I felt like Mr. King was doing a lot of reminiscing about his personal life; however, I couldn't help but feel like I had wasted my time. So overall, except for the first part, there was no interesting story (unless you enjoy watching someone else's life) but it felt so genuine, that I had mixed feelings about the book and don't really regret listening.

    4 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Tomilson 02-15-03 Listener Since 2001
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    "Hearts in Atlantis"

    As usual, the book is so much better than the movie. I like Stephen King even though he's usually a little corny. This one was less corny than most of his. I rate this four stars (VERY few novels rate 5 in my book).

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alyssa NH, United States 07-19-12
    Alyssa NH, United States 07-19-12 Member Since 2009

    I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.

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    "Horrible Music"

    This audio book commits that cardinal sin of all audio content, the unforgivable, it plays poorly chosen loud interstitial music over the narrator. The upbeat big band music chosen for the dramatic scenes of this book does not fit by any stretch of the imagination and completely ruins the experience. This is definitely a book you need to get in print, give the audio version a wide berth.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Georgianna Abbott 02-20-10 Member Since 2007
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    "Wake me up when its over"

    I only got halfway through the book reading it when it came out. I was just to bored to finish. However, I love audio books and have found some that work as audio but I would not want to read. William Hurt's reading had to be the worst reading I have ever heard. He sounds bored to death or stoned alternately. Easy to sleep by if thats what you are looking for.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 05-18-09
    Paul Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada 05-18-09
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    "Superb"

    This was my fave King book and it is also my fave Audiobook of all time. I dont know why some people review this badly? It was amazing. The use of the music was brilliantly done and William Hurt read this amazingly. As this is my fave book of all time, if the reading was done poorly, I would have been VERY CRITICAL. I cant be though. This was SUPERB.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Peggy Sparks, OK, USA 01-28-09
    Peggy Sparks, OK, USA 01-28-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent"

    I had read the first part of this book and found it very good reading, but found John Hurt's
    reading of it extremely good listening and was disappointed for a few minutes when Stephen King began reading( but of course really enjoyed his
    reading) was glad to hear John Hurt read the final part. The music is very short pieces at the end of some chapters and found it to add to the book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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