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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 (1044 )
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Performance
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  •  
    BackupGeek brentwood, ca United States 06-14-12
    BackupGeek brentwood, ca United States 06-14-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected"

    1) Stop with the bad music. Let us enjoy the story without the annoying music between chapters

    2) The first story was really enjoyable and I wanted to learn more about Ted and the Lowmen. The entire book should have focused on them

    3) The 3 other stories were total crap. Stories with no point and annoying characters. I don't want to hear about a guy playing "hearts" over and over again.

    4) Great performance by William Hurt even though he sounded depressed most of the time. 2 of the stories are read by King.

    I suggest listening to the first story and skipping the rest. One of my least fav. King books.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Pickerington, OH, United States 05-19-11
    John Pickerington, OH, United States 05-19-11 Member Since 2004
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    "A Return to My Youth"

    I really enjoyed thiss offering by Stephen King. While he is not my favorite author people my age, who danced to many songs by "The Platters" may enjoy this Book as much as I. While not a War Protester (an exMarine of the era) I do remember the type well. King manages to catch the times of the late 60's very well. Some reviewers did not appreciate the music, I sure did. It took me back to my 1st love, a very nice red headed Irish girl, still a very good person. Perhaps I'll try a few more of King's novels, but not the far out spookie ones. I prefer more real history & this is a creditable late 60's offering. John T. Wagner, Ohio

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alisa MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 10-05-10
    alisa MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 10-05-10

    Signed

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    "Compelling, heartfelt and nostalgic"

    This series of interwoven stories and characters are pieces of single plot, a grander story that pulls the listener through a sixty year period starting with childhood conundrums, politics, true friendship, mystery and romance to dealing with adulthood, family dynamics, honor and the life long implication of the Vietnam War and ending with a delightful understanding of life and its purposeful coincidences.

    The narrator is just the right pace with just the right amount of nuance, as a listener you are amongst the stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay Huntingdon, PA, United States 04-24-10
    Jay Huntingdon, PA, United States 04-24-10 Member Since 2005
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    "Stories overcome narrations"

    Eventually I accepted William Hurt's narration and put up with King's because the stories, especially the first one, sucked me in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vince Barrett 04-15-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Great book"

    This is a good book. Took a little longer to get into than I thought it would. I wasn't crazy about William Hurt...seemed like he was halfheartedly reading the story. Overall, I would recommend this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid Hudson, MA, USA 05-08-07
    Ingrid Hudson, MA, USA 05-08-07
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    "Wow"

    I knew that the movie had been well received, but wasn't too sure what I would think of a series of related stories. I was surprised when it didn't seem that way at all; they really hung together. This was a memorable book that I looked forward to listening to on my commutes. Stephen King is getting better and better.

    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
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
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