In Part One, "Low Men in Yellow Coats", 11-year-old Bobby Garfield discovers a world of predatory malice in his own neighbourhood. He also discovers that adults are sometimes not rescuers, but at the heart of the terror.
In the title story, a group of college students get hooked on a card game, discover the possibility of protest...and confront their own collective heart of darkness, where laughter may be no more than the thinly disguised cry of the beast.
In "Blind Willie" 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 as haunted -- as their own lives.
And in "Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling", this remarkable book's denouement, Bobby returns to his hometown where one final secret, the hope of redemption, and his heart's desire may await him.
Full of danger and suspense, most of all full of heart, Hearts in Atlantis will take some listeners to a place they have never been, and others to a place they have never been able to completely leave.
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©1999 Stephen King; (P)1999 Simon and Schuster Inc.
"An incredibly gifted writer, whose writing, like Truman Capote's, is so fluid that you often forget that you're reading." (Guardian)
An outstanding book made into an equally outstanding audiobook. Whether a Stephen King fan or not this book is a must. Despite reading this a few years ago I could hardly turn it off once I started listening. The magic I remembered from reading it was still there. Cannot recommend it enough.
Stephen King is an amazing story teller. I enjoyed the characters and the drama. I'm not saying I wouldn't have enjoyed more mystery but it could have taken over the book for the harm of the literary enjoyment, which I'm afraid happened for me in Shining. (I'm not bashing Shining it was good but the last few chapters veered off into so much horror there was little room left for literature.)
This is not only not horror, or supernatural thriller, there is very little of the supernatural in it. And that too only in the first story, the other ones have none.
It is made up of five stories, which could be read independently of each other but they are inter-connected by the characters. The first story is read by William Hurt, the next two by Stephen King and the last two by William Hurt again.
Stephen King has published another collection of short stores called Different Seasons where among some others he published a novella called "The Body" (the original of the brilliant movie called Stand By Me) and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (the original of the brilliant movie called Shawshank Redemption). I'm sure anyone that liked Hearts in Atlantis would enjoy that one too.
As I said, the book is made up of five stories, which could be read independently of each other but they are related in the characters. The first story is read by William Hurt, the next two by Stephen King and the last two by William Hurt again. This has caused some frustration for some people as I have seen in several reviews because the title information only mentions William Hurt and some were very disappointed. One of them even called one of the narrators "irksome", which to me sound like a very bold exaggeration.
The two narrators could not sound any more different from each other. In style, in pace, in voice, in atmosphere, they communicate very differently. Hurt, melancholic, contemplative, slow, sometimes very VERY slooow, King cool, very relaxed, (an excellent impersonator too), I had to get used to both. At the very beginning of the first story where Hurt starts to narrate and then at the beginning of the second story where King takes over, there was a lot of rewinding because I found it difficult at first to even pay attention and hear the story. But once I got used to them I started enjoying the listening and realised that they were both excellent narrators.
If not all in one sitting, I found myself very motivated to keep listening. I found it helpful to know that the stories are connected because I wanted to know who will turn up in the next one and what I'll get to know about them.
If you're looking for a supernatural thriller or horror, this is not it! Don't buy it because you will be disappointed. But if you enjoy good story telling, very well developed and detailed characters and drama, you will probably like this audiobook.
The content. The writing was among King's best.
Anybody ... absolutely anybody, Stephen should have done the whole thing. Hurt rarely captures the mood or the purpose of a sentence or moment. He also has a gratingly irritating tendency to roll between sentences like he's late for the bus. Very annoying.
Laugh some, smile a lot.
The book, as wonderful as it was, was almost ruined as an experience for me due to Hurt's choice of style. I'm sure some people dig it but I can't stand it.
Lives in Bristol, works in Reading; Product Manager by day, keen cyclist at all other times. Season ticket holder at Bristol RFC.
Having read a handful of SKs books in recent months, very much looked forward to reading this one as I did with all the others.
Yes, the customary richness of characterisation and dialogue.
Yes, all the exacting detail you'd expect from SK when walking you through a moment or moment s in time.
Yes, I'll no doubt read any / all other SK books in the future.
But ... Was not as hooked as normal - I could happily book this one down. Found myself flipping to other books for a bit of light refreshment for a pick me up mid chapters / mid book. Plus, the ending did not have the normal ass kicking, thought provoking ending that other SK titles have / had.
Rarely, sorry to say it - don't bother.
I love Stephen King, I'm a big fan of his work, having read most. But there is something about his short story collections that don't quite work. These short stories are loosely linked but with the exception of the first and final story they're hard work, with very little happening and without the length in the narrative to even care about the characters. I think I will stick to his full novels in future. Oh and please leave the speaking to the professionals, King does not do a good job in narrating.
Wonderful story. In my opinion it's Stephen King's best, and he's produced some very good books over the years. But dear oh dear. What possessed Audible to have William Hurt as the narrator? The man seems barely able to read. I thought he was an actor but his delivery is all wrong. He gets all the inflections and stresses in the wrong places and punctuation seems to be a bit of a mystery to him.
Ok, I accept that not everybody can be as good as Stephen Fry for example but this bloke just hasn't got it at all. Such a disappointment.
William Hurt narrates this strange and intriguing story so well that I just wanted to listen to him just as much as this typically odd story written by Stephen King. I haven't heard him narrate anything else but I will keep in eye out. Stephen King also narrates but nowhere near as enthralling as Hurt.
Dark Tower Shaggy dog story with acres of bland writing. Maybe I lack the right soul for this. Being a bit of a Dark Tower fan I thought this would be good, but I felt it was simply gratuitous navel gazing. I am sure the other reviews are more real, but this was not for me.
"read it again"
I read (listened} to hearts 10 years ago I loved part 1and 3
but was a little put off by the middle. However,overall it was a pleasure.
It does provoke a certain sadness for the main character,Bobby.
If you want to go back in time to your own youth,be prepared for
the journey. The music is great!
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