Full of danger, suspense, and hope. Wonderful fiction rooted in the Sixties, and that explores the depths - and tragedies - of the Vietnam War and its legacy. Another great novel from a wonderful author.
I am a huge Stephen King fan and did not really care for this book very much. Although there were recognizable charachters from some of his other works, I still felt it dragged a bit and jumped around too much. The different charachter's stories didn't really tie together.
I liked this book, but had a hard time going from storyline to storyline. When I finished it, I found myself craving more information about the characters. It was a really good ending, but wondering what happened to the others in the book has stayed with me for about a week.
Hearts in Atlantis is essentially a collection of five stories that are interconnected, but could each stand on its own. The common unifying character is named Bobby Garfield and you will watch him grow up in a span of about forty years. To my knowledge, this is the only work Stephen King has done that is set partially in the Viet Nam era. The part that deals with the college years has quite a lot of resonance with my own college years and the characters that I encountered along the way. At 523 pages it is vintage Stephen King in the sense that he has a habit of writing what I call five pounders (hardback) that are at least 500 pages full of very vivid characters. If you like Stephen King, you will like this book.
The book was pretty good. It goes into a lot more detail than the movie (of course), but starts to just ramble at the end. I really enjoyed the first two parts about the boy as a child and then in college.
This book is different for Stephen King in that it has three very separate stories that have a common thread. I thoroughly enjoyed reading each story and found I couldn't put it down (again)--but the book as a whole is not one of his best. It's a good book if you want to escape--but it's not in his top ten. May I recommend my favorites? The Talisman (written with Peter Straub); The Stand; Salem's Lot; The Shining; and for great movies by him: The Green Mile; The Shawshank Redemption; and Stand By Me.
An interesting book to read. There are two sections to the book so it shows the progression of the characters and their lives. It explores the lives of the characters and how the Vietnam war affected them through the decades.
I'm a big Stephen King fan and since he writes such a variety, there is something for most people. For me this was a good book but not one of my favorites. I have spoken to others who rate this as one of their favorites, which shows, that it is not my type, but still a very good book.
Stephen King's collection of five stories about '60s kids reads like a novel. The best is "Low Men in Yellow Coats," about Bobby Garfield of Harwich, Connecticut, who craves a Schwinn for his 11th birthday. But his widowed mom is impoverished, and so bitter that she barely loves him. King is as good as Spielberg or Steven Millhauser at depicting an enchanted kid's-eye view of the world, and his Harwich is realistically luminous to the tiniest detail: kids bashing caps with a smoke-blackened rock, a car grille "like the sneery mouth of a chrome catfish," a Wild Mouse carnival ride that makes kids "simultaneously sure they were going to live forever and die immediately."
Bobby's mom takes in a lodger, Ted Brautigan, who turns the boy on to great books like Lord of the Flies. Unfortunately, Ted is being hunted by yellow-jacketed men--monsters from King's Dark Tower novels who take over the shady part of town. They close in on Ted and Bobby, just as a gang of older kids menace Bobby and his girlfriend, Carol. This pointedly echoes the theme of Lord of the Flies (the one book King says he wishes he'd written): war is the human condition. Ted's mind-reading powers rub off a bit on Bobby, granting nightmare glimpses of his mom's assault by her rich, vile, jaunty boss. King packs plenty into 250 pages, using the same trick Bobby discerns in the film Village of the Damned: "The people seemed like real people, which made the make-believe parts scarier." - Tom (Amazon)
Stephen King's Hearts in Atlantis
Review by C. Dennis Moore
Made of four short stories, plus an opening novella (although at 254 pages, I think it's safe to call "Low Men in Yellow Coats" a novel), Hearts covers the years 1960 to 1999 with interconnected narratives, spotlighting different characters whose stories all go back to the summer of 1960. Everything these characters do in the following decades can be traced back to that summer when Bobby Garfield wanted a new bike more than anything else, when Sully-John won his free week at Camp Winnie, and Carol Gerber was beaten with a baseball bat by three boys in the park. And not one story in here is a horror story.
5 interlinked stories. "Hearts in Atlantis" is about college kids in the 60s who play the cardgame hearts instead of study while the Vietnam War rages in the background. My favorite, "Low Men in Yellow Coats", is about a boy who befriends an old man who seems to be on the lookout constantly. The story is tied to the Dark Tower, where we see Ted Braudigan, again, showing up towards the end of the Dark Tower saga.
This is my least favorite Stephen King book. This book has several completely different stories with common characters in each story. To me, it was very disjointed and distracting because it didn't flow smoothly as a single story.
I loved the first story about the kid and Ted. It was a great story in itself and then it ended abruptly. I kept wondering what happened to the kid. I kept waiting for him to show up again. The next story about a teenager playing cards at college was a great story too and it also ended abruptly. The remainder of the book was what seemed like separate epilogues of all the minor characters.
In last ten pages we finally find out what happened to the kid and one of the other characters from the first story. At least there was a bit of closure to that story.
I would say that if you have another choice of reading Stephen King books, choose any other one before this one.
I found it more contemplative then most of King\'s works, I think. The movie of this book only tells the story of one of the novellas in it. It actually encompasses a number of people\'s stories, loosely tied together. A good read.
With Hearts in Atlantis, Stephen King proves that his talent for storytelling extends beyond the supernatural and suspenseful. Hearts in Atlantis is just that: full of heart. In four well-developed and sometimes mystical tales, King eloquently weaves with remarkable detail the unique characters that form each outstanding story. Whether or not the stories distinctly interact, you decide. But each vignette is touching, human, and another impressive mark on King's card. Fans of King, read this book: but fans of King's horror only, may find themselves a little bored.
I could relate to the time period referenced in the book since I grew up during the same time frame and had close friends who served (some died) in Viet Nam. I enjoyed the way King laid out the ground work for the book by starting with the characters' childhood and their relationships with each other, moving into their lives as they grew up ending approximately 40 years later. King covers the toll the war takes on each character in depth. Well written and one of my favorites.
There's a place along interstate 50 that somecall the loneliedt place on Earth. It's known as Desperation,Nevada. It's not very nice place to live. It's even worse place to die. Let the battle against evil begin.
Welcome to DESPERATION!