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Hearts In Atlantis by Stephen King
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Hearts In Atlantis (edition 2000)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,25981644 (3.66)1 / 106
Member:blakslaks
Title:Hearts In Atlantis
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Pocket (2000), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 688 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Hearts In Atlantis by Stephen King

  1. 20
    The Gunslinger by Stephen King (sturlington)
    sturlington: There are thematic connections between the title story of Hearts in Atlantis and The Dark Tower series.
  2. 10
    Duma Key by Stephen King (SqueakyChu)
  3. 11
    From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz (derelicious)
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Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
This was very much an un-stephen-king-like book, with the small exception of the first section that follows Bobby Garfield. There was just the smallest touch of the supernatural in all of the sections, but the first one had the strongest ties to the supernatural along with references to the Dark Tower. I enjoyed this section the most because of the slowly building fear and nerves.

The other sections were not bad by any means, but they could have been stand alone contemporary fiction novellas or a small collection of such, about various characters' experiences with Vietnam and with the anti-war era of that time.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, but it was a bit of a let down since we never really got to see Stephen King's trademark scary story telling. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
This was very much an un-stephen-king-like book, with the small exception of the first section that follows Bobby Garfield. There was just the smallest touch of the supernatural in all of the sections, but the first one had the strongest ties to the supernatural along with references to the Dark Tower. I enjoyed this section the most because of the slowly building fear and nerves.

The other sections were not bad by any means, but they could have been stand alone contemporary fiction novellas or a small collection of such, about various characters' experiences with Vietnam and with the anti-war era of that time.

Overall, I did enjoy this book, but it was a bit of a let down since we never really got to see Stephen King's trademark scary story telling. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
Hearts in Atlantis has just taken its place as my favorite Stephen King novel. At first I was prepared to find this one mediocre, only liking the stories that directly related to my Dark Tower reading project. Instead I found this an incredible, melancholy lament for the children of the 60s, of the lost innocence that happened to this generation over the course of the thirty-nine years the book covers.

Not a full novel, but a collection of seemingly disparate novellas and short stories that actually all connect to one another through a series of characters. To me, the most fascinating feature of this connection is that it's not through any leading character that somehow connects all the others in some way only to tie it all together in the end. No, the one connecting factor in all of the stories making up Hearts in Atlantis is Carol Gerber.

Starting as a secondary character in "Low Men in Yellow Coats" (the primary Dark Tower story here), Carol flits through the lives of the main characters in some way, is either intentionally or unintentionally responsible for helping to drive their stories along. From her friendship and love of Bobby Garfield in "Low Men," we follow her to college where she falls for Pete Riley, narrator and Hearts addict of "Hearts in Atlantis." As Vietnam heats up, Carol becomes an anti-war protester and her life becomes fodder for the news, managing to unintentionally affect her former tormentor Willie Shearman as he does his penance in "Blind Willie" and childhood friend turned high school boyfriend John "Sully-John" Sullivan in "Why We're in Vietnam." The rest of Carol's strange and fascinating life as "Red Carol" remains as speculation when she reunites with Bobby in the final tale, "Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling." The Platters' "Twilight Time" is also a recurring theme in these stories.

Hearts in Atlantis is a brilliant example of a writer's use of sonder, the realization that each random passerby has their own rich and unique story. This is something I have always tried to incorporate into my own writing, using a minor character in one story as the lead in another; and this is what King does brilliantly here. Seeing other people from Carol Gerber's childhood interacting with those she knew in college, often without knowing of any actual connection to the girl herself, is one of my favorite parts of this book.

So, yes, this is one that I highly recommend if you're looking for a good cry over the lost potential of people and the loss of innocence from childhood to adulthood. ( )
  regularguy5mb | Nov 28, 2017 |
I think I last read a Stephen King novel in the 70's. I don't like the Horror genre of books and since that is what his books generally are, I didn't see any reason to read them. And I have to say that this book, although not horror per se, doesn't dispose me to read any more. However I know there are lots of King fans out there so I hope whoever this goes to next will enjoy it more than I did.

There are some good points about this book. King's depiction of the start of the anti-Vietnam War movement rings true as does his portrayal of the Vietnam War vets except for Willie who I really had a hard time believing. His various ways of presenting the psychology of the pack, especially the freshmen students playing Hearts, were interesting. The constant allusions to Lord of the Flies was a little heavy-handed though. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 9, 2017 |
I usually do not like King, but this book was simply amazing. An emotional roller coaster. ( )
  Mitchell_Bergeson_Jr | Aug 6, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 80 (next | show all)
In ''Hearts in Atlantis,'' it's as though King has written two lengthy prologues and two brief epilogues but left out the novel proper. Or perhaps he hasn't. The book's juxtapositions set me wondering: maybe Vietnam is the archetype not only of the otherworldly horror Bobby chooses to avoid in ''Low Men in Yellow Coats'' but of all King's supernatural horror.
 
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Epigraph
Number 6: What do you want?

Number 2: Information.

Number 6: Whose side are you on?

Number 2: That would be telling We want information.

Number 6: You won't get it!

Number 2: By hook or by crook...we will.
--The Prisoner
Simon stayed where he was, a small brown image, concealed by the leaves. Even if he shut his eyes the sow's head still remained like an after-image. The half-shut eyes were dim with the infinite cynicism of adult life. They assured Simon that everything was a bad business. -- William Golding, Lord of the Flies
"We blew it." -- Easy Rider
Dedication
This is for Joseph and Leanora and Ethan: I told you all that to tell you this.
First words
Bobby Garfield's father had been one of those fellows who start losing their hair in their twenties and are completely bald by the age of forty-five or so.
Quotations
There are also books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story, Bobby. Don’t be like the book snobs that won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words--the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safers that won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Hearts in Atlantis is a collection of two novellas and three short stories by Stephen King, all connected to one another by recurring characters and taking place in roughly chronological order. The stories are about the baby boomer generation, specifically King's view that this generation (to which he belongs) failed to live up to its promise and ideals.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671024248, Mass Market Paperback)

With his idiosyncratic blend of patrician airs and boyish charm, narrator William Hurt provides a wonderful complement to this wildly imaginative collection of short stories by author Stephen King. Hurt carefully weaves the disparate elements into a cohesive whole, embracing the subtle complexities of each character; one moment a wizened sadness leaks into his voice as a haunted old man, pursued by demons, asks his 11-year-old lookout, "You know everyone on this street, on this block of this street anyway? And you'd know strangers? Sojourners? Faces of those unknown?" Then, in a profound yet almost imperceptible switch, he exposes the boy's naive enthusiasm, "I think so." Right about here your neck hairs will stand at attention. Hurt's peculiar vocal style is in perfect pitch to King's dark, surreal vision of growing up amid the monsters of post-Vietnam America. (Running time: 21 hours, 16 cassettes) --George Laney

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:50 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Five interconnected, sequential tales set in the years between 1960 and 1999 focus on the Vietnam War and weave together innocence, experience, truth, deceit, loss, and recovery.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

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