Add your review
Avg. Rating: 4.07
If You Liked the Movie, Read (or Listen to) the Book!
Yes, I am from that "flower power" era,&I have been reading King since "Carrie." His writing has grown as I have over the years. This book is my favorite--so far. I haven't liked many movie versions of King's books, but I do like Anthony Hopkins, so that's why I went to see the movie. It was excellent, so I took out the audiobook from the public library,&it was EVEN BETTER. I suppose it's that old nostalgia creeping up on me, but it made me cry more than once. Reminiscent of "Stand By Me," which I also thoroughly enjoyed. I thought William Hurt was an odd match (as the reader), but he really grew on me after awhile. (Incidentally, authors should always hire professional readers to record their books. I personally do not care for Stephen King's voice; it detracts from my enjoyment of the story.) The other segments, about the card game in college etc, interested me only to the extent that they related to the first story. Also, I wonder how accurate was the depiction of the Viet Nam war. I've known more than a few vets,&perhaps King's was a little too stereotyped... Anyway, this book made me want to read more about Ted, Bobby, the Low Men, et al.
SK reaches maturity
In "Hearts in Atlantis" Stephen King reaches the maturity every author tries to achieve during his career. Along the five stories existent in the book, King blends in his fantasy magna-opus with some touching tales about discovering life during the sixties in US, and how some of the people of that generation deal with the aftermath.
The book contains five stories. Although they cover a forty-year span, they are all linked together, even if the main characters change in each story.
The first story is "Low men in yellow coats", which was adapted to a movie starring Anthony Hopkins. This is the story of a summer in Bobby Garfield's life, in 1960, when he met a strange fellow, Ted Brautigan. Ted is much more than he seems to be, and he is running from something he can't tell Bobby about. "Low men..." is the longest story in the book, and, as previously stated by other reviewers, Dark Tower fans will be delighted to know yet another part of this amazing fantasy saga. Readers who are not aware of Dark Tower may think the story is strange and unbelievable, but it may also be a starting point to get to know Roland and his quest companions.
"Hearts in Atlantis" is the second story, and the best one in my opinion. The main character is Pete Riley, a freshman in UMaine, coping with a new reality - the Vietnam war - and its developments: is the war right or wrong? On what side should he be? The portrayal of entering adult life in the sixties is very good and the character development is, once again, excellent. The fantasy elements don't appear in "Hearts...", and this story is as "reality" as it can be.
The two next tales, "Blind Willie" and "Why we're in Vietnam" are not as compelling as the first two, and much shorter. In each one of them, there's pratically only one character, and the stories deal with experiences and post-war consciences.
"Heavenly shades of night are falling" is the last one, only twenty pages long, and here we meet Bobby Garfield again, now as an adult that comes back to his childhood town. It's a good wrap-it-up story to the book, but could be more developed. As happens with everything concerning the Dark Tower, there are lots of unanswered questions, leaving the reader in near-despair concerning the conclusion of the saga.
Stephen King delivers in "Hearts in Atlantis" a different pattern of writing. A step up the ladder.
I'm not a big thriller fan, and this is not a thriller. I want to read more king books because of this one.
Review this book