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Showing 1-10 of 160 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 770 reviews
on January 19, 2017
Wow, this was my first purchase with this Amazon account back in high school! Yes, of course you should buy this book. These are some of the most powerful and heartfelt stories you will ever come across. You should read them just for the sake of understanding other people a little better.

So, an interesting fact about this book is that the movie with Anthony Hopkins, which was pretty decent, is based on the first story in this collection of stories. The first story is titled "Low Men in Yellow Coats" which makes absolutely no sense until you read the Dark Tower series, because this book was basically written during a much needed hiatus after he lost his mind in the wild west with that Susan Delgado nonsense that he eventually made the main story. You can imagine they could not have possibly called the movie that because it would have been confusing to most people, and simply not as catchy and dreamy as "Hearts in Atlantis".

Anyway, the first story is about a young boy that the older man kind of mentors while the boy watches out for him as well as he seems to suffering some kind of mental issue where he goes into trances and talks what sounds like gibberish, which again is better understood when you know about the grander story this one takes place in. For instance, he keeps saying "They draw west now..." Certain informed readers know exactly who he's talking about.

At the same time, some unseen threat is closing in on the boy that the older man is protecting him from. Everything that's happening is overtly in the context of the most evil actors in The Dark Tower metauniverse. It is meant to satisfy devourers of the longer series as well as be a set of good short stories on their own, and they more than satisfy.

The second adventure is simply wonderful and is indeed the titular story that actually has to do with the card game of Hearts. As you read it, you can tell that it was probably based on true-ish events that the author experienced in college. All the stories are meant to be period pieces that immerse you in that time so you learn how much things cost and what people were listing to, watching, and talking about in that time, namely the 60s, which this book wants to convince you really happened.

The later stories recount adventures of other characters in the first story. There is a very intriguing one that is a PS on one of the first story's antagonists who seemed to be in a very powerful position in his youth and maintains a similar kind of cliquish power later in life, but at what cost?

Beautiful prose lies within.
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on January 16, 2017
I liked that it made me think about life in general. How events and choices cause us to lose our way. Sometimes we find it again and "get over," sometimes we dont, but in the end, life is a crapshoot. Maybe we get the rabbit farm, and maybe we get the stick that's sharpened at both ends .

Another aspect I enjoyed is the idea that we of this country have sold out. We've been selling out for generations, and now, unless we are very lucky we are going to reap what we've sown. If that happens, the horror of view Nam will seem like not much more than a hangnail, an ingrown toenail maybe. Gobblessus.
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on March 11, 2015
Stephen King's best novels come from the heart. Hearts in Atlantis certainly was one of those, as well as Bag of Bones. Both books ended well, wrapping up all sections in the end, generally better than his horror or thriller novels.

Hearts in Atlantis is a book that examines five different characters, that are tied together by the kids from the beginning section. The main characters, John Sullivan, Bobby, and Carol all go through rough times becoming adults, losing their innocence. The big question was whether they would lose hope as well. The times of change in the 1960's seemed to mark this transition. Even though the story was never told through Carol's eyes, she was woven into every section, giving the reader a unique insight into her character. Despite what each character lost, there was a great sense of understanding in what had been most important in their lives: the bonds formed between them as kids, and nostalgia for the past.

Hearts in Atlantis was a tough book to read at times, and one must wonder how hard it may have been to write. Definitely a book to read, especially if you are a Stephen King fan.
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on April 21, 2016
Can you go wrong with Stephen King? I love all of his book but this one took some time for me to get around too, I don't know why because I couldn't put it down once I got started. This book is comprised of five stories over several years. I knew that the stories link together in their own way but were also independent of one another so it was my mistake when I got to the second story to look for the connection to the first and this had me a bit confused until I gave myself up to the story then it flowed much more natural in a kind of Kevin Bacon-Six Degrees way. I look forward to reading this again and again as I do with many of his novels!
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on March 11, 2017
I'm not much of a reader and far lessa crtitic. I went in reverse: watching the movie, before reading the book that inspired it. I admit I impatiently groped the text for greater content. Scott Hicks, director of the film, has a way of condensing large books with extensive backgrounds of full-bodied characters very effectively. He culls out the unnecessary content, to unveil the heart of the story. He did this too in one of Guterson's novels, Snow Falling on Cedars, focusing on the love story. With Hearts in Atlantis he focuses on the magic of childhood. I enjoyed this book, but grew bored with the descriptions of the peripheral characters of the story, but was amazed how King dotted the dark background with cameos of the main characters like stars, before bringing them all back again for their final performance.
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on July 25, 2010
I must admit I began with Carrie, not unlike anyone my age, and realized that movies basically do nothing much for King's style of writing or the images he leaves you open to place in your mind. To say that the audiobook version of this long, five-part story didn't blow me away would me a total understatement.

People have always told me I'm crazy to like Stephen King because "he's so SCAAAAARY!" I've always known what a fabulous technique he has for dealing with human nature given unusual circustances or in general, and his sense of humor is always off the charts in his most dire of literary works. This, however, with my obvious love of all things 60s, has captivated me, and drawn me in like few other books I have enjoyed in the last 10 years.

What a gorgeous and heartfelt ode to such an important decade in our nation's history. King brings it home, surrounding the characters of Bobby Garfield and Carol Gerber, in a way that endears you to each and every character. He takes you to the next best thing of a time machine and trasports you back into a place and era that makes your heart bleed and your soul fill with a profound sense of spiritual longing. They didn't accomplish what they wanted to, but the youth of the 60s' romanticisms sweep you up in a way that only King can provide with his wisdom of human folly. The loss of innocence is what this book is essentially about, and the humor and soulfulness that embellish it make it that much more of a treasure.

I love this book, have rented the audio version 5 times, and would recommend it to anyone who loves the 60s or wants to know that Stephen King is not just the master of horror, but also the master of the heart. He is a walking encyclopedia, and he also understands people better than the "oh-he-scares-me" crowd can relate to, simply because they're scared to read his books. I always recommend this one. Sometimes crude, always entertaining and full of more life than most people experience, Hearts in Atlantis is a winner from cover to cover. Don't let it pass you by. I'm having a love affair with it.
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on January 21, 2016
i don't know exactly why, but i consider this to be one of King's best novels. it probes certain issues of growing up in the 60's (and just growing up, period) in a way that only King can do. King is a certain kind of investigator of the baby boomer subconscious and whether he intends it or not, he speaks and clarifies the thoughts of many. and this book does that, in a big way.

no, this is not a horror tour-de-force like his best loved novels. this is much more character driven. i enjoyed it and intend to reread it at some point - YMMV.
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on April 14, 2013
I would highly recommend this book. It is a little different from the books Stephen usually writes. I found it intriguing, with some reference to the breakers in his Dark Tower series. However you can still follow even if you have not read about the Dark Tower. It is an enchanting story with strong characters. Hopkins played the role of Ted in the movie. I found Ted's relationship to Bobbie to be genuine and based on their love of literature. It is a surprising story of Love, growing up , the Vietnam war and low men. There are surprising twists, an kiss on top of the Ferris wheel and the theme to the "Platters" Twilight time" running throughout ( in my head). I would say one of my favorite King books next to "On writing", Wind thru the keyhole. It is an in depth view that you do not find in the Hearts in Atlantis movie. The Movie left out the low men purple cars and the last scene where piano's, microwaves and other objects fell from the sky. Also left out the entire Vietnam issue and playing Hearts in the movie version. Remember peace plus love equals information! King outdid himself with these characters. It is a do not miss book. He was clever to tie it in to other books he has written. This is a keeper.
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on April 15, 2004
I've listened to this audio book twice and I'll listen to it again. King's story telling mastery shines in this one tieing the world of the "low men in yellow dusters" (agents of the Dark Tower's Crimson King) who search for and finally catch Ted (an escaped breaker - psychics who are captured by the Crimson King and forced to aid this monster in trying to destroy the tower - the object of Roland's quest in the Dark Tower series); with the world of Bobby, a young boy just entering his teen years who lives in the same rental building where Ted takes up residency while trying to hide from the low men. Bobby strikes up a friendship with the much older and mysterious Ted who hires Bobby to read the daily newspaper to him and to watch the neighborhood for signs that the low men may be close by. When Bobby starts seeing the signs he is supposed to watch for, he doesn't tell Ted because he knows that Ted will flee the low men if they are near.
Bobby's two closest young friends are Carol and Sully John who also are drawn into Ted's wierd and mysterious circle of influence. Before he is captured by the low men Ted uses his abilities to help heal the injured Carol when Bobby carries her home after she is beaten by the neighborhood bully boys with a baseball bat.
In the later short stories tied into this book so smoothly by the King, Bobby and Carol are reunited during their college years after being separated following Ted's capture when Bobby's mother abruptly leaves the neighborhood for a new town and a new job after she was horribly attacked and sexually assulted by her boss and 2 of his croonies at a real estate convention where the ambitious and not so gullible mother has manuvered herself leaving Bobby in Ted's care while she is gone.
Bobby's life in the college dorms is a nostalgic trip for those of us who entered college during the Viet Nam era, and his passing reunification with Carol has a striking resemblance to the ships-passing-in-the-night relationship between Forest Gump and the love of his life. The beginning and ending of this book involves Bobby's return to the old neighborhood to attend Carol's funeral.
For those who are Dark Tower junkies like me, the timing of this book fills in some vital facts about what is wrong with the Tower which King has not yet revealed in the Tower series books. You can also pick up more insights regarding the cause of the problems with the tower in Insomnia, and Black House.
In all this is another great story by the master story-teller of our time with magically vivid characters and richly described worlds for them to live in. NOBODY but King could take 5 short stories and tie them together so smoothly while revealing as yet untold details for an entirely different series of Books which he has been creating over the last 30+ years. Amazing.
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on April 29, 2017
I have been a fan of Mr. King for many years. His books
Never disappoint me. I loved this story, the way the
Different parts all came together. I highly recommend
This book. A Great read.
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