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The title of the first story makes no sense until you read The Dark Tower
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.