Hearts in Atlantis
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Hearts in Atlantis

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3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  51,684 ratings  ·  1,042 reviews
Stephen King, whose first novel, Carrie, was published in 1974, the year before the last U.S. troops withdrew from Vietnam, is the first hugely popular writer of the TV generation. Images from that war - and the protests against it - had flooded America's living rooms for a decade. Hearts in Atlantis, King's newest fiction, is composed of five interconnected, sequential na...more
Paperback, Film tie-in, 640 pages
Published 2001 by New English Library (first published 1999)
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The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
33rd out of 120 books — 2,072 voters
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The BOOK was BETTER than the MOVIE
322nd out of 1,277 books — 16,584 voters


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Community Reviews

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Becky
So... This is not one of my favorite King books. The first time I ever read it, I did so without realizing that it was a collection of inter-related short stories, and not having read The Dark Tower series (though, Ted wouldn't have made an appearance in that series way back when anyway, so...), but either way - it didn't really do much for me.

On subsequent reads, the confusion regarding the format is not there, but the stories just don't really grab me like I want them to, and how I'm used to...more
Daniel
No one has ever written the joys of boyhood better than Stephen King. That's not what people talk about when they talk about him, but it's true. It's a subject that needs to be written about entirely without pretense and absolutely free of language too large for ball games and playing in the mud. Between this one, The Body, and It, the good reader will find himself transported into the actual moments of young pleasure, before girls take over and ruin the perfect freedom of true youth. Not that g...more
Leslie
What can I say about this novel? First and foremost I would say that this is not what we know as the typical Stephen King novel. The book is 4 inter-related stories that deal with the 60's and the Vietnam war. Outside of the Dark Tower tie-in and the Low Men in Yellow Coats, the emphasis here isn't on the supernatual. Instead, they focus on the very 'natural' cruelty of humanity. While not altogether necessary, I found that my experience of this book was further enriched by reading Golding's 'Lo...more
Maciek
If I could give six stars to this book, I would. And seven. And eight...And nine. And ten...
Checkman
Not a bad book.Five stories loosely tied together that cover thirty-nine years (1960-1999). Very little supernatural elements with the exception of the first story "Love Men In Yellow Coats" which is part of King's "Dark Tower" universe. "Hearts in Atlantis" is more of a look at King's generation (the babyboomers/sixties) and how they haven't lived up to the expectations that they had for themselves and what others had for them. Of course which generation can say that it has?

Hearts is a dramati...more
Rachel
No one would claim that King is Shakespear. That being said, SK has crafted stories like "The Body" and "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption" in such a way that to dismiss the people within them or describe them as simply "characters" is somehow lacking. The outer novella in HEARTS IN ATLANTIS was like that for me. "Low Men in Yellow Coats" although referential to King's SF Gunslinger series is easily a stand alone. Bobby and Ted are drawn so expertly, so deftly, that as I read this book,...more
Wizzard
King is the master of horror. The first story hinted at great horror while including enough realism to ring true emotionally. These interlinked stories deal with the loss of innocence that comes from leaving childhood behind using the Vietnam War as a backdrop. This is not a horror story but a gripping tale that displays a deep need for healing within our nation because of our relationship to war/violence.
Dawn
This has been on my to-read list for a long time. Why read it now? I have no idea. I randomly had the urge to one night, so I yielded to that desire and started in. I really need to do that more often. Screw schedules and series and "this is what I'll read next" promises. Random choices are fun. I think 50% of my enjoyment while reading for this came from reading what I felt like reading when I felt like reading it with no pressure to finish it.

The other 50% came from the stories themselves. I...more
Jeremy Bates
This is one of King's books you love or hate because it's not typical King, per say. There's no Pennywise-type demon, no haunted mansion, no devil-in-an-antique-shop. Nevertheless, a lot of critics tend to agree some of King's best work is the stuff least influenced by the supernatural. I agree. One of my favorite novellas he's written is The Body--nothing but four kids going on a journey of self-discovery.

Anyway, Hearts is an engaging tale about the baby boomer generation, propagating the view...more
Brian Schwartz
HEARTS IN ATLANTIS is one of Stephen King’s more critically acclaimed novels. Perhaps critics missed the genre references in the opening story. But they are correct to herald it. I was moved by the story and its characters.

As I stated earlier, I can’t stand to listen to hippies wax nostalgic about the 60s. I’ve read enough and studied enough and examined the decade without romantic attachment. I’m much happier to have grown up in the 1980s and Reagan’s America.

However, King does not romanticize....more
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★★★★★Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King

Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King was a great book, in my opinion. It contains 5 short stories, from different period in Bobby's life.
The first is Low Men in Yellow Coats. In this one we learn Bobby's dad died young, of a heart attack, and loved to gamble. And he's mom's favorite saying is "your father didn't exactly leave us well off." He see a bike he really wants for his 11th birthday, but she says they can't afford it.
The second is Hearts in Atlantis...more
 PuMbA's MoMmy*•.♥.•*
As a Stephen King fan, I am surprised to be writing a review like this on one of his books. I am dissapointed in this King novel. The first story in the book was good. "Low Men in Yellow Coats" had a decent amount of plot to get me into the book. It was a very wise decision either on Mr. King's part or the Publishers part to put that at the beginning of the book. It was enough to capture me as a reader into reading further on.I would give that story alone about a 3... "Hearts in Atlantis" is abo...more
Ernie
Karen K. recommended this, in part, because I enjoyed SKs book on the JFK assassination. I liked this one too. Previously, I avoided Stephen King because "Children of the Corn" and such things creep me out. I don't do horror and SK seemed to be a horror writer. Apparently not always.

I liked this book. I don't understand it. I don't know why the story was crafted the way it was. But I enjoyed it and that was enough. Understanding can come later if not at all when reading for pleasure. But I am...more
Barks & Bites
I read this in its unabridged audiobook format and was initially held spellbound. At first glance, this isn't a book I'd pick up and read on my own which is is probably why I didn't purchase it before now but I always enjoy Stephen King's voice and the first story "Low Men In Yellow Coats" is no exception.

It clocks in at 320+ pages and is a novel in and of itself. "Low Men" tells the story of Bobby, a young boy growing up in the 60's with a bitter, angry mother who claims to love him but who de...more
Kathleen Dienne
There's a scene in one of the novellas, where the college kids are punch drunk and feeling wild, and one of the other students (a handicapped boy) is splashing and sliding on his crutches through ice and slush. Eventually he falls over. Total pandemonium breaks out. Everyone is laughing hysterically, and the laughter doesn't stop even as they're carrying the guy to the health center.

This is not funny. This is also one of the funniest sections of the book, for me.

We've all had a moment in our li...more
Gayane
I picked up Hearts in Atlantis when I was sick this summer and longed for a good Dark Tower related story. Was I expecting this book be amazing? Honestly, no. But with my high fever I gobbled the first long story, Low Men in Yellow Coats, in a matter of a few hours that I've been awake. Then I left the book for a couple of weeks.

My memories of Low Men in Yellow Coats were not very fresh in details when I picked it up again a few days ago, but the last short story, Heavenly Shades of Night are Fa...more
Billy
SPOILER ALERT!!!!

This book haunts me sometimes, parts of it are that beautiful. Its actually a book containing 2 novellas and 3 short stories, with a common thread of inter-connected characters throughout it. The first story, Low Men In Yellow Coats, is a direct Dark Tower related story. A coming of age tale for a young boy. This is the part that the movie was based on, although they left out all DT references. One thing I have always loved about King is that whatever time period he is writing...more
Jessica
Didn't realize when I picked this up that it had started out as a collection of short stories. I spent some time being frustrated and confused by the direction of the book, only to realize that it was supposed to be that way because of how they were written.

In reality, the only story that I really enjoyed was the first one, about Bobby's youth. I liked the interaction between Bobby and Ted, and the psychic connection that the two shared. For me, this short was conveyed the best, and kept me capt...more
Dennis D.
I’m a big Stephen King fan, but I somehow missed reading this one until now, even though I’ve owned it since it was first published in hardcover. Here, SK goes all literary with an ode to the 60s, the baby boomers, and to lost innocence.

Hearts In Atlantis is not a novel exactly, in that it’s a collection of five separate stories with only some characters in common. Tertiary people from the first story become primary figures in the later stories. There’s a central theme throughout, plus some rec...more
Richard Barnes
It is as well written and engaging as any Stephen King book, which gives it a solid 3 stars, but it doesn't rate up with 5 star King like Misery, Different Seasons or Salem's Lot.

This book is made up of five linked stories - the main story, "Low Men in Yellow coats" is the best, being the coming of age story of Bobby, a 12 year old who gets to know a mysterious older man over the course of the summer, while dealing with local bullies, first true love and his difficult, widowed mother. The old ma...more
Nesrin L.
This book is quite atypical for King. Despite this, I was pleased with the outcome.

First of all, normally whenever I get myself one of his books, then I want to read something in genres like horror, supernatural... or something else that scares the hell out of me. This book is different.
At first I din't even want to read this book, I just lend it from the library because I needed something to read and after 15 pages I was hooked.

It admittedly is a rather unusual book itself, in that it is an ant...more
Alex Telander
The book Hearts in Atlantis was published a few years ago, and the movie came out last year with Anthony Hopkins. Now it is possible to listen to the entire story on audiobook, read by the soft, deep tones of William Hurt and the sharp but familiar nasal spats of Stephen King; complete and unabridged.

The first story is “Low Men in Yellow Coats,” read by William Hurt, it is essentially what the movie version of Hearts in Atlantis was based on. Though some prior Dark Tower knowledge is recommended...more
Dominica Phetteplace
Hearts in Atlantis is a collection of two novellas and three short stories. The first entry is the novella “Low Men in Yellow Coats.” It is the longest piece, about 250 pages and nearly half the book’s entire length. It is also the best, and the rest of the book suffers by comparison.
“Low Men in Yellow Coats” is set in the summer of 1960 and tells the story of eleven-year-old Bobby Garfield. It starts out nostalgic, there is baseball, b-movie matinees, a day at the carnival and a cute girl that...more
Katiem
Reading other reviews here makes me wonder just what did I miss? For me, making it through this book was like doing a Saturday morning chore when all I wanted was to park in front of the t.v. and watch cartoons.

I have only read one other King book up until now and I'm beginning to wonder if I just don't like his writing. Or is it just the books I'm choosing? The first one was Cujo, chosen specifically because I have a very aggressive Saint Bernard. Though I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped...more
Lori
This book is actually 3 short stories woven together and only part of the first story was the basis of the movie I enjoyed several years ago. I LOVED this story which was the essence of 1960's young boy, innocence in the summertime.

Stephen King is a master storyteller, but I have trouble enjoying something so filled with foul vulgarity. I know it is "accurate and true to the character," a detail with which King is consumed, but I believe he could help me understand their "true" nature without m...more
Kathy
Lowe Men in Yellow Coats - I loved this story. Stephen King is so great with characters and relationships that the great plot was secondary, to me, to the wonderful relationship that 11 year old, Bobby Garfield has with his new neighbor, Ted Brautigan. They become not just friends, but protectors of each other. Bobby, from his abusive and neglectful mother and Ted from his past. I've heard the "low men" mentioned before in other books in the Stephen King Universe, but it was great to learn about...more
Susan
I liked the first story the most of the 5 linked novellas that make up this book.

For once, the Dark Tower theme was necessary, but not overwhelming and didn't get in the way of a good story that *wasn't* really about the Dark Tower.

The second story was quite mythopoeic--touching, fantastical, and human. The last three were good, but seemed almost afterthoughts, but the *feeling* you get from reading King stories set around the 1950-1960s and from the POV of nascent adolescents is just so good....more
Sam
Well this book went by pretty quickly for me, but it was heartwrenching. I had all sorts of emotions with this one and while the first part of the book was the longest, I still enjoyed the other four parts as they gradually got smaller and smaller.

I've been reading The Dark Tower series since early last year, always taking long breaks between to preserve my sanity, and I only recently discovered (While I was reading 'Salem's Lot) that there's some of Kings books that are connected to The Dark T...more
Katie K
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Spirou
Ένα πανέμορφο και συγκινητικό βιβλίο, για όποιον έχει διαβάσει το Μαύρο Πύργο και γνωρίζει λίγα παραπάνω πράματα για τον Τεντ Μπρόντιγκαν και τους θραύστες. Για όποιον δε γνωρίζει, είναι μια όμορφη ιστορία. Οι περιγραφές την ανεμελιάς των 60's (αρχικά) και της τρέλας του πολέμου στο Βιετνάμ (αργότερα), νομίζω πως δε θα μπορούσαν να γίνουν πιο αριστοτεχνικά. Είναι ένα μοναδικό προσόν του Stephen King αυτό, να περιγράφει εποχές και χαρακτήρες με τρόπο τόσο ουσιώδη που είναι σα να τα έχεις ζήσει όλ...more
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Stephen King Fans: Hearts in Atlantis 65 271 Mar 26, 2014 03:48PM  
Book vs. Movie: Hearts in Atlantis 11 95 Feb 11, 2014 03:52PM  
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M...more
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“Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don't.” 964 likes
“Friends don’t spy; true friendship is about privacy, too.” 329 likes
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