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Hearts in Atlantis

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  82,329 ratings  ·  2,093 reviews
Five interconnected, sequential narratives, set in the years from 1960 to 1999. Each story is deeply rooted in the sixties, and each is haunted by the Vietnam War.

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
Paperback, Film tie-in, 640 pages
Published 2001 by New English Library (first published September 14th 1999)
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Mike Marsbergen Whoever created the edition's page didn't do an English summary.
John White One of the characters in the first story plays a decent sized role in some of the Dark Tower books, and there are a good amount of themes that cross o…moreOne of the characters in the first story plays a decent sized role in some of the Dark Tower books, and there are a good amount of themes that cross over from the Dark Tower as well. I just finished this book today, but had read through the Dark Tower books a few years ago. Not too sure if it made a difference as to which one introduced you to that character, but I will say that most of Hearts in Atlantis will deal with its own stories. You are right that King peppers in Dark Tower references through many of his books, but I wouldn't suggest needing to read the Dark Tower first (unless you are reading Insomnia).(less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
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 ·  82,329 ratings  ·  2,093 reviews

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Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
J.K. Grice
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dark-fantasy
I really felt like this is one of King's best collections. The film version of HEARTS IN ATLANTIS was also excellent. A great group of narratives...this is one of my favorite King books.
5*......For trying, and succeeding in a new concept. Individual stories interconnected by a string....

I loved this book! This is, by far, one of Kings deepest books--delving into the time period, one of tension and fear... and the humanity of the characters...their coming of age, their trials, their sanity, and even deaths. It is far more than a collection of short stories, as there is a continuation of characters throughout the book in some way in each story. I'm not saying that this is like a
Ɗẳɳ  2.☊

Before you go casting aspersions on this review, please note that I'm not a big fan of these short story collections, and I only read this for the Dark Tower tie-ins, which the first story delivered in spades.

In Wolves of the Calla, Father Callahan shared some of his story with our ka-tet. Part of which involved his travels down highways in hiding, and the relentless pursuit of his trail by the Low Men in Yellow Coats. So I was eager to learn more about these mystery men through the first
Wayne Barrett

This is nowhere near being one of Kings scariest books, but it may possibly be one of the deepest novels he has written.

Being a child of the 60's, having grown up in the Vietnam era, this book really hit home for me. But it wasn't just because of the war itself. This was a look into the hearts of man (and woman).

Interestingly enough, I started out in the first story being entertained in the fantasy of a tale that not only took me back to a time of my childhood but was also connected to King's D
Johann (jobis89)
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Hearts can break. Yes, hearts can break. Sometimes I think it would be better if we died when they did, but we don't."

Hearts in Atlantis is quite an unusual book is that it is comprised of 5 interlinking stories (technically 2 novellas and 3 short stories) that contain the same recurring characters and take place chronologically. The stories refer to events that take place in the 1960s, primarily the Vietnam war. I also feel like this will be quite hard to review without spoiling, so bear with
If I could give six stars to this book, I would. And seven. And eight...And nine. And ten...
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
Andrew Smith
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Do the parts make a whole? I’m not sure. But does it even matter when the totality adds up to something that held me totally enthralled from start to finish.

The parts are made up of two novella length tales, two short stories and an epilogue that seeks to tie up loose ends. The uniting theme here is, I guess, the Vietnam War, although maybe it’s more about growing up and discovery and friendship and pain. I suppose it’s for the reader to decide.

The stories flow chronologically and the first is
I've had this on my book shelf since March. It was one of the Stephen King books i was less bothered about reading because of a very stupid reason: the Anthony Hopkins film. A film i have never even seen but there's something about the ridiculous movie poster with a wizened Hopkins holding his palm out that put me off. Shallow me. Turns out the book is one of the best Stephen Kings I've read.

The first story is the longest and has a connection to the dark tower. I felt a nerdy shiver of joy enve
Ashley Daviau
May 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I definitely enjoyed this collection of stories more on my second read through but Hearts in Atlantis still remains on the bottom of the list of King story collections for me. I just don't find myself wowed by these like I normally do with his work and found them a bit too slow paced.

But I don't want it to sound like I hated this collection because I really didn't! I was able to appreciate these stories much more this time around because when I first read Hearts in Atlantis, I hadn't read the D
Little did I know what kind of Pandora’s box I opened by reading this novel! I came upon it by accident:

In 2003 I accompanied a nephew of mine (then 9 years old) on a chess-tournament because his father didn’t have time. So I got stuck for a few days in the small (very small!) town called Wurmannsquick in Lower Bavaria with nothing to do while the kids were playing chess (which lasted pretty much all day). I went to the local supermarket, which was more like a minimarket, to see if I could find
Brian Schwartz
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rachel Ventre
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Thomas Strömquist
King's last book of the 90's is probably the best surprise of my King reading project this far. This book is a display of enchanting storytelling, so good that long passages of little happening and small inconsistencies or lacking explanations simply do not matter at all. The first and longest story is a brilliant one about small-town kids, echoing Ray Bradbury, Dan Simmons' Summer of Night and Kings' own It, The Body and numerous others of course. A perfect blend of kids real, imagined and unus ...more
Alissa Patrick
A Side-Read with the Non-Crunchies.

3.5 Stars.

This collection of novellas and short stories all intertwine into one lump story that I'll refer to as The Vietnam Story. SK was extremely anti-Vietnam War and it shows in these stories. Overall I gave the collection 3 1/2 stars. A few of the stories I loved and the rest were just okay. I did find it depressing and angry but also thought-provoking. SK is a great storyteller and I felt as though I was immersed into the 60s during all of the turmoil an
Kirsty • Nitroglycerin

Low Men in Yellow Coats - 5/5
I loved Bobby and Teds relationship!

Hearts in Atlantis - 3/5
I was less keen on Peter and co.

Blind Willie - 2/5
Didn't care much for this at all. Willie was a low character as a teen in the first tale so why would be be any better as an adult I guess.

Why we were in Vietnam - 2/5
I enjoyed learning about how what the no longer kids got up to in 'nam but the ending was too weird?

Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling - 4/5
Bobby and Carol. Brought tears to my ey
The first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats" (at 250 pages, about half the book), contains some of King's finest writing, with sensitive portrayals of children (of course), but also women. Liz Garfield, the mother of the central character, Bobby, not a particularly likable person, is also a complicated one. A single working mother, struggling to make ends meet, while at the same time dealing with (extreme) sexism in her workplace and her own anger issues, is to my mind one of King's greatest ficti ...more
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 "Low 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 dramatic
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still my fave Stephen King book. This is now the third time I've read this and I think I finally get why I love it so much. But first the book.
Atlantis the mythical continent that sunk in this book stands for anything that is slowly ending or falling apart like childhood, university, memories, the VietNam war and what America stands for, and our lives - which cover the five areas the two amazing novellas and three short stories look at. Hearts, as in the people... this is a group of stories abo
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
Apr 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in 2013, but it's been on my mind a lot lately. This book is very special. I placed it on my favorites list today. It's a collection of stories, and the themes seem to be the mystery of how life changes as you get older, how experiences change us and make us into who we become.

A film adaption was made. It's superb. The film made me cry. It's based on the first short story, which is also a tie in with the Dark Tower series. An old man meets a boy and they become friends. The old man
Adam Light
Amazing. Second time was much better than the first. Full of beautiful passages about time, loss, regret, redemption. I really can't describe it. I can only say that it certainly might be King's masterpiece.
Mrityunjay Dixit
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Heart touching. Thrilling. Nostalgic.
I laughed my ass off, I cried, I was lost in the world of Stephen King. I went through each page like a person'd go through a gold mine, not missing anything, because this book is just that - Pure gold.
(I had world history in my high school and there were a chapter or two about Vietnam, first French colonization then hard on heel came U.S. so I had a gist of the plot and that made this book even more interesting than it'd have been if I knew nothing about t
Jeremy Bates
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is one of my all time favourites!
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book. The use of five linked stories worked beautifully and made for compulsive reading.
Sep 06, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
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
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Cori Reed
3.5 Stars!

My final book finished in 2017 in what was my best reading year ever!

I had actually never heard of Hearts in Atlantis before seeing a fairly beat up copy at the thrift store, but I'm on a Stephen King kick so I grabbed it and was, of course, pleasantly surprised! I will say the first section of the novel was my favourite by far, but I was still completely engrossed and devoured this book in two days.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. short story about an escaped alien (?) befriending a boy [s] 3 19 Mar 07, 2020 04:28AM  
Play Book Tag: Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King; 3 stars 1 15 Feb 22, 2019 03:46PM  
Goodreads Librari...: new page count 2 15 Nov 07, 2017 07:05PM  
Around the Year i...: Hearts in Atlantis, by Stephen King 6 33 Oct 17, 2016 03:57PM  
Stephen King Fans: Hearts in Atlantis 76 372 Apr 01, 2015 02:17PM  
hearts in atlantis 3 37 Oct 08, 2014 01:56PM  
Book vs. Movie: Hearts in Atlantis 11 148 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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