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Hearts in Atlantis
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message 1: by Angie, Constant Reader (last edited Oct 19, 2012 09:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angie | 2535 comments Mod
Talk about the book here... mark all spoilers!


Brandon Burrup | 28 comments You know... I read this a couple years ago, but I really don't remember a lot about the story. I read it while I was in the middle of the Dark Tower series and a character mentions spending some time on the other side for a time and that the story was in this book. So I kind of sped through this one in order to quickly get back to DT. Mostly I remember the men with the town car trying to capture the main character.


message 3: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Brandon wrote: "You know... I read this a couple years ago, but I really don't remember a lot about the story. I read it while I was in the middle of the Dark Tower series and a character mentions spending some t..."

I don't remember much of it, either. Hearts is definitely one I need to re-read, someday!:)


message 4: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Dustin wrote: "Brandon wrote: "You know... I read this a couple years ago, but I really don't remember a lot about the story. I read it while I was in the middle of the Dark Tower series and a character mentions..."

This was King's "thinkingest" book in several aspects, and one of his best. So many interconnected plots and characters, I completely lost count. With very little embellishment, it could have been made into a half dozen stand alone novels. It has been years since I read it, but I remember being riveted from page one, despite the complexity of the work. It took a more than average level of concentration to comprehend, yet was not "work" because it was so interesting.
An example of the complexity is the [made for TV?] movie, which only covered a small portion of the separate plots, yet remains pretty interesting.


Christopher Owen | 104 comments I'm like the rest of you guys, I can only barely remember this one. I seem to recall something about (view spoiler)


Hailey | 3 comments I just recently read this one and I liked the first story "the low men in yellow coats" but the rest of the book was just ok in my opinion.


Jessy (jessyanelfatheart) | 32 comments I also just fineshed reading this one. I liked how the story "Low men in yellow Coats" tied into the DT series. On the other stories I found them an interesting character study of 20 something's finding who they are amidst the tormoil of Vietnem. A strange kind of comming of age story. But the stories themselves were not overly rememberable. In regards to your spoiler Christopher, yes,that is the second to last story in the collection.


message 8: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Jessica wrote: "On the other stories I found them an interesting character study of 20 something's finding who they are amidst the tormoil of Vietnem. A strange kind of comming of age story. ..."

I hadn't thought of it before, but the general 'feel' to the love story in "Hearts" can be compared to the love story in 11/23/63 at least in the sense that neither are fully realized. They're both very sad to me in that SO much more could hve been there, if only . . .


message 9: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mueller | 305 comments I'll have to re-read that portion of "Hearts" to see if my memory served correctly.


Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments In my own opinion, "Hearts..."is one of King's very best book. The four novellas are intimately connected, and the emotions extant in these stories are very close to the surface.


message 11: by Tom (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tom Mueller | 305 comments Bondama wrote: "In my own opinion, "Hearts..."is one of King's very best book. The four novellas are intimately connected, and the emotions extant in these stories are very close to the surface."

I hadn't even considered them to be four novellas; I've always thought of them as a single novel with four (or more) plots going on. Many of King's works do that, although usually to a lesser extent.


Jessy (jessyanelfatheart) | 32 comments Tom wrote: "Bondama wrote: "In my own opinion, "Hearts..."is one of King's very best book. The four novellas are intimately connected, and the emotions extant in these stories are very close to the surface."
..."


Tom I agree, they do read like one very winding road of a King novel, but it is considered one of his works of short stories. At least that is how the publishers alwaya catagorize it when listing his work.


message 13: by Ross (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ross Buffa Definately top three of his books for me. I loved it. Especially the connections to the Dark Tower and the way it was physically written.


Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) | 609 comments I consider it one book too, not a story collection. Even though they are stories... but they're all related in some way, whereas the other short story collections are just that, collected short stories, all different. These ones all shared a theme and common characters, so it made one story in a way, at least to me. :D


message 15: by Angie, Constant Reader (new) - rated it 4 stars

Angie | 2535 comments Mod
I don't know why but I just loved this book and it has always stayed with me. I just loved it and I love how each story is related to the next.


Matthew Behling (MattyKB) | 109 comments I need to re-read this book. I read it a decade ago, not understanding that it was a collection of short stories and novellas until later on. Which is probably why I was so confused about a lack of clear storyline all the way through (the characters connecting each story just further aided in my confusion). Bought it at the fleamarket, so I suppose I should give it another go.


Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments It's funny -- Brandon mentions that he "read the book several years ago, but doesn't remember much of it.

I had the opposite reaction - like Angie, I loved "Hearts.."very, very much. I still consider it one of the three or four top King novels in existence. And yes, I realize that I'm calling 4 novellas one novel, but the blending of the stories is done so well, they just flow together.


Linda (beaulieulinda117gmailcom) | 958 comments I don't remember much this book either.


message 19: by Trent (new) - added it

Trent (stephenkingaddiction) | 152 comments So if this is not originally a novel what collection is the originals located


Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Trent, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "the originals"-- "Hearts..." is a book of 4 King novellas, each connected to each other in some unusual ways.

"Just After Sunset" is also a collection of 4 novellas, but they are not related to each other in any way.


Randy Eberle | 92 comments The movie "Hearts in Atlantis" is actually from the novella "Low Men in Yellow Coats" within the aforementioned title of the book.


Squire (srboone) | 11 comments This is one of my least favorite of King's books (bottom 10). The story simply seems to be patched together from the four novels in the book and doesn't really form a satisfying whole. I think this was the first time I noticed that King's philopsophy of having all his books integrate with the DT series was having a detrimental effect of the success of his stories.


message 23: by Paul (new) - rated it 4 stars

Paul Salter | 11 comments Getting towards the end of the first story

Looking forward to seeing how the next ones tie into it


message 24: by Jena (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jena (outlanderfan74) When I read this back in the 90's, I never considered it as four interconnected novellas. I thought it was just one book. The "novella perspective" causes it to make a lot more sense to me!
(view spoiler)


message 25: by Gwen (new)

Gwen Reading this book inspired me to quiz my dad about the Vietnam War and his life during the war (he was born in 43). I love this book for bringing that conversation into my life. :)


Jenelle | 10 comments I have read this book a few times, and the first time was before I read the DT series. I remember being confused and not especially liking the book too much.

Then I read the DT. Then I read all the "connecting" Tower books again. I have to say that when reading this novel with the idea that it was a TOWER book, it made a whole lot more sense. The roses, the RF characters, the Low Men, etc. All of it made me feel like this is a DT book, like Insomnia. I liked both, but I liked both a LOT more if I read them as a part in the series.

Aside from the DT stuff, I do actually like the stories themselves. They are all connected in small ways and I absolutely love Vietnam stories.


Laurie (LaurieDawn) | 3 comments I'm half-way through HIA and I'm loving every word of it! Only Stephen King can take everyday ordinary things like missing dog posters and strings on electric wires and bulletin boards creepy. I still can't go through a road construction zone without thinking of Nightmares and Dreamscapes and I read that 13 years ago! Now every time I see an odd thing like shoes hanging from wires, I'm sure I'll be thinking of Low Men in Yellow Coats.


Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments "Hearts in Atlantis" is considered by most critics to be some of King's very best writing.

One of the introductory quotes, the series of questions from the opener of "The Prisoner" strikes a cold blade of fear to me personally, because I have watched this series at least seven times. And it has much in common with King's four novellas. I truly look forward to discussing this book, simply because "Hearts..." is not only one of my favorite King books, it's one of my favorite books, period.


Novia (novroz) | 76 comments I still havent finished the whole book yet. Heart in Atlantis is terribly boring. The first one, The Men in Yellow Coat (or something like that) was great, I love it. But the one with the same title as the book is so boring. After that, I still haven't been able to convince myself to watch the next short.


Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Oh, novia....I feel for you... there is always room for discussions on opinions of books --- but there MUST be some basis to a discussion other than "so boring" - Why was it boring to you???


message 31: by Jenelle (last edited May 13, 2013 05:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenelle | 10 comments I feel like Carol Gerber is one of the major connections between the novellas. What does everyone think???

(view spoiler)


Squire (srboone) | 11 comments She is, but the whole thing is disjointed and doesn't come together successfully for me. It's very near the bottom in my ranking of King books.


Novia (novroz) | 76 comments @Bondana the story was just not interesting....that was the first King's story that I almost couldn't finish. I still finished it out of respect for him.


Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Novia, I do understand differences in opinion --it strikes me that one of the problems is generational. "Hearts..." is one of King's few books that is placed in a particular time, and reads like a diary for those of us in college during Vietnam.

You see, the social awareness that the Baby Boomers brought to American culture is exemplified by this book. This was a time when privileged, white kids looked around and saw not only poverty, but racism, flagrant abuse of the poor, etc. "Hearts in Atlantis" moved me to tears at times, and will always be one of my favorite books. I am sorry you didn't get the same enjoyment, but at least, you finished it -- and that, to me, is admirable.


Novia (novroz) | 76 comments @Bondana thank you for explaining that. I guess I couldn't get the message like you did because I know nothing of that history (I am not an American and has lack of interest in history). I might have enjoyed it more if I knew.

I have to admit that I am a quiter, meaning I often quit reading a book when I find boring, but for King (and him only) I always finish it because he often surprised me at the end.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

@Novia - I am glad to see I am not the only one that is a "quitter". I've had many of King's books that I've started and wanted to set aside, but loved because I pushed through and finished them.


message 37: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Bondama wrote: "Novia, I do understand differences in opinion --it strikes me that one of the problems is generational. "Hearts..." is one of King's few books that is placed in a particular time, and reads like a..."

Very nicely said, Bondama, and SPOT-ON, I might add!


Novia (novroz) | 76 comments @Dottie my motto is too much books too little time to read...so I don't want to linger too long on a book I have difficulty to finish...except for King's books


message 39: by Carlos (last edited May 17, 2013 10:21AM) (new)

Carlos Silva | 22 comments Squire wrote: "This is one of my least favorite of King's books (bottom 10). The story simply seems to be patched together from the four novels in the book and doesn't really form a satisfying whole. I think this..."

Hello Squire, I understand your point of view. In fact, the ending of Low Men in Yellow Coats may sound a little confusing for someone who is not familiar to the DT series. I am reading the book for the first time because of the group discussion, although I had seen the movie before and liked it very much. I am now at the second story. Let´s see how it all turns out!


Kit★ (xkittyxlzt) | 609 comments I'm not from that generation either, but have been fascinated with the 50s and 60s (and history in general for that matter) since like forever. So I loved how I felt like I was right there with the kids in Low Men (IT is freakin fantastic for putting me there in that time too), and in Hearts... man, I wanted to be that age, going to college in those days, so, so bad. I was in high school when I first read this, and we studied the Vietnam era for like practically all of junior and senior years in history class, which only deepened my interest in it. I think I would've been perfectly happy back then, would definitely be one of the ones rallying for the causes and stuff. I just felt like I coulda been there when I read it. Still am dying to find out Carol's story, the deal with RF, what she did, etc. I coulda swore SK said something about telling her story one day a long while ago, and would be highly interested in it!


Laurie (LaurieDawn) | 3 comments I finished Atlantis on audiobook. It took me a little while to get used to William Hurt's reading style but I love listening to King read his own stories. It's as if he's just telling stories from his life. I could totally see him in college playing hearts with the guys. Anyway, that being said, I'm listening to Insomnia right now and I've never read the Dark Tower series. Are the three "doctors" from the DT series too? Please no spoilers. Thanks.


message 42: by Jenelle (last edited May 24, 2013 05:39AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jenelle | 10 comments No. the Doctors aren't from DT ....just lots and lots of other things are :P There is one character in particular that IS from the DT, but it doesn't matter, doesn't take away from the book at all.
On that note READ THE DARK TOWER!
I absolutely LOVED Insomnia (be prepared to cry. I'm not telling you when or where...just be prepared). But it's even better after you read it as a Tower book.Parts that I just thought were weird suddenly made a bit of sense. :)


message 43: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Jenelle wrote: "No. the Doctors aren't from DT ....just lots and lots of other things are :P There is one character in particular that IS from the DT, but it doesn't matter, doesn't take away from the book at all...."

Yes, Insomnia made much more sense after I'd read it again after DT, Jenelle!


Linda | 29 comments I'm just going to reread this but I can't remember any of it.


message 45: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Linda wrote: "I'm just going to reread this but I can't remember any of it."

I hope you like your re-read, Linda!


message 46: by Steve (last edited May 28, 2013 03:28PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Steve | 246 comments On my sole read of this a few years ago, I somewhat enjoyed the Low Men section, hated the Santa Claus suit guy (when King writes REALLY short tales, I lose him), but thought the college memories section to be one of SK's best.

The image of SPOILER
the fellow with the damaged leg dancing madly in the rain
SPOILER END

has stuck with me for a long time. He is a symbol for the ones who got lost in that era, for my thinking.


message 47: by Traci (new) - rated it 1 star

Traci Kennedy | 1 comments Spoiler:
It's been a few years since I had read this. I liked the main arch of Ted's mystery (I don't want to say more in that), and I liked his relationship with the boy. But when the boys mom got raped it ruined my enjoyment of the story.


message 48: by Eve (new) - rated it 3 stars

Eve Woods | 2 comments Finished reading this for the second time this week. It is not one of my favourite Stephen King books and also not very memorable either to be honest. This seems to be a theme among the notes people have put on here. "I read it years ago - but don't really remember it."

I do like the interconnectedness of internal stories along with their connection to other stories e.g. The Dark Tower.

Also appreciate the way in which King can make ordinary everyday things seem spooky.


Bondama (kerensa) | 868 comments Agrimorfee - we always had a name for those poor people who simply couldn't handle the 60's. These "walking wounded" included not only those who stayed in America, taking too many drugs, but it also included SO many soldiers who had been exposed for the first time to pure heroin. And came back from 'Nam with one hell of a monkey on their back.


message 50: by Carlos (new)

Carlos Silva | 22 comments Finished the book for the first time yesteday and loved it! It was a surprise for me how the theme of childhood is so well exposed in the stories. I love when King deal with this subject! The ending was very nice, too.


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