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Hearts in Atlantis


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About the Author

Stephen King is the bestselling author of more than thirty books of which the most recent are THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON, HEARTS IN ATLANTIS, DREAMCATCHER and his non-fiction book ON WRITING. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, in Bangor, Maine.


This collection of five thematically linked short stories dwells on the legacy of the 1960s. They share a collective moodiness, a feeling of depressed hangover coming after youth has been lost and the nation has suffered troubled times. Read aloud, this pungent atmosphere is especially strong. A-list actor Hurt stylishly performs the lengthy opener, "Low Men in Yellow Coats," in which 11-year-old Bobby Garfield falls under the spell of an older man his mother has taken in as a boarder (a father figure who introduces him first to literatureÄLord of the FliesÄthen to supernatural phenomena). Hurt skillfully evokes pathos from the story's fine detailing: its sense of small-town place and Bobby's child's-eye-view of the evil characters around him. King reads the title story, "Hearts in Atlantis," about Maine college students who mindlessly play cards instead of studying while the Vietnam War rages in the background. The author's modest, reedy voice rings with autobiographical truthÄas the protagonist is a young would-be writer, na‹ve to the ways of the world. Taken together, at 21 hours' listening, however, King's shining moments too often give way to fatigue: the stories are repetitious, full of plot rehashings and meaningless asides. Also available on CD. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

Astonishingly good...honourable, deeply felt and almost wonderful - IndependentA writer of excellence...King is one of the most fertile story-tellers of the modern novel...brilliantly done - Marcel Berlins, The Sunday TimesOne of the most impressive books of fiction published this year - LocusPage after page, a truly mature King does everything right and deserves some kind of literary rosette. His masterpiece - Kirkus ReviewsKing just gets better! - Cosmopolitan

A King of a different sort weighs in with some short fictionÄfour pieces drawing on the U.S. experience in Vietnam: "Low Men in Yellow Coats," "Hearts in Atlantis," "Blind Willie," and "Why We're in Vietnam." A BOMC main selection. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

YA-An intricate and compelling tapestry of the `60s and those who came of age during that turbulent decade. Readers first meet 11-year-old Bobby Garfield in suburban Connecticut in 1960. He and his friends, Sully John and Carol, come to the end of their collective childhood during that summer when violence, rage, guilt, shame, and heroism break up their close-knit relationship. The second story begins six years later on the University of Maine campus. A card game, Hearts, threatens the college future of a group of freshmen. Outside, the Vietnam War and its concurrent rebellion are raging. Pete, the protagonist, offers a firsthand view of the craziness of the time. The link to the first story is Carol, Bobby's childhood friend, with whom Pete falls in love. The next two stories each follow another figure from the summer of 1960: Bobby's friend Sully John and a member of a trio that assaulted Carol. Both young men are Vietnam vets, each one crippled in his own way from his war experience. The final story finds middle-aged Bobby returning to Connecticut, coming full circle with the events of his life. This is a very long book; however, after reading a few pages, most teens will be hard-pressed to put it down. The characters are compelling and well drawn, the action is ingeniously interwoven from story to story, and the feel of the 60s, and the baggage carried into later decades, is vivid, harsh, and absolutely true.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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