Hearts in Atlantis

  • by Stephen King
  • Narrated by William Hurt
  • 20 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Hearts in Atlantis is composed of 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.In Part One, "Low Men in Yellow Coats", 11-year-old Bobby Garfield discovers a world of predatory malice in his own neighbourhood. He also discovers that adults are sometimes not rescuers, but at the heart of the terror.In the title story, a group of college students get hooked on a card game, discover the possibility of protest...and confront their own collective heart of darkness, where laughter may be no more than the thinly disguised cry of the beast.In "Blind Willie" and "Why We're in Vietnam", two men who grew up with Bobby in suburban Connecticut try to fill the emptiness of the post-Vietnam era in an America which sometimes seems as hollow -- and as haunted -- as their own lives.And in "Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling", this remarkable book's denouement, Bobby returns to his hometown where one final secret, the hope of redemption, and his heart's desire may await him.Full of danger and suspense, most of all full of heart, Hearts in Atlantis will take some listeners to a place they have never been, and others to a place they have never been able to completely leave.


What the Critics Say

"An incredibly gifted writer, whose writing, like Truman Capote's, is so fluid that you often forget that you're reading." (Guardian)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


An outstanding book made into an equally outstanding audiobook. Whether a Stephen King fan or not this book is a must. Despite reading this a few years ago I could hardly turn it off once I started listening. The magic I remembered from reading it was still there. Cannot recommend it enough.
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- Paul

Remarkable story telling - NOT HORROR

What made the experience of listening to Hearts in Atlantis the most enjoyable?

Stephen King is an amazing story teller. I enjoyed the characters and the drama. I'm not saying I wouldn't have enjoyed more mystery but it could have taken over the book for the harm of the literary enjoyment, which I'm afraid happened for me in Shining. (I'm not bashing Shining it was good but the last few chapters veered off into so much horror there was little room left for literature.)
This is not only not horror, or supernatural thriller, there is very little of the supernatural in it. And that too only in the first story, the other ones have none.
It is made up of five stories, which could be read independently of each other but they are inter-connected by the characters. The first story is read by William Hurt, the next two by Stephen King and the last two by William Hurt again.

What other book might you compare Hearts in Atlantis to, and why?

Stephen King has published another collection of short stores called Different Seasons where among some others he published a novella called "The Body" (the original of the brilliant movie called Stand By Me) and Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption (the original of the brilliant movie called Shawshank Redemption). I'm sure anyone that liked Hearts in Atlantis would enjoy that one too.

What does William Hurt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

As I said, the book is made up of five stories, which could be read independently of each other but they are related in the characters. The first story is read by William Hurt, the next two by Stephen King and the last two by William Hurt again. This has caused some frustration for some people as I have seen in several reviews because the title information only mentions William Hurt and some were very disappointed. One of them even called one of the narrators "irksome", which to me sound like a very bold exaggeration.
The two narrators could not sound any more different from each other. In style, in pace, in voice, in atmosphere, they communicate very differently. Hurt, melancholic, contemplative, slow, sometimes very VERY slooow, King cool, very relaxed, (an excellent impersonator too), I had to get used to both. At the very beginning of the first story where Hurt starts to narrate and then at the beginning of the second story where King takes over, there was a lot of rewinding because I found it difficult at first to even pay attention and hear the story. But once I got used to them I started enjoying the listening and realised that they were both excellent narrators.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If not all in one sitting, I found myself very motivated to keep listening. I found it helpful to know that the stories are connected because I wanted to know who will turn up in the next one and what I'll get to know about them.

Any additional comments?

If you're looking for a supernatural thriller or horror, this is not it! Don't buy it because you will be disappointed. But if you enjoy good story telling, very well developed and detailed characters and drama, you will probably like this audiobook.

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- Borbála

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-10-2006
  • Publisher: Hodder Headline Limited