Hearts in Atlantis

Stephen King, Author, Stephen King, Read by, William Hurt, Read by
Stephen King, Author, Stephen King, Read by, William Hurt, Read by Simon & Schuster Audio $59.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-58235-7
Reviewed on: 08/30/1999
Release date: 09/01/1999
Hardcover - 528 pages - 978-0-684-85351-2
Compact Disc - 978-0-671-04588-3
Hardcover - 732 pages - 978-0-7838-8737-1
Hardcover - 978-0-671-04214-1
Paperback - 760 pages - 978-0-7838-8738-8
Ebook - 528 pages - 978-0-684-84490-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 688 pages
Prebound-Glued - 978-0-606-19496-9
Paperback - 978-84-8450-311-8
Hardcover - 978-1-84032-172-2
Hardcover - 758 pages - 978-0-7540-1362-4
Hardcover - 640 pages - 978-0-340-81867-1
Hardcover - 499 pages - 978-0-340-73890-0
Paperback - 673 pages - 978-0-340-95239-9
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7435-0986-2
Compact Disc - 20 pages - 978-0-7435-0987-9
Mass Market Paperbound - 688 pages - 978-0-7434-3621-2
Paperback - 621 pages - 978-0-340-73891-7
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-7435-6335-2
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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 literature--Lord of the Flies--then 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 truth--as 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.)