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Extended Audio Sample Hearts In Atlantis, by Stephen King Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (39,888 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Stephen King Narrator: Stephen King, William Hurt Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 protests against it -- had flooded America's living rooms for a decade. 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 "Low Men in Yellow Coats," eleven-year-old Bobby Garfield discovers a world of predatory malice in his own neighborhood and that adults are sometimes not rescuers but at the heart of the terror.

In the title story, a bunch of college kids 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 haunted as their own lives.

And in "Heavenly Shades of Night Are Falling," Bobby returns to his hometown where one final secret, and his heart's desire may await him.

Full of danger, suspense, and full of heart, Hearts in Atlantis takes some listeners to a place they have never been...and others to a place they have never been able to completely leave.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Shows off King’s traditional strengths: his empathy with children’s crushes and fears, his insight into the telepathic-seeming emotional hothouse of a small, isolated family and his ability to summon dread out of plain and familiar things.” 

    New York Times

  • “Drenched in sadness, mortality, regret, and finally absolution. This is wonderful fiction.” 

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “These five stories weave perfectly into each other; reading them as a whole lets one find a completeness that cannot be found by reading them one by one. As the lives of the characters unfold, one begins to finally understand what it might have been like to get sucked into the black maelstrom that was Vietnam—and what it might have been like to escape back into the light again.” 

    The Tech

  • Hearts in Atlantis is the Great American Baby Boomer novel…I’m pleased, and I have to admit, even a little surprised, that an author such as King with so many books already under his belt, can still surpass himself the way he has here.” 

    Charles de Lint, author of The Onion Girl

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 1999 Bram Stoker Award Nominee
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2000 World Fantasy Award Nominee
  • A 2000 British Fantasy Award Nominee
  • A 2000 Locus Award Nominee

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jake | 2/17/2014

    " This book, steeped in the culture of the '70s is a wonderful meditation on loss and growing up. The inter-connected stories spring from entirely different genres and may at first seem disjointed, but I found that at the end of the book I felt as though I had lived through something special. As an added bonus, this book has the most poignant and realistic description of an adolescent first kiss that I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kate | 2/1/2014

    " At first it was hard to get into this one, because I generally expect something a little more "horror" when I read Stephen King, and this was not that type of book. There was a little bit of the King style at the end of "Low Men in Yellow Coats" (the first of the five stories that make up this book), but most of the stories were just Vietnam-era-related stories about regular people with no horror elements whatsoever. But once I got going I ended up liking it a lot more than I thought I would. I actually liked "Hearts in Atlantis" - the second story - the best (I've seen a number of comments that say only "Low Men" is really any good, but I disagree). "Blind Willie" didn't do anything for me, but the rest of the book was quite good. I was just expecting something different when I started, that's all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jan | 1/26/2014

    " "Hearts in Atlantis" was how honest it felt - not only the writing but also the story as well as the characters. I have loved the works of Stpehen King for a long time and am excited to see him start to move away from the horror genre into something that is altogether new and exciting. Stephen King has proved time and time again that he has mastered the world of the macabre and now demonstrates that he can also write literature. His skill in this new forum is definitely evolving, beginning with 'The Green Mile' series and progressing up to and including his most recent. Many people who have read this book have stated how wonderful it is and that it is a book you get lost in... feeling the same, I would definitely recommend this book to any person, whether they were a Stephen King fan or not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tracy | 1/19/2014

    " This was a good read.. but I remember being disappointed in the ending.. "

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