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Hearts in Atlantis

By Stephen King

(52)

| Hardcover | 9780684853512

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Book Description

Stephen King's collection of five stories about '60s kids reads like a novel. The best is "Low Men in Yellow Coats," about Bobby Garfield of Harwich, Connecticut, who craves a Schwinn for his 11th birthday. But his widowed mum is impoverished and s Continue

Stephen King's collection of five stories about '60s kids reads like a novel. The best is "Low Men in Yellow Coats," about Bobby Garfield of Harwich, Connecticut, who craves a Schwinn for his 11th birthday. But his widowed mum is impoverished and so bitter that she barely loves him. King is as good as Spielberg or Steven Millhauser at depicting an enchanted kid's-eye view of the world, and his Harwich is realistically luminous to the tiniest detail: kids bashing caps with a smoke-blackened rock; a car grille "like the sneery mouth of a chrome catfish"; a Wild Mouse carnival ride that makes kids "simultaneously sure they were going to live forever and die immediately."

Bobby's mum takes in a lodger, Ted Brautigan, who turns the boy on to great books such as Lord of the Flies. Unfortunately, Ted is being hunted by yellow-jacketed men--monsters from King's Dark Tower novels who take over the shady part of town. They close in on Ted and Bobby, just as a gang of older kids menace Bobby and his girlfriend, Carol. This pointedly echoes the theme of Lord of the Flies (the one book King says he wishes he'd written): war is the human condition. Ted's mind-reading powers rub off a bit on Bobby, granting nightmare glimpses of his mum's assault by her rich, vile, jaunty boss. King packs plenty into 250 pages, using the same trick Bobby discerns in the film Village of the Damned: "The people seemed like real people, which made the make-believe parts scarier."

Vietnam is the otherworldly horror that haunts the remaining four stories. In the title tale, set in 1966, University of Maine college kids play the card game Hearts so obsessively they risk flunking out and getting drafted. The kids discover sex, rock and politics, become war heroes and victims, and spend the '80s and '90s shell-shocked by change. The characters and stories are criss-crossed with connections that sometimes click and sometimes clunk. The most intense Hearts player, Ronnie Malenfant ("evil infant"), perpetrates a My Lai-like atrocity; a nice Harwich girl becomes a radical bomber. King's metaphor for lost '60s innocence is inspired by Donovan's "sweet and stupid" song about the sunken continent, and his stories hail the vanished Atlantis of his youth with deep sweetness and melancholy intelligence. --Tim Appelo

295 Reviews

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  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Cinque bellissimi racconti collegati tra loro a formare un unico bellissimo libro.
    Tutti i racconti (eccetto forse il primo, il mio preferito) non sembrano scritti da King. Forse solo io ho avuto quest'impressione, ma lo stile è completamente diverso ...(continue)

    Cinque bellissimi racconti collegati tra loro a formare un unico bellissimo libro.
    Tutti i racconti (eccetto forse il primo, il mio preferito) non sembrano scritti da King. Forse solo io ho avuto quest'impressione, ma lo stile è completamente diverso dal solito King, sarà anche per la mancanza del solito sovrannaturale o comunque delle solite scene "violente" (spero di essere riuscita a spiegarmi bene).
    In ogni caso è veramente un bel libro! Magari lo sconsiglio a chi è alle prime armi con questo fantastico scrittore ;)

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    Sevy said on Jul 22, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Secondo (e probabilmente ultimo) libro che (non) leggo di King.
    Sono 5 racconti che alla fine formano un unico romanzo, ma io non sono arrivata nemmeno a finire il primo.
    Non ho dato stelle, perchè il "noioso" non è contemplato, nei giudizi.

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    ghetta said on Jun 27, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    集合五則短篇的故事集,各自獨立卻有略有關連,尤其是第一則跟最後一則的呼應。讀來,令人覺得爽快!

    有別於對金爺的既定印象,這五則故事娓娓道來1960年到1999年的轉變,我們從這五則故事中,看到了世界的局勢變換、見到了那個年代裡的生活與日子,即使不曾親身經歷,透過金爺的筆,讓我們仿若踏過那30年的時光。

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    YuYi said on May 18, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    Mi è piaciuto sopratutto il primo racconto "Uomini bassi in soprabito giallo" ,
    in questo racconto c'è anche un rimando alla serie "la torre nera" .

    Negli altri racconti è interessante piu che altro lo scorcio che mostra sugli anni '60 , la guerra i ...(continue)

    Mi è piaciuto sopratutto il primo racconto "Uomini bassi in soprabito giallo" ,
    in questo racconto c'è anche un rimando alla serie "la torre nera" .

    Negli altri racconti è interessante piu che altro lo scorcio che mostra sugli anni '60 , la guerra in vietnam e i suoi effetti.

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    Davide009 said on Mar 12, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    il massimo più la lode e il bacio accademico

    e per uno come me, un pacchetto di fazzoletti di carta

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    jonnybegood said on Feb 6, 2014 | Add your feedback

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