“Hearts in Atlantis” by Stephen King was a weird book. Not that you would really expect anything less from Stephen King. The book was divided up into three parts. Each section was its own separate book with its own setting and a different main character. There were a few crossover characters, which was the only link between the different sections.
The first section of “Hearts in Atlantis” was my favorite. The main character Bobby makes friends with an older guy, Ted that takes him under his wing and also recruits him to keep an eye out for the “low men”. I loved their interactions with regards to reading and books. “There are also books full of great writing that don’t have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story, Bobby. Don’t be like the book-snobs who won’t do that. Read sometimes for the words – the language. Don’t be like the play-it-safers that won’t do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.” (Hearts in Atlantis, pg 28). I loved this advice personally; there is nothing more fun than branching out to read different types of books.
Bobby soaked up everything that Ted was willing to teach him and embraced him as a good friend, and although he did treasure their friendship he became selfish in his desire to keep Ted in his life. The “low men” were an interesting blend in my mind of the bad guys in “Insomnia” and “Tommyknockers” and Bobby ignored the signs as long as possible in an effort to keep Ted – his grownup friend – in his life. “What if there were no grownups? Suppose the whole idea of grownups was an illusion? What if their money was really just playground marbles, their business deals no more than baseball-card trades, their wars only games of guns in the park? What if they were all still snotty-nosed kids inside their suits and dresses? Christ, that couldn’t be, could it? It was too horrible to think about.” (Hearts in Atlantis, pg 153). I really liked this quote. I think it illustrates well Bobby growing up a little, and the frightening reality that comes with adulthood.
Would I recommend this book? To those that enjoy Stephen King yes, but this isn’t something I would recommend to first-time Stephen King readers. It was an entertaining book, but there were some rather graphic parts that may turn off other readers. I do think that the book starts off very strong and might have peaked a little early, but it was an enjoyable read nonetheless.