I haven’t read many Stephen King books. I see them in the library every time, but somehow I never wanted to take one out. The Dark Tower series somehow didn’t look very inviting. I didn’t think the books would be any good, other than your typical horror fare. Yes, I know he wrote the Green Mile, but I thought Tom Hanks made the movie what it is as I never read the book.
So I was surprised at how well written the Hearts in Atlantis was. Of course it is not a single novel, though I consider it all to be a long novel, and not novellas and short stories as they say. The first part, and the one that creates the setting for everything else, is “Low Men in Yellow Coats”. It is about the brilliant little boy Bobby Garfield and his friends Carol Gerber and Sully-John. But more than that, it is about his rather self-centered mother Liz and the mysterious Ted Brautigan. As the story progressed, I had no idea whether it was supernatural or just plain crazy as Bobby says.
The second novella, Hearts in Atlantis, is more or less stand-alone and not part of Bobby’s world, except for Carol, Bobby’s childhood sweetheart. We meet Peter Riley and Skip Kirk, Ronnie Malenfant, Stoke Jones and Nate. This explains how Carol ends up as Red Carol. To me the addiction Riley his pals go though is so familiar. Just one more, and you are there till dawn. Eerie.. ;P
We hear a bit more about Willie, the kid who helped beat up Carol, the kid who’s nice when not with his pals. We see Sully-John’s funeral, though I have o idea how he ended up with the glove.
Since Vietnam and lord of the flies were a theme in all of these, I went ahead and read about the war a bit. This is what I see, and I feel oh so oh so horrible at the laughing young men as a lynch mob. Lord of the flies, indeed.