The Dark Tower Wiki

Hearts in Atlantis is a 1999 collection of short stories by Stephen King. The stories are set in Vietnam War-era United States.

Brief Synopsis[]

  1. Low Men in Yellow Coats
    • Ted Brautigan arrives in Harwich, Connecticut while on the run from the low men. He befriends a boy named Bobby Garfield and his two friends, John "Sully" Sullivan and Carol Gerber. Bobby sees the lost pet posters that he is supposed to tell Ted about, but doesn't because he doesn't want to lose Ted. Bobby's mom comes to believe that Ted is a child molester and turns Ted over to the low men. Ted is taken by the low men to act as a Breaker.
  2. Hearts in Atlantis
    • A bunch of college students in Maine become addicted to the game of Hearts. Their grades drop and the students are in danger of failing out and being drafted. Carol and Peter Riley join the peace movement. Carol leaves school to join the movement full-time and Riley barely manages to pass despite continuing to play Hearts.
  3. Blind Willie
    • Willie Shearman performs penance for the things he did in Vietnam and to Carol Gerber. He goes blind everyday and begs for money.
  4. Why We're in Vietnam
    • Sully attends a funeral of a fellow soldier and reflects on the events that happened in Vietnam. Sully dies of a heart attack.
  5. Heavenly Shades of Night are Falling
    • Bobby returns to Harwich for Sully's funeral. He finds Carol and a baseball glove sent to him by Ted.

Connection to The Dark Tower[]

  • Hearts in Atlantis introduces the character of Ted Brautigan. He becomes an important character in The Dark Tower. It is revealed then that he is one of the most powerful Breakers so the can-toi's pursuit of him in Hearts in Atlantis is logical.
  • There is also a brief mention of Walter O'Dim, operating under the name of Raymond Fiegler. Carol Gerber meets this man who takes in young and angry kids. He teaches them to be "dim".
  • Also in Hearts in Atlantis, we get one of the best pictures of how the low-men operate, in any of Stephen King's works. The lost pet posters play an integral part, but they also capitalize on human weaknesses to capture Ted.
  • Bobby Garfield refers to "other worlds than this" which reflects Jake Chambers when he says "there are other worlds than these." Roland Deschain and Ted play a father-figure role with Jake saying this line as Roland is about to lose him, whereas Bobby says it when he's about to lose Ted. This plays into the theory that Bobby and Jake are actually Twinners.
  • When Ted first meets Jake Chambers, in The Dark Tower: Book VII, he thinks Jake is Bobby Garfield, for a few seconds, until he notices some differences. This is very similar to how Jack Sawyer feels when he meets Twinners in The Talisman and Black House.