Tag: Subject Matters

Stephen King – Hearts in Atlantis | Review

Title: Hearts in Atlantis

Author: Stephen King

Type: Fiction

Page Count: 504

Rating: 3.5/5

This was just okay, but in many ways that’s a good thing because I’d been putting off picking this one up for quite a while. I’m not even sure why, although I suppose it’s because I never really hear anyone talking about it.

It’s essentially five different novellas (or perhaps in Stephen King’s case, short stories) which occur at different points in time but which all interlink. I think the book was published around twenty years ago, which in some ways is when King was at his weakest, but I think it’s worth picking up.

Actually, I think I enjoyed it more than If It Bleeds, perhaps because I’d built that one up in my head so much that when I finally got to it, it couldn’t live up to my expectations. Here, the opposite is true because I wasn’t expecting too much, and overall I think the two are pretty comparable in terms of quality.

What I did like here was the character work, and I thought the pacing was pretty good too because it felt as though something was constantly happening and that the story was constantly developing. I never felt as though it was moving too slowly, although occasionally I did get a little bored and find my attention wandering.

For the most part though, I was pretty happy with this book and while I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re new to King because there’s so much other great stuff out there for you to experience and explore, it’s not bad at all. Not great, and maybe not even good, but definitely pretty good and one that I’m glad that I finally finished.

I would talk about the individual stories here, but I’m going to save that for my YouTube channel. Instead what I will say is that the first piece, Low Men in Yellow Coats, was probably my favourite of the lot, in part because of the subject matters it deals with, including the pitchfork style mentality that some people adopt when they suspect someone of being a paedophile.

The other stories were good too, but that one had the advantage of taking up at least the first third of the book, and so it automatically stuck with me a little more than the others did. I also think that King is pretty good at writing child characters, and that was pretty evident here. And then there’s the added bonus that you get to watch that child as they grow up, which is also pretty cool.

And that’s about all I’ve got for you. I’d say that it’s a mid-tier Stephen King book at best, but that doesn’t make it bad. I’m also looking forward to watching the movie with Anthony Hopkins in it because it’s been sitting in my Netflix watch later” list for weeks. But now I’ve finally ticked it off and so now I can move on.

Learn more about Hearts in Atlantis.


Charles Bukowski – Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way | Review

Title: Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Author: Charles Bukowski

Type: Poetry

Page Count/Review Word Count: 402

Rating: 5*/5


Charles Bukowski - Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way

Charles Bukowski – Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way


This book is one of several poetry collections that were edited together by John Martin, Bukowski’s long-term editor, from a ream of material that he left behind to be published after his death. I actually like most of this more recently published stuff the most, in part because I think he got better with age and in part because I think he left some of his most personal stuff to be published after he was gone.

For the first time ever, I actually tabbed this collection with sticky labels so that I could go back to some of the poems for my video review. That also means that I can spend the rest of this review telling you about some of my favourites. Right off the bat, it kicks things off with So You Want To Be A Writer?, a poem that I’ve seen quoted to death elsewhere by people who’ve searched for “writing quotes” and ended up finding a random Bukowski poem. But it’s a good one.

The Great Escape was another good one, which was about crabs escaping from a bucket and which reflected Bukowski’s own employment at the post office. One Step Removed was about famous writers and the groupies they attract, and A Mechanical Lazarus is about his trusty IBM typewriter which refused to die. A Sickness was also about writers, but it focused more on how they always seem to end up going insane or committing suicide.


Charles Bukowski Quote

Charles Bukowski Quote


Later we have poems about women (Dream Girl) and drinking (Who Needs It?), both of which are pretty much required subjects for a Bukowski collection, but there are plenty of other subject matters on offer too. It’s also split up into sections, which mainly act as dividers to keep the flow of the book going rather than as any official categorisations, but they do somehow add a little something to the feel of the book by highlighting specific lines.

All in all, if you’ve read Bukowski’s work before then you pretty much know what to expect, and if you haven’t then you ought to get started. And this could be just the book to help you with that. Go ahead and buy it.


Charles Bukowski

Charles Bukowski


Click here to buy Sifting Through the Madness for the Word, the Line, the Way.