Insights about this book and the 60's

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kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
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127,446
Spokane, WA
I wish Stephen would publish all his Garbage Truck writings. Was that what they were called. The things he wrote during that time while he was on his college paper. That would be real insight to those times.
I so wish this, too! A member (who shall remain nameless for their protection) sent them to me but my computer won't open them.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
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I would love to read these. I am a huge fan of Stephen's non-fiction voice. I almost like his nonfiction things better than his fiction.
Same here. It was the non-fiction (forewords, afterwords, articles, Danse Macabre) that earned my eternal loyalty. The stories are fine, fine stuff, of course, but it is in the non-fiction that I began to feel like I knew him and he knew me--he became a friend (of sorts).
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
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Strange...I know I answered a question like this from another in the past...but when I click on the Hearts link...four threads only? My avatar is not there signifying that I have posted there. Go figure.

Hearts is the reason I found this board...Hearts and an afterword in Bones where King writes about Hearts, says let me know what you think. And here I am again on my own...going down the only road I've ever known.

Growing up in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula the war in Vietnam was ever present. It was either the Tet Offensive or the assassination of JFK when I learned what it meant to be a child. Grownups gathered in front of the TV at Grandma's, winter, the propane heater on one wall holds my fascination and I watch the blue flame within and exclaim to the room. QUIET! We're watching the news! Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News was the only game in town unless you had cable. The footage from Vietnam and the footage from the streets of the country influenced us...younger kids...like Gene and Phineas in A Separate Peace, or perhaps like the kids in Lord of the Flies. We were too young...though the war dragged on that it seemed like that would be our destiny.

Until then, like Gene and Finny and their friends, we prepared for war...though we didn't realize that that is what we were doing. The four-gable school where we spent our fourth and fifth grades, situated as it was near the mills of Tamarack, the trestles and half-bridges, all that played a part. Climbing down the ironwork of a railroad trestle was one game we played...and I doubt any mothers knew about our Super Suicide Society of the 1968. But if we prepared for war, we were also influenced by the other reporting we watched...students...hippies...fire-hoses and dogs. This was also the time of race riots, Detroit and other places. The world was in turmoil.

One of our group thought it would be a good idea to march around the schoolhouse, our arms across the shoulders of the two guys on either side, chanting Down with Nixon! Heh! Yeah, who would think to do that? We made about two passes and called it good. Winter, one of us saw two or three rolling a large snowball...that became a snow boulder...and naturally Mrs. Erva's big blue Buick seemed like a good place to park the boulder...one in front...and another in back...rolling them across the patch of dirt buried under the snow in the flat below the hill that was like the stands on one side of a football field...or an area that passed for a football field when the older boys played rough games of football. Not the touch variety...these were knock-down drag-out competitions that went on long into the summer night when the streetlights flickered on and began buzz...their muscle cars parked below in the gravel turn-around where they'd lay rubber before and after games...some or many of them eventually going to Vietnam...at least one never to return...others returning with pieces missing...or metal in their body and the world forever changed.

So reading Hearts...having read A Separate Peace and Lord of the Flies...I came away with the belief that here is another story that has a place on the shelf next to those stories. There is that sense of being alone in each story, being alone and then coming together, a kind of awakening to the idea that though one is alone and faces a multitude of conflicts...the classes...the girl...the roommate...the grade-point average...that sense of leaving one time and entering another time...that sense of the larger conflict, the war...over there...the growing awakening to the idea that though alone one is also a part of a whole. And the sense that one has to make a decision. What to decide? School. War. Protest. Pennants? Penance? Playing Hearts is one decision. Classes another. A girl another. Being separate, not playing Hearts another. There's a character for each decision. Who made the right decision? Is there a right decision? Is going along to get along a decision and is that the right decision?

There's that line from...Easy Rider...I think, at the get-go, We blew it. And for what it's worth, some of the same kind of questions posed by at least one character in Hearts are repeated in Under the Dome.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
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Cambridge, Ohio
My daughter is writing about the 60's (specifically Vietnam) for her history class and she is supposed to pick a book that represents the era. She is using Hearts (all of the sections). I would love it if fans of the book and those who lived through the 60's would chime in with their thoughts.
...I was safely ensconced as a pre-teen child in white-bread America during the times that were a'changin'...but in the cracked rear view(Thanks Hootie!)...I think he distilled down much of the flavor of that decade...my only recollection of that time period came via the evening news...
 

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
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I was just a little kid in the '60s and I thought of the stuff I saw on TV about the war the way a kid would: as a TV show.

I was either eight or nine years old when I found out that the big kid from across the street who used to roll me in the leaf pile sometimes -- his name was Brian -- was on that TV show and he wasn't coming home anymore. Years later I would see something like this portrayed on The Wonder Years (which was a bit later on) and think:

No.

It wasn't like that.
 

skimom2

Just moseyin' through...
Oct 9, 2013
15,683
92,168
USA
So just to keep to his biography, he was in college (much like the protagonist in Hearts) during the draft? I'm assuming he wasn't playing cards at the risk of flunking out though.
Mr. King talks a bit about his high school/college years in his various forewords. I think there was quite a bit in Danse Macabre. No, he wasn't risking anything, as I remember. He seems very grateful for the opportunities he had to attend college, both through grants and loans and from his mother. I can't see him risking that for a bit of fun. It seems like he drew from this a bit in writing the protagonists in Riding the Bullet and Lisey's Story.
 
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PatInTheHat

GOOBER MEMBER
Dec 19, 2007
13,362
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Lair of the Great Kentucky Nightcrawler
Strange...I know I answered a question like this from another in the past...but when I click on the Hearts link...four threads only? My avatar is not there signifying that I have posted there. Go figure.

Hearts is the reason I found this board...Hearts and an afterword in Bones where King writes about Hearts, says let me know what you think. And here I am again on my own...going down the only road I've ever known.

Growing up in a small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula the war in Vietnam was ever present. It was either the Tet Offensive or the assassination of JFK when I learned what it meant to be a child. Grownups gathered in front of the TV at Grandma's, winter, the propane heater on one wall holds my fascination and I watch the blue flame within and exclaim to the room. QUIET! We're watching the news! Walter Cronkite and the CBS Evening News was the only game in town unless you had cable. The footage from Vietnam and the footage from the streets of the country influenced us...younger kids...like Gene and Phineas in A Separate Peace, or perhaps like the kids in Lord of the Flies. We were too young...though the war dragged on that it seemed like that would be our destiny.

Until then, like Gene and Finny and their friends, we prepared for war...though we didn't realize that that is what we were doing. The four-gable school where we spent our fourth and fifth grades, situated as it was near the mills of Tamarack, the trestles and half-bridges, all that played a part. Climbing down the ironwork of a railroad trestle was one game we played...and I doubt any mothers knew about our Super Suicide Society of the 1968. But if we prepared for war, we were also influenced by the other reporting we watched...students...hippies...fire-hoses and dogs. This was also the time of race riots, Detroit and other places. The world was in turmoil.

One of our group thought it would be a good idea to march around the schoolhouse, our arms across the shoulders of the two guys on either side, chanting Down with Nixon! Heh! Yeah, who would think to do that? We made about two passes and called it good. Winter, one of us saw two or three rolling a large snowball...that became a snow boulder...and naturally Mrs. Erva's big blue Buick seemed like a good place to park the boulder...one in front...and another in back...rolling them across the patch of dirt buried under the snow in the flat below the hill that was like the stands on one side of a football field...or an area that passed for a football field when the older boys played rough games of football. Not the touch variety...these were knock-down drag-out competitions that went on long into the summer night when the streetlights flickered on and began buzz...their muscle cars parked below in the gravel turn-around where they'd lay rubber before and after games...some or many of them eventually going to Vietnam...at least one never to return...others returning with pieces missing...or metal in their body and the world forever changed.

So reading Hearts...having read A Separate Peace and Lord of the Flies...I came away with the belief that here is another story that has a place on the shelf next to those stories. There is that sense of being alone in each story, being alone and then coming together, a kind of awakening to the idea that though one is alone and faces a multitude of conflicts...the classes...the girl...the roommate...the grade-point average...that sense of leaving one time and entering another time...that sense of the larger conflict, the war...over there...the growing awakening to the idea that though alone one is also a part of a whole. And the sense that one has to make a decision. What to decide? School. War. Protest. Pennants? Penance? Playing Hearts is one decision. Classes another. A girl another. Being separate, not playing Hearts another. There's a character for each decision. Who made the right decision? Is there a right decision? Is going along to get along a decision and is that the right decision?

There's that line from...Easy Rider...I think, at the get-go, We blew it. And for what it's worth, some of the same kind of questions posed by at least one character in Hearts are repeated in Under the Dome.
That was wonderful:cool2:
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,805
That was wonderful:cool2:

Thankee, sai Patrick. I've read that over again and I don't think I said what I meant to say. Came close maybe. King's story is the only one I'm aware of that builds on Knowles's story about Gene and Finny. I'm sure there are all manner of variations of Hearts that were played out across the country as we changed. Makes me wonder about today, how are today's youth is reflecting their take on the fabled current events. Phonin' homin'?
 

PatInTheHat

GOOBER MEMBER
Dec 19, 2007
13,362
12,037
60
Lair of the Great Kentucky Nightcrawler
Thankee, sai Patrick. I've read that over again and I don't think I said what I meant to say. Came close maybe. King's story is the only one I'm aware of that builds on Knowles's story about Gene and Finny. I'm sure there are all manner of variations of Hearts that were played out across the country as we changed. Makes me wonder about today, how are today's youth is reflecting their take on the fabled current events. Phonin' homin'?
Maybe it wasn't but it said a lot.
Set my mental time machine back, back to when times were those, back to the not realizing our youthfulness was all too often preparing for war, but there it was every night on the big box Zenith, indocternating as it horrified.
Painted an accurate picture of how the more things change the more they stay same, even if they're not.
Made me wonder, will this generation remember their childhood hambugers as tasting better, their good ol' days as good ol' days, and such...my best guess, yeah.
Yeah that was a wonderful perspective, literary and just of the times, so thank you.
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
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sweden
Me, i have no memories of that time. My first sure memories is from 1969/70. (i was about 5 then). But i've heard the music, read the books and it all seemed closer attached to the times than nowadays. I don't know, just an impression. About Hearts i really like the story though i have never thought of it as a story collection but as a kind of novel consisting of interlocking parts that together tell one story, not several. Ursula K. Leguins Four Ways to Forgiveness is a bit in the same vein in the way of interlocking the different stories.
 
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