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Stoner Paperback – Jun 20 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: NYRB Classics (June 20 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590171993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590171998
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.8 x 1.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark on March 14 2004
Format: Paperback
In this remarkable, overlooked work, John Williams chooses as his central character an undistinguished English professor (Stoner), who lives a largely uneventful life teaching at a drab Midwestern university. Neither Stoner's wife, nor his colleagues, nor his students think much of him. Yet the degree to which Williams succeeds in bringing the reader to identify with -- and care for -- his most unlikely protagonist is nothing short of a triumph. The final pages, in particular, are sad, transcendent, and unforgettable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Michael Leone on July 18 2003
Format: Paperback
I'd never heard of this author or this book until I read an essay about him in an old back issue of Ploughshares by the novelist Dan Wakefield. I was suspect, too, because I'm not one for academic novels, unless they're farcical, because the only thing there seems to be at stake in academic novels is tenure, which in my opinion, doesn't make for such great reading. Well, not so in Stoner. Stoner is a quiet look at a man's largely unheroic and drab life, "an adventureless tale" as Joyce wrote (and in many respects William Stoner, the protagonist, comes right out of Dubliners). The feat of this book is that Williams makes the diurnal and fairly dull activities of an academic utterly riveting. How does he do it? By not being precious or pretentious about it, which is how so many other writers would have handled the material. Instead, Williams believes in the integrity of his hero, for whom nothing is easily achieved, or for that matter, very attractive. Even Stoner's honeymoon is a fairly squalid affair, and somehow, as bad as the story gets -- and it doesn't get bad in a dramatic or gimmicky way, just bad in the sense that Stoner never really experiences any joy in his life -- we keep reading. The book is grim, yes, and yet it will leave you feeling oddly enthralled. Read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eager Reader on Jan. 9 2010
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was very well written, but unfortunately the dull personality and life of the main character failed to affect me. I enjoy at times reading a story that follows a more existential thread, if it evokes poignantly themes such as melancholy, incommunicability, estrangement, and sadness of the human condition, but like his family and colleagues, I didn't seem to care very much about William Stoner. I would have liked to feel for him, but ultimately his fate left me rather lukewarm.
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By Dorothyanne Brown TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 4 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Beyond wonderful this classic needs to be read by everyone. It's not about "stoner"s in today's phraseology, so don't pick it up thinking its about drug culture. Do pick it up if you want many good hours with rich characters and a deep, fulfilling story.
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Format: Paperback
A real life story of an ordinary person trying to make sense of life's progress, trials and temptations from rustic beginnings, through an academic career to death.
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By Terry on Feb. 6 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An intimate portal into the life of an average man. You will not be disappointed when you choose this novel. I dare you to put it down!
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By Rob on Jan. 24 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Had to finish this short book finding it hard to put down but this is a contemplative novel full of life's truths with reflections of one's own journey through life. It almost reads like a condensed book, straight to the point with nothing superfluous. I plan to reread it at a more leisurely pace someday and this is a book I wouldn't wouldn't want to lend or give away. I gave it a 4 star only because I found some of the language to be a bit archaic in this original form. In all reading this book was an enriching experience.
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