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4.4 out of 5 stars
1,186
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 22 June 2017
This is a remarkable book that was overlooked when it was first published in 1965 and ironically one it took me nearly a year to read after I got initially bored with the slow start and only returned to it on a whim. It's a novel really about taking your opportunities in life. The eponymous Stoner sometimes has the courage to make hard decisions (e.g. abandoning his family business of agriculture, not fighting in WW2), and sometimes doesn't (not getting divorced, allowing the woman he loves to leave). I suspect it's a book many people will relate to as Stoner passes life's opportunities by and ends up underachieving both personally and professionally. It's not an uplifting book, and in many ways is a sad tale of a might-have-been life affecting not just him but the people around him.
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on 29 March 2017
This seemingly simple book is a beautiful, heartbreaking and gripping account of human emotions, challenges, disappointment and family relationships.

I nearly read it numerous times, but from reading the book description could not understand the hype. I finally decided to make my own kind up and read the novel in two days. I never mention the plot, but would rather say his style of writing, characters, sensitivity and subtlety is very hard to match and haven't read a book of similar quality and credibility since East of Eden.
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on 26 November 2016
A masterpiece of wonderful writing and wisdom. A work of genius that should be read by everyone. I can't imagine that I will ever find a book that I will enjoy as much as this one. So I will read it all over again, starting right now.
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on 25 August 2014
It's a really good book, there are 'motes swirling in the air' but Williams carries it off with aplomb. A still piece of 1960's Americana (in the same mould as Revolution Road, Catch 22 and Catcher In The Rye) it is a look into the world of a provincial arts lecturer. The set peices are great; dramamtic without being silly and entertaining without being cliched. The prose is exquisite; each word placed squarely in the sentence with the firm hand of the narrator.

The characterisation is excellent and Williams's characters get off the page and talk to you. Good book. Thoroughly recommended.
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on 15 April 2017
The book is a good read but not life changing. Its well written but because it was written time ago the authors views on race are extremely difficult to digest. Stoner is a good guy who stands up for what he believes in and tries to do whats best for his family. This leads him to make some bad decisions.
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on 28 May 2017
An engaging start with characters reminiscent of 'American Gothic'. We'll developed and convincing characters who seemed unable to escape their backgrounds and childhood years. At times there was too much detail ( for the uninitiated )the arguments surrounding the teaching theories of English Literature. Overall a sad tale with some beautiful and reflective passages.
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on 17 September 2015
A surprisingly readable and unpredictable novel, especially as it's supposed to be Literature with a capital L.

The marriage and subsequent affair are described with great subtleness and sensitivity.

A very good novel indeed - highly recommended.
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on 12 August 2017
I enjoyed this book very much. Once again I lent it to a friend who also enjoyed it.
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on 24 March 2017
My friend has borrowed this book and so far I have been told that it is most enjoyable.
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on 23 March 2017
I understand why Stoner is being hailed as a hidden masterpiece. Williams uses such stylish yet economical language to convey this heart-rending story: it is as though he is inviting the reader to join the dots themselves because of what he chooses to leave unsaid. And it is all the more moving for that. A compelling read.
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