I will admit to some trepidation when reading this - it was recommended to me and I thought it sounded pretty dull and uninspiring. But everything the other reviewers have said is correct. This is a truly outstanding book. Williams is a truly great writer. To take a relatively ordinary life and make it a gripping read is a real feat. His language is elegant and there is not an extra word or phrase anywhere in the book. He puts many other modern novelists to shame.
The story of William Stoner resonates and as a reader you won't be able to help reflecting back on your own life and wonder whether you are maximising your potential impact. It is a novel that will stay with you forever. I agree that it should be more famous and well known. I don't give 5 stars very often but this book really deserves it - you won't be disappointed in this book.