24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Interesting but hardly entertaining,
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This review is from: Stoner: A Novel (Vintage Classics) (Kindle Edition)
Just before the First World War introverted William Stoner, of agricultural background, goes to college, becomes an English lecturer, gets married to an attractive but obviously odd, much younger woman, has a daughter, goes through various struggles and trials at his Missouri university, has an affair in his forties, and finally dies. This is a well-written story of an ordinary man going through an ordinary academic life. The characterisation is excellent and the descriptive writing spare but pithy, and the repression of feelings of these early 20th-century people and the results on their lives is a fascinating study. But the story cannot help but be depressing in the telling, and the lack of drama - or, rather the drama is implied and downplayed - and the constant battering received by the central figure of Stoner makes the reader feel equally battered and exhausted by the end of the book.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Feb 2014, 16:01:00 GMT
I got to stage very early in the book when I could see it was going nowhere. So I resorted to Amazon to look at some reviews. I don't doubt that it's very well written. But it's so depressing and does nothing for me. It's kind of; Boy is born into a working farm where there is little if any love shown. He lives his life in an equally depressing way and one day dies. There was nothing outstanding in his life or his life's work. And so, when he dies , in no time at all, he's forgotten; The End! But I guess, to a certain kind of literary academic, it's the quality of the writing, not the story, that counts.
In reply to an earlier post on 22 Mar 2014, 18:18:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Mar 2014, 18:19:12 GMT
I think that's the whole purpose of the book though, that life for the average person isn't this amazing whirlwind. Whilst we seek the odd moment of wildness we really savour the ordinary mundane day to day normalities. He's easily forgotten because in the scale of the wider world we all are. It's about putting life into perspective. Which in a world where kids all want to be famous and live extravagant lives is important, his best quality is his averageness.
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