Friday, 23 October 2015

"Stoner" by John Williams

This book was recommended by the same English professor that recommended "The Good Soldier".
However, being a linear story, it was much easier to read.

William Stoner is an ordinary man, born into a poor farming family, intending to take some college courses in agricultural studies and return to the farm.  However, he falls in love with literature and begins a life of academia. This life gives him great intellectual highs, but also many personal lows.
It is painful to read about his marriage to a most strange lady.  He stays in the marriage because of his love for his daughter.
His career has some bright points, but also it is filled with challenges and boredom, not to mention the run-ins with the college administration.
He has one romantic fling that has to be cut short because of his fear of losing his job and his daughter.
The novel is short and bleak- life sucks and then you die.  wow!
However, there is such beauty in the telling!
John Williams
I was mesmerized by the emotion of the novel and couldn't put it down.

The novel was written in 1965 and was modestly received by the public.  However, it was reprinted in 2003 and gained more readers.  In 2007, it was called "a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving that it takes your breath away".  In 2013, it began to take off in sales and was called "the great American novel that you've never heard of".

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