Customer Reviews for

Stoner

Average Rating 4.5
( 34 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2009

    the perfect novel

    William Stoner, the protagonist, will remain in the imagination of the reader long after the final page has been turned: this man's arduous life is saved by his "love affair" with the English language and the result is 288 pages of delicious prose.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2008

    Best Work of Fiction I've Read in a Long Time

    This is a book that should be on the book lists for most high school and college literature programs. Stoner is great literature and an instructive life lesson on how one man stoically accepts and overcomes what life has thrown at him. Stoner is the 'Job' of the early 20th century. A very enjoyable and easy read...

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 3, 2011

    captivating, great literature

    Author John Williams was asked who would want to read the sad story of a University of Missouri English Literature Professor during the early to mid 1900's? SURPRISE...many many readers! It's a captivating story. IT was selected as our Book Club read and what a gem. The story of this Missouri man, his wife, his daughter and all the connections he has to his students and teaching job will quickly wrap you into his world. William Stoner is like an 'everyman' of those times. His wife is an example of the shallow, mean spirited empty life of a housewife of those times. The conflict Stoner has with his Dean and other Professors could easily have happened. They story is believeable, enjoyable and you just get sucked in to wanting to learn more about the pathetic life of Stoner.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2010

    Quietly superb -- haunting, luminous and oddly hopeful

    After finishing this book I was amazed that I'd never heard of Williams before NYRB's re-discovery. For me, he proves to be a rare prose master just on the strength of this book (he wrote others but I haven't yet read them). The prose isn't showy, but is pitch-perfect in its alignment with its protagonist. The reading experience becomes exhilarating largely because of the precision of the prose -- which is perhaps even more remarkable, in my opinion, than Williams's darkly wonderful contemporary Richard Yates. Williams manages to impart a sense of hope to what could have easily come off as a lonely, even desolate life.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is undoubtedly a classic

    This book has no extra words. The scenes are drawn with a sensitivity and skill that made me squirm with remembered anguish. The disquiet we feel when Stoner's father stares long and hard at Stoner's financée and makes an assessment, the brutal and pointless faculty fights in college departments, the uncertainty and unreasonable joy one feels before one's love is declared--these things so precisely described are authentic truths we can all recognize. Tightly written, and polished reverently, Williams creates a fictional world that feels so real we ache with despair. It is a primer for writers, and a lesson for readers. It deserves to be read widely.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2002

    Stoner is a heart-rending read

    I was sucked into 'Stoner' within the first few sentences. The characters are believable and their situations -- though heart-rending -- are presented with such skill, such beautiful effortless prose, that I experienced powerful emotional reactions, which for me indicates a great book. I felt a strong connection with Stoner -- there's much of him inside of me. I bought copies for all of my friends.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2012

    A well-told story of the complexities of a straightforward life

    The novel Stoner is sometimes described as the story of an ordinary man.
    Yet this description minimizes the author's achievement. In Stoner, John Williams tells a narrative biography of a farmboy who becomes a professor. He does so in spare, reflective text that never condescends to the characters or the reader, and never goes astray. The result is a a novel which is both an old-fashioned "good read" and a thoughtful examination of finding one's way amid difficult challenges. Stoner is not Mr. Chips, nor Job, nor a heroic figure. The author instead presents a man who makes choices, both wise and unwise, and lives them out. There's a quiet kind of nobility in the character of Stoner, and the novel holds the reader's interest by exploring it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 30, 2011

    You must read this book

    This is a wonderful character study and a book you will not want to put down. The writing is superb as is the story. I plan to read it again. John William's other two books are not as compelling but still wonderful books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 13, 2014

    A Literary Treasure!

    Literature to treasure is rare indeed, the kind you read as an e-book and then want to buy in hardback for your own library! This is one of those rare finds: a detailed character study, historical particulars that are accurate and resound with clarity, quality narrative and dialogue that are realistic and not contrived. The details of university academia (for example, the thesis review process and the departmental schedules that favor certain people)are insightful and true life experiences. Themes abound--persistence in doing your job, teaching as a passion and a calling--and would make excellent talking points for Book Club discussions, as well as in College of Education classrooms.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2013

    Another Era, Same Conditions

    Reading this, I thought at first that these circumstances would be so different today. But they would not. People still marry the wrong partner and encounter manipulative and vindictive bosses. We still get stuck. It left me feeling sad but determined to never fear following my heart.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2014

    Excellent study of human nature. As human nature can be sad, po

    Excellent study of human nature. As human nature can be sad, poignant and beautiful, sometimes simultaneously, this is a very complex book, even though the writing style is simple. There is something emotionally evocative that stays with you long after you finished it. Highly recommended, as are John Williams other two known books: Butcher's Crossing and Augustus.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2010

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    Posted February 9, 2009

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted January 6, 2012

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    Posted December 20, 2011

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    Posted October 31, 2008

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    Posted May 4, 2011

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    Posted August 25, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 34 Customer Reviews
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