Uncommon Type: Some Stories

Uncommon Type: Some Stories

by Tom Hanks

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Overview

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, USA Today

National Bestseller

A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A World War II veteran grappling with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. Four friends traveling to the moon in a rocketship built in the backyard. These are just some of the stories that Tom Hanks captures in his first work of fiction: a collection of shorts that explore—with great affection, humor, and insight—the human condition in all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central.

To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty, and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In these stories, Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level. By turns whimsical, witty, and moving, Uncommon Type establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101911945
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 31,859
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Tom Hanks has been an actor, screenwriter, director and, through Playtone, a producer.  His writing has appeared in The New York TimesVanity Fair, and The New Yorker.  This is his first collection of fiction.

Read an Excerpt

A Month on Greene Street
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Uncommon Type"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Tom Hanks.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Three Exhausting Weeks 3

Christmas Eve 1953 35

A Junket in The City of Light 61

Our Town Today With Hank Fiset-an Elephant in The Pressroom 85

Welcome to Mars 91

A Month on Greene Street 113

Alan Bean Plus Four 145

Our Town Today With Hank Fiset-at Loose in The Big Apple 157

Who'S Who? 163

A Special Weekend 187

These Are The Meditations of My Heart 225

Our Town Today With Hank Fiset-Back From Back in Time 243

The Past is Important to Us 249

Stay With Us 287

Go See Costas 345

Our Town Today With Hank Fiset-Your Evangelista, Esperanza 379

Steve Wong is Perfect 385

Acknowledgments 405

Customer Reviews

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Uncommon Type: Some Stories 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tom Hanks is amazing. I had a moderate expectation for this book and his writing proved to be very entertaining and went beyond that expectation and in fact this is a great book. Shame on me for even thinking about doubting his ability. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tom Hanks tells lovely tales and I enjoyed every minute!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love short stories. Tom Hanks writes good short stories . He develops plot and characters quickly and ends stories successfully. I loved the two threads of antique typewriters and Mdash.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! Each story was completely different, yet drew me in. I loved how they each had some reference to typewriters, some centered around them while others merely moved them aside in a closet. Nice common thread.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tom Hanks is my favorite actor. He is now on my list of favorite novelists.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Uncommon Type: Some Stories is the first print book by American actor, filmmaker and author, Tom Hanks. This is a collection of seventeen quite diverse stories. They vary not only in subject matter, but also format. Many are straight narrative, but there’s also a screen play and a series of newspaper columns from the Tri-Cities Daily News/Herald entitled Our Town Today with Hank Fiset. Hank muses on modern news consumption and production compared with that of fifty years ago; he shares his opinion of New York City; he reminisces on significant moments in his life as punctuated by a typewriter bell; he describes a return to analog by a typewriting evangelista. Typewriters feature heavily: there’s a typewriter on the cover; there’s an image of a different model of typewriter at the beginning of each chapter; sometimes, a typewriter is an integral part of the story, sometimes it has a minor role, and sometimes it just gets an incidental mention. Many of the characters are appealing and a particular quartet who reappear twice after their initial tale might be well suited to have their own novel (in fact, one of their stories was published in a separate volume in 2014). The stories are an ideal length for dipping into, but also interesting and different enough to read without pause. Topics are many and mixed: refugees in the present day (or near future) and from a half a century ago; travel by car and plane as well as time travel, space travel and travel down memory lane; ten pin bowling; surfing; motel accommodation; moving house; the public relations junket; making it on the stage; the heavy toll of wartime service. Hanks gives the reader laughter and romance, loyal friends, wise words and plots that aren’t entirely predictable. It’s easy to imagine Hanks himself as the narrator in many of these tales: his voice is really there, even in the print version. This is an outstanding debut, and if Hanks ever tires of Hollywood, he can certainly direct his energies to the keyboard (whether a typewriter or electronic), as more tales of this ilk would definitely be welcome. Very enjoyable.
FrancescaFB 13 days ago
smg5775 3 months ago
A series of short stories with a common thread running through them. Watch some of them carefully or you will miss the thread. I enjoyed all the stories but my favorites were the three that had Anna, MDash, Steven Wong, and the narrator in them. I liked these characters and their friendship. My other favorites where with Hank Fiset. He is a reporter who takes on a variety of topics, such as coffee shops, places from his past, New York, and the press room. I liked his style. Tom Hanks is a clever writer. I will read him again, especially if it has the narrator and company in it.
Anonymous 6 months ago
Got to know Tom s bit better.
stickerooniDM More than 1 year ago
I tend to be wary of books, particularly fiction, by people who have achieved fame in some other form. I am particularly wary of books by actors - I've read too many that seems to have been sold on the actor's name and not the quality of the work. And I really didn't want this one to be bad because, well, it's Tom Hanks and I like Tom Hanks! But I also really wanted to read this because, well, it's Tom Hanks! Fortunately, this shows that Tom Hanks CAN write and deserves to be published. This is a collection of short stories (and I've written before how much I enjoy the short story form). The thinking in the publishing industry, however, is that short stories don't sell books. That may be true, but celebrities do! Hanks' work here is a throwback to the days when all writers wrote either in long-hand or on a typewriter. The stories themselves have a sense of long ago, as if Hanks is recalling days when he first really enjoyed reading. The settings, the style, even the tone of the stories remind me of literature of the 1970's. One of my favorites here was "Alan Bean Plus Four." This features a group of friends - Anna, Steve, MDash, and a narrator who is hard not to picture as Tom Hanks - that remind me so much of my own group of friends from this period ... though we did not go into space in our own, homemade rocket ship (but if we had, we just might have named it the Alan Bean). "Who's Who" was another favorite. Here it is 1978 and a young actress who was having a successful-if-not-quite-satisfying career in Arizona has moved to the Big Apple to make it big. But she's still sleeping on the couch of a friend and pushing the limits of the kind offer to stay until she gets settled. But finding work, finding affordable housing ... it's a lot harder than Sue Gliebe anticipated. One can't help feeling as though Hanks writes from experience here, possibly remembering his early days as an actor. "These Are the Meditations of My Heart" might be the very best of these stories, in which a young lady buys a typewriter. But the typewriter repair man/dealer makes her promise that she will use the machine... "Well, not to be impolite," she said, "but duh!" "Make the machine a part of your life. A part of your day. Do not use it a few times, then need room on the table and close it back up into its case to sit on a shelf in the back of a closet. Do that and you may never write with it again." Once again we get the impression that this is personal - a memory that Hanks has. If it is, Hanks does a masterful job recalling the memory and sharing it. If not, it's even more impressive. Most short story collections show a range of work - some that really reach a reader and some that just don't click. That holds true here, but even at his worst, Tom Hanks is a really fine writer. At his best, you will be drawn in and left wanting to read more. Looking for a good book? You'll want to read Uncommon Type because it's a collection of short stories by the actor Tom Hanks, but you'll enjoy them because Tom Hanks the writer is very, very good. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
RJGM More than 1 year ago
I was going to give this one four stars because, you know, short stories (which are always a mix between GREAT and OKAY I GUESS), but the audio of the last story absolutely deserves its own star. As wonderful as Tom Hanks is -- and he is the wonderfulest -- he's not an audiobook narrator, so some of the pacing/cadence was a little odd. The last story, Stay With Us, is performed by a full cast with music and sound effects and everything, so it was by far my favorite story. This is the first time I've read a short story collection that "recycled" (for lack of a better word) the same characters in multiple stories, and I found myself confused at first but ultimately enjoying hearing about Anna and Steve Wong and MDash multiple times. (Steve Is Perfect gave me SO MUCH ANXIETY! But in a this-book-is-amazing way.) The reporter annoyed me a little bit in his recurring stories, but I still liked how he sort of kept the book flowing. I can already tell that this is going to be one of those recommend-to-everyone books... I had the audiobook on hold for weeks at my library, but it was so worth the wait. Also: I want my typewriter back. :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HeyerF4n More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed because I really wanted to like this book, as Tom is one of my favourite actors and I was excited about having the opportunity to review it. What I got was a collection of short stories, with an old fashioned feel about them. Unfortunately they didn’t hold my interest and I struggled to finish the book. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not compensated for my review, and I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous 9 months ago
Mr. Hank's dry and clever humor comes out in each and every story. Thanks for helping make my vacation so enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great actor, but this book was not for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable.