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Stoner: A Novel (Paperback)
  • Stoner: A Novel (Paperback)
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Stoner: A Novel (Paperback)

(author), (author of introduction)
£8.99 £6.99
Paperback 320 Pages / Published: 05/07/2012
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Waterstones Says

Former Waterstones Book of the Year and recently rediscovered classic, Williams’ cult novel is a minutely detailed examination of an ordinary life and the little victories and obstacles that pepper it. Skilfully weaving an enchanting story from the most mundane of narratives, Stoner is a unique achievement in American literature.

Winner of the Watertsones Book of the Year 2014

Almost fifty years after its initial publication in the United States, fresh European translations of John Williams' campus novel Stoner began to rekindle interest in both book and writer.

Spearheaded most particularly by Julian Barnes' article for The Guardian on unearthing what Barnes referred to as "a true 'reader's novel', in the sense that its narrative reinforces the very value of reading and study. Many will be reminded of their own lectoral epiphanies, of those moments when the magic of literature first made some kind of distant sense, first suggested that this might be the best way of understanding life"

William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at nineteen to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father's farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman. His life is quiet, and after his death his colleagues remember him rarely. Yet with truthfulness, compassion and intense power, this novel uncovers a story of universal value. Stoner tells of the conflicts, defeats and victories of the human race that pass unrecorded by history, and reclaims the significance of an individual life.

As a bookseller, we were thrilled to play a part in the recognition of Stoner as a truly great book, becoming our second Waterstones Book of the Year in 2013. Despite its heavily academic setting, the life and experience described is properly universal and contains its own kind of unsolvable, but essential, sadness.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780099561545
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 223 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A terrific novel of echoing sadness.' - Julian Barnes

'It's simply a novel about a guy who goes to college and becomes a teacher. But its one of the most fascinating things that you've ever come across.' - Tom Hanks, Time 

'I was stunned by it... beautifully written in simple but brilliant prose, a novel of an ordinary life, an examination of a quiet tragedy, the work of a great but little-known writer.' - Ruth Rendell, Guardian

'One of the great unheralded 20th century American novels...Almost perfect.' - Bret Easton Ellis

'One of the great forgotten novels of the past century. I have bought at least 50 copies of it in the past few years, using it as a gift for friends. It is universally adored by writers and readers alike...so beautifully paced and cadenced that it deserves the status of classic.' - Colum McCann, Guardian

'A beautiful, sad, utterly convincing account of an entire life... I'm amazed a novel this good escaped general attention for so long.' - Ian McEwan

'A brilliant, beautiful, inexorably sad, wise, and elegant novel.' - Nick Hornby, The Believer

'Something rarer than a great novel -- it is a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving, that it takes your breath away...few stories this sad could be so secretly triumphant, or so exhilarating.' - New York Times 

'A beautiful and moving novel, as sweeping, intimate and mysterious as life itself.' - Geoff Dyer

'The most extraordinary work of fiction I've read in a long time... If you're looking for a book that's simple and subtle, warmly human and at the same time utterly pitiless in his rendition of the vicissitudes of an ordinary existence, here's one you will read again and again.' - New Statesman

'Unquestionably one of the finest novels of the 20th century, its genius lies in its candour and in prose that simmers with subtle intent.' - Irish Times

'The word-of-mouth hit of the summer. Read it and you'll see why.' - Daily Telegraph 

'It's as if this novel is about all of us: our hopes, disappointments and sorrows... a lesson in values, told with love and awe.' - Bel Mooney, Daily Mail 

'A wonderful novel, rich and sombre, a record of pain and less but also of moments of vision and tenderness... flawless.' - Adam Foulds, Independent 

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Paperback

“Just tremendous.”

This is a book that will change your life. A character study of one man's trials and triumphs through life, Stoner is exceptional because the lead character is so unexceptional. He represents the ideal of the... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 52

“A mind-shreddingly sad book”

I was intrigued by this one - a drugs book written by the composer of Star Wars? Of course, it's neither, just a beautiful and very sad account of one lonely academic's slow decline into obsolescence as the... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 47

“Couldn't Put It Down”

Couldn't put it down - absolutely riveting; every page is as fresh as a daisy; characters superb and the story quiet yet monumental. Really good book, couldn't praise it highly enough.

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 45

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