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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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
"This quietly brilliant book, subtle, slow and painfully real, almost feels like it's written by Stoner himself." -- Eleanor Halls * GQ *
"I was stunned by it... It's 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 *
"A masterpiece of sad lucidity, as moving as it is psychologically compelling" -- Peter Kemp * Sunday Times *
"It is a remarkably affecting story, told in quiet, unshowy prose" -- Stefan Collini * Times Literary Supplement *
"In recent times I have owed more to word of mouth than to the statements of reviewers, when it comes to finding my way to rewarding work published or reissued... This is also true, or truer still, of Stoner" -- Karl Miller * Times Literary Supplement *
"My favourite book of the year...a masterpiece-beautifully written with a rare tenderness and wisdom that will make you want to read it again" -- Jonathan Pugh * Daily Mail *
"With prose of breathtaking clarity, and a narrative that flows along seamlessly, Williams subverts the American dream via an underachieving and rather unlucky university lecturer... Anyone who loves literature will surely love this" -- Judy Moir * Herald *
"The other book that cheered me up this year was Stoner by John Williams...re-emerging this year - rather triumphantly (and permanently this time, I think)" -- Robin Robertson * Glasgow Sunday Herald *
"A compassionate depiction of Everyman that celebrates the transformative power of literature" -- Melonie Clarke * The Lady *
"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 terrific novel of echoing sadness" -- Julian Barnes

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“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 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 42

“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 42

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