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Stoner

Williams, John (Book - 2006)
Average Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.
Stoner
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William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a "proper" family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude. John Williams's luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.
Authors: Williams, John (John Edward), 1922-1994
Title: Stoner
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, [2006]
Characteristics: xiv, 278 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: John Williams ; introduction by John McGahern
Notes: William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a "proper" family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude. John Williams's luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.
ISBN: 1590171993
9781590171998
Branch Call Number: FICTION WILLIAMS
Subject Headings: Literature Study and teaching Fiction English teachers Fiction College teachers Fiction Marital conflict Fiction Middle West Fiction Adultery Fiction
Genre/Form: Psychological fiction
Domestic fiction
Topical Term: Literature
English teachers
College teachers
Marital conflict
Adultery
LCCN: 2005022751
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Join the discussion on June 16, 2015. William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, so different from the hardscrabble ... Read More »

Join the discussion on Nov. 18, 2014. William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, so different from the hardscrabble ... Read More »

Join us for the discussion on Oct. 2, 2014. William Stoner is born at the end of the 19th century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, so different from the hardscr... Read More »


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Oct 24, 2014
  • dieud rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of my favourite books of all time, incredibly moving, an understated masterpiece.

Aug 17, 2014
  • richibi rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

this book, a direct descendant of Camus' "L'étranger", "The Stranger", his incarnation of the Absurd, tells the story of William Stoner, a professor of English, Medieval and Renaissance literature no less, who never manages to find meaning in his life, his family life, his work life, his love life, he moves forward however stoically, does so with grace, thoughtfulness, consideration, and impressive resolution, I couldn't put it down

Aug 15, 2014
  • lukasevansherman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I'm not sure where I read about this book recently, but based on the number of holds, a lot of people read the same thing. A neglected/rediscovered American classic from the mid-60s, John Williams's "Stoner," is about William Stoner, who grows up poor on a farm, goes to college, and discovers a surprising affinity for English lit., which he studies and then teaches. Conflict comes in the way of an unhappy marriage, passionate affair, and rival colleague. Finely wrought, deeply sympathetic, and moving without ever being maudlin, this is a great find.

Aug 07, 2014
  • bookwormjeph rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

this book was written a while back and focuses on the main character, William Stoner, growing up on a run down farm and his struggle to get to university and subsequent life as a tenured professor. But his soul is sad, impassive, unemotional and this shows more as the story unfolds. He regrets his marriage, can not relate to his fellow professors, students or people in general, but rather than do anything he retreats further into his despondency, his sadness and his dislocation from the wider world. Beautifully written the prose is evocative, alluring and sharp. I couldn't put it down even though it is in the final analysis it is an incredibly sad story about a life lived without any enthusiasm, interest or engagement with the world in which he lives. Still very well worth reading.

Jul 06, 2014
  • geezr_rdr rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this book as an example of fine writing. The character development reflects a reality about academia and the people who are part of that world.

This is a wonderful book to take your time with and really inhabit. Williams tells Stoner's tale with a quietude and restraint that is a rarity in much of modern fiction.

Exquisite.
What a delicate touch with language, what angelic understanding of the dullness of existence, of the pain of relationships - of passion.
This is a book about passion. It stands head and shoulders above modern clomping English language usage. Williams takes us into Stoner's spirit. At the end, I am filled with regret, and yet uplifted with joy. No wonder this book has been translated over and over, and appreciated by so many. I have met Stoner, and been transformed.

May 12, 2014
  • patienceandfortitude rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This novel is the real deal. It is written with a clarity and grace that I do not encounter often. Highly recommend.

Mar 04, 2014
  • JasonATait rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

No one will regret reading the book. Like the blurb says inside the cover: It's about a guy who goes to college and becomes a teacher, but it's one of the most interesting things I've ever read.

Dec 04, 2013
  • michmckn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A rich reading experience written with such fine precision. The protagonist has a sort of beautiful stoicism. Yes, sad at times, but in a way that is insightful and even comforting, seeing things expressed about life and how it doesn't always work out quite like one expects. Might be well and good that I've read this now that I'm older and have my own regrets. One of my favorite novels.

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app10 Version draggan_fix Last updated 2014/11/20 11:49