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Stoner by John Williams (1965)

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English (117)  Dutch (24)  Italian (8)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (163)
Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
Finished at 0530 this morning, 5 minutes after I should have left for work. This book disturbed me greatly, I am the age Stoner started his affair... others have described it as a perfect novel. I can only agree. ( )
  kcshankd | Jun 19, 2015 |
An excellent book about an American academic's life in the early 20th century. Reviewed on LibraryThing by other people much better than I could do. I found that despite the 100 year difference, many aspects of this story matched well with my own life, which included a 20 year stint in academia. ( )
  oldblack | May 11, 2015 |
This is a difficult book to review. First published in 1965, Stoner tells the story of a quiet man who becomes an associate professor of English at the state university in Missouri, living a quiet and dignified life that makes no lasting impression. I know, right? You want to run to the bookstore right now and get your own copy.

Yet this low-key book packs a punch. Stoner may keep his emotions to himself and his life may be a routine and expected one, but the story is oddly gripping, how a boy from dour parents farming dying land went to college to study agriculture and ended up falling in love with literature and language, how he belonged at that university and how he ordered his days to reach something approaching contentment. ( )
2 vote RidgewayGirl | Apr 21, 2015 |
Stoner was first published in 1965. It is an extremely well written, beautiful novel about the life of a man who falls in love with literature. The story is upsetting at times because William Stoner has so many obstacles he doesn't seem equipped to handle. However, he has found a single passion in life which makes everything else worth the effort. So, for that reason, Stoner's life is far from ordinary.

Although John William's novel covers love, infidelity, and college politics among other subjects, the topic I found most interesting was reverse discrimination. It's been fifty years since Stoner was published. Over those years we've battled many kinds of discrimination and learned a great deal as a society and as individuals. For example, in 1982 George Wallace stated: “I did stand, with a majority of the white people, for the separation of the schools. But that was wrong, and that will never come back again.” Still, along the way there were many cases when the groups that had been favored were passed over to achieve diversity. In this book the discrimination was against people with disabilities and, with his mid twentieth century perspective, John Williams makes the point that placing someone in a position because of reasons that have nothing to do with his qualifications is wrong. Today our perspective is different. We see the big picture more than the individual cases. I don't think that point could be made in the same way.

Stoner's relationship with his wife was also fascinating. Some reviewers felt annoyed by his inability to stand up for his rights, especially for his right to spend time with his daughter. But the publication date should be considered when discussing this subject as well. Parental rights were slanted toward the mother prior to the rise of feminism and gender equality. Edith could have packed up and taken Grace with her, if Stoner had questioned her decisions. And it was clear she would have been willing to do that.

Along with the interesting plot issues I've mentioned, the characters in Stoner are all strong and act in ways I didn't expect. This is a wonderful novel I consider a classic.

Steve Lindahl author of Motherless Soul and White Horse Regressions ( )
  SteveLindahl | Apr 17, 2015 |
'this classic novel of university life, and the life of the heart and the mind', 22 March 2015

This review is from: Stoner: A Novel (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
This is a most beautiful read, covering the life of William Stoner; despite spending his life studying, then teaching at the University of Missouri, the opening paragraph tells us 'he did not rise above the rank of assistant professor and few students remembered him with any sharpness.' And yet the author crafts an exquisite novel about this unremarkable life - from his student years, paying his way by doing farm work in his spare time, to his discovery of the joy of the Arts above Agriculture (his original subject). And then his university friends, and at a social function meeting a beautiful girl...
A mild-mannered and utterly likeable Stoner, the reader sorrows at the burdens that his life places on him, the enjoyments that are wrenched away from him - a life whose only joy is his pleasure in academia.
I only came across this by chance in the library; don't know how I'd never heard of it before but it's absolutely recommended. ( )
  starbox | Mar 21, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Williams, Johnprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Krol, EdzardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McGahern, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rekiaro, IlkkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Robben, BernhardÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrescasana, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to my friends and former colleagues in the Department of English at the University of Missouri. They will recognize at once that it is a work of fiction--that no character portrayed in it is based upon any person, living or dead, and that no event has its counterpart in the reality we knew at the University of Missouri. They will also realize that I have taken certain liberties, both physical and historical, with the University of Missouri, so that in effect it, too, is a fictional place.
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William Stoner entered the University of Missouri as a freshman in the year 1910, at the age of nineteen.
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"Born the child of a poor farmer in Missouri, William Stoner is urged by his parents to study new agriculture techniques at the state university. Digging instead into the texts of Milton and Shakespeare, Stoner falls under the spell of the unexpected pleasures of English literature, and decides to make it his life. Stoner is the story of that life" -- publisher description (January 2007).… (more)

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Editions: 1590171993, 1590173937

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