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Stoner (New York Review Books Classics) by…

Stoner (New York Review Books Classics) (original 1965; edition 2006)

by John Williams, John McGahern (Introduction)

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2,2791592,803 (4.29)216
Title:Stoner (New York Review Books Classics)
Authors:John Williams
Other authors:John McGahern (Introduction)
Info:NYRB Classics (2006), Paperback, 288 pages
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Stoner by williamsjohnedward (1965)


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English (114)  Dutch (24)  Italian (8)  Spanish (4)  French (2)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (159)
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
'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 |
Wat mij in dit boek eerst aantrok was de cover met de ruige kop. Die deed mij een beetje denken aan een van de visserskoppen van fotograaf Vanfleteren. En finaal werd ik geraakt door de zoektocht van Stoner naar de diepere zin van alles, van dit leven. En hoewel zijn uiteindelijke conclusie niet direct rooskleurig is, is Stoner toch geen pessimistische roman geworden. Wel is het een ernstig boek geworden, over een eerlijke harde werker die trouw aan zichzelf er het beste probeert van te maken. Stilistisch steekt deze roman met kop en schouders uit boven de middelmaat. De moeite waard. ( )
  chrisgalle | Mar 5, 2015 |
It doesn’t happen often that a character pulls at my emotions as much as John Williams, Stoner did. The ending was so painful I had to close the book before it was finished, and come back to it a few days later to give Stoner a proper goodbye. This is fundamentally a story about the cost of love and the sacrifices and compromises involved. It is about a young man from a hard-working farming family who enrols in an agricultural college program only to fall in love with literature. He must leave his farming world to embrace his new love. He falls in love with the image of a gentle girl and ends up in a loveless marriage. His career as an English professor is stunted when he can’t embrace the politics of the university. Stoner is an ordinary man trying to confront the caprices of love. At the death of his father, he ponders whether life is worth living. “He thought of the cost exacted, year after year, by the soil: and it remained as it had been— ... Nothing had changed. Their lives had been expended in cheerless labour, their wills broken, their intelligences numbed.” As he reflects about how fruitless his father’s life had been, Stoner himself thinks back about all his years of joyless teaching. It is only when he defies the status quo and brings his love of literature into his teaching methods that he feels the spring come back in his step. His dying reflections about his life comes with a crucial question— “What did you expect?”—which left me asking the very same thing.

A profound and essential read! ( )
1 vote Murielle_Cyr | Feb 23, 2015 |
I was about halfway through Stoner when I realized how much it reminded me of "The Bridges of Madison County." They both are stories that aren't action packed or driven by mystery, but in the end they pack an emotional punch as you realize the enormity of a simple life told in a simple way.

Stoner is a farm boy who comes to the University of Missouri to learn farming only to be taken with literature and never leaving the college, choosing a teaching career over that of a farmer. He takes few risks in life and almost all of them after careful deliberation. He makes mistakes, but makes no excuses. He gains no great reward or honor during his life, but neither does he end up a derelict. He lives his life with a quiet, slow dignity that carries him through until the end.

Robin Field does an EXCELLENT job with the voices on this recording. Spot on.

Recommended! ( )
  spounds | Feb 18, 2015 |
I am hard pressed to extract a quote from this beautiful prose. It stands complete and entire. The story of a life. I take away the single question: "What did you expect?" ( )
  Anraku | Feb 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 114 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
williamsjohnedwardprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGahern, JohnIntroductionmain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krol, EdzardTranslatorsecondary 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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3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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NYRB Classics

2 editions of this book were published by NYRB Classics.

Editions: 1590171993, 1590173937

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