Thursday, 1 March 2018

Hanks, Tom "Uncommon Type. Some Stories"


Hanks, Tom "Uncommon Type. Some Stories" - 2017

Sometimes I don't know why I still do it. I'm not the biggest fan of short stories. Too short for my liking. But I couldn't withstand getting this book. Tom Hanks a writer? And stories about typewriters? Has to be good.

And it was. Some really nice stories that could have easily been made into a large book - maybe we'll see them in a film one day, I wouldn't be surprised ...

Anyway, all these stories have something in common. In every single one of them, there is a typewriter, mostly an older one, not an electric one, not a computer, no, one of those nice old mechanical ones.

I always have to think about Tom Hanks in "You've got mail" where he deletes a whole paragraph letter by letter. And that alone makes me laugh.

I wouldn't say all the stories are funny. Or all the stories are thoughtful. Or all the stories are ... you get it, the stories are all quite different. But I did enjoy all of them.

From the back cover:
"A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.

These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour, and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.

Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing. Alternatingly whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour."

4 comments:

  1. Not a big fan of short stories, but this sounds good. I learned to type on a big old black Underwood typewriter.

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    1. Same here, I always think if a short story is good, why not make it into a big, 500 page long real novel. I wouldn't be surprised if Tom Hanks would write more. And/or we will see lots of new films that are based on all those stories.

      I learned how to type on a mechanical typewriter, mine was green. When my parents died, it was still in their house and my brothers unanimously decided it had alwasy been mine and therefore I should have it. It now stands in my living room. I love it.

      Have a great weekend,
      Marianne

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  2. I am so happy to know that both of you are not enraptured with short stories either. I just can't put my mind to reading a whole collection, except when a collection is related and resembles a novel. As you said Marianne, too short. Sometimes I feel alone in this view. But I am glad you enjoyed this one and I had no idea he had written it!

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    1. I said it somewhere else recently, that's the beauty of the internet, you can find like-minded people.

      I came across the collection in my bookshop and, being a fan of his movies, I thought it might be interesting. And it was. But I don't really want to read another short story collection soon.

      Have a good week!

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