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."