- Paperback: 221 pages
- Publisher: Lancer Books (1966)
- ASIN: B000KX6IQM
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.1 x 0.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,114 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,108,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top Customer Reviews
William Stoner came to the University of Missouri from a poor farm, became entranced by medieval and renaissance English literature and went on to get a PhD in that field. He was a shy man, and throughout his life had but two real friends. His wife was not one of those two. Within a couple of months of marriage Stoner realized his marriage was doomed to failure. Early on, a situation arose at the university in which Stoner, adhering to principle, earned the lifelong enmity of his department head. Another situation arose that offered Stoner a chance at happiness, and that failed.
One reviewer of this book wrote that he didn't see why anyone would want to read this book about a loser. But was he a loser? In an interview the author, John Williams, stated that he felt that Professor Stoner was a "hero." Surely this is a story of a man who really never got anywhere in life, his marriage was a failure, his parenting poor, and he never was really a vibrant member of the university faculty. Yet in some ways Stoner never gave up. Lacking innate teaching skills he worked hard at it, and became a popular teacher. He was never bitter, and, though struggling as a parent and father, he held on.
So there are two ways of looking at our "hero" or "loser." I found the book to be a wonderfully different view of a man's life. Certainly we can identify with him in some of our own failures, with our own wishes that maybe somethings in our lives might have been different.Read more ›
Published in 1965, STONER was the second of Williams's three novels. Despite the date and serendipitous title, this is far from a beat or hippie generation story. To the contrary, hero William Stoner is a salt of the earth middle American, born and raised on a modest family farm in Missouri at the beginning of the 20th Century. Through intelligence, hard work, and good fortune, Stoner enters the University of Missouri to study modern agriculture. Williams presents his hero as a classically naïve farm boy, utterly awed by the buildings, the books, the other students, and the general aura of academe. All goes well until Stoner the freshman literature class of Archer Sloane. Despite being publicly embarrassed by Sloane for his inability to explain a Shakespearean sonnet about lost love (which also foreshadows his own later life), Stoner nevertheless discovers his true calling in literature. He changes majors, obtains his degree, and ultimately accepts a teaching position at his alma mater. One of his few good friends from the university, Dave Masters, subsequently describes the young Stoner with dead-on precision as "our own midwestern Don Quixote without his Sancho" - prophetic words, indeed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A fantastic, beautiful book that stays with you for a long time.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
An underrated classic. Do yourself a favor and enjoy this melancholy, yet hopeful slice of humanity.Published 3 days ago by Colin Bates
The story of a man throughout his life leaves a lot of room to contemplate one's own life, the options he had and the options that are available to each of us. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Karin
A very well written book about a somewhat average man who wants to follow his passion for literature only to be systematically destroyed by his 'friends' and 'loved ones.'Published 6 days ago by Nicholas S Bingham
Here is a book I had heard nothing about, that I picked up from a bunch of free books - and I have finished it deeply moved and unable to complete any work until I had turned the... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Kristin Lems