Trade Paperback, 278 pages

English language

Published Nov. 8, 2006 by New York Review Books.

ISBN:
978-1-59017-199-8
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
61253892

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (68 reviews)

William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.

John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward …

43 editions

Brilliantly depressing

5 stars

An unexpected find by Dave for our Kindle and possibly one of the most depressing stories I have read! Don't get me wrong. I loved the book and the writing is incredible but the lead character's life is very sad in that the personal cost to him of brief episodes of happiness is intense sorrow. The descriptions of certain classes of people at the beginning of the 20th century, particularly Stoner's wife Edith, are fantastic, as is the portrayal of his parents and their isolation. A great book but not a light read!

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This was an oddly compelling read about an unremarkable guy and his flawed life. I don't have a huge love of classics, and I likely would never have read this book if not for my book club friends reading it this month, but I'm actually glad I read this one.

Stoner could be anyone you come across, and you'd never know. He grew up dirt poor, went to college woefully unprepared, and managed to stumble on something he enjoyed much better than his family's farm in the process. Neither farmers nor scholars of that time period are known for their emotional development, so when he's confronted with the intense emotions that an infatuation can bring on a person, he conflates that with love, and mistakes are made. Stoner experiences low points, manages to make his way out of those low points, and finally manages to make his stumbling way towards …

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Reading fiction has always been a double-edged sword for me. Some of the most intimate moments I've spent alone is while reading fictional stories, while at the same time, feeling a pang of disappointment for myself because I wasn't doing anything "productive." Is this mere entertainment? Am I just escaping my real-life responsibilities and reading stories of make-believe? While I still haven't found sincere answers to these questions, I've grown more confident of what I enjoy and what I don't, which has consequently helped me find peace with this conflict. Over the years, I've realized that reading good literature is therapeutic for me - not to be used as an afterthought but essential to keep me functional.

Stoner was another great session in my therapy.

A story that on the surface feels depressing and sad, but curiously enough has immense hopeful undertones. This is the ordinary story of a man …

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Ik weet het niet zo goed. Het is dubbel.
Op zich is dit een goed boek binnen z’n genre. Je krijgt een duidelijke inkijk in het personage en het leven van Stoner. De manier van schrijven neemt je echt helemaal mee in wie Stoner is en hoe hij zich verhoudt tegenover Edith, Grace en andere personages de de revue passeren. Maar ook al gebeurt er heel veel, toch gebeurt er naar mijn aanvoelen te weinig en werd het saai en langdradig. Ik denk dat dit soort boek niet echt mijn ding is, al ben ik ervan overtuigd dat het verhaal zeer goed geschreven is. Dubbel dus.

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Ho iniziato ad odiare questo libro sin dall'inizio perché l'autore non rispetta la regola base: Show, don't tell (Mostra, non raccontare)
Andando avanti mi sono accorto che la vita di Stoner era proprio così, non vissuta ma raccontata. Insomma questo libro andava scritto proprio così, perché il protagonista sembra seguire la propria vita dall'esterno senza viverla in prima persona, senza fare una singola scelta consapevole.
Pian piano mi sono affezzionato a Willy Stoner e ho iniziato a solidarizzare con lui, fino alla fine, quando guarda in faccia la morte e finalmente fa qualcosa per prepararsi. Lì mi ha addirituttra commosso e mi ha fatto piangere. Odio quando giocano così con le mie emozioni... ma in realtà quando un autore riesce a coinvolgermi così è perché è bravo. 😀

Per quanto rigurda i contenuti ho ammirato molto l'abnegazione e il senso del dovere di Stoner che di certo è un gran …

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is a beautifully written novel, one that will stick with me for quite awhile. William Stoner seemed to be living a quiet life, and yet his was a life full of tragedy, loneliness, defiance, and passion. Stoner had plenty of opportunity to show integrity and be true to himself, and he did. He discovered the truth and meaning in his life. That is success.

The English professor who opened William Stoner's eyes in the beginning of this story is Archer Sloane, who has a memorable speech about the young men who are leaving school to fight in WWI.

"...A war doesn't merely kill off a few thousand or a few hundred thousand young men. It kills off something in a people that can never be brought back. And if a people goes through enough wars, pretty soon all that's left is the brute, the creature that we--you and I …

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

En på mange måder brutal og rystende bog, som gav mig lyst til at blive hjemme fra arbejde og kramme mine kone og børn hele dagen. Hvilket er lidt paradoksalt når man tager i betragtning at bogens hovedperson, som vi følger fra han er en lille dreng helt ind i døden som en gammel mand, i det store og hele bliver reddet af hans arbejde og kald.

Sproget er nøgent, skåret helt ind til benet og ikke til at komme uden om. Hændelserne i bogen forekommer plausible i den tid de foregår i og der fortælles ofte om gennemført ondskabsfulde handlinger, hvor misdæderen tilsyneladende ikke har nogle plausible bevæggrunde for sine handlinger.

Bogen er blottet for dramatik i de enkelte hændelser, men alligevel en af de mest dramatiske bøger jeg har læst.

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Leste norsk utgave av denne. Denne boka fortjener all oppmerksomhet den har fått. Det er selvsagt spennende at denne boka ble glemt og gjenoppdaget, men det er urettferdig for bokas vedkommende å fokusere for mye på det. Boka er veldig god, helt uavhengig av tilblivelseshistorien.

Boka handler om William Stoner, som har en vidunderlig evne til å se forbi dagliglivets trivialiteter (men som desverre selv ender opp som en trivialitet). Stoner forstår ofte andre bedre enn de forstår seg selv. Han undrer seg over folk som tror på sin egne irrasjonelle oppførsel, og fanger seg selv om han er på vei i samme felle. Flere ganger får man innblikk i bare starten av Stoners ressonnmenet, og må fullføre det selv.

Boka åpner med å oppsummere Stoners liv i (veldig) grove trekk. En nokså naturlig måte å oppsummere et menneskets liv på. Når man så vet hva som skjer med Stoner …

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Yet another book I've discovered through the read list of Philipp. I should have been warned as from my experience he doesn't make claims like «The saddest book I've read so far» too lightly.

It's a pretty quick read (~ 2 1/2 hours worth of reading time) but it stays in your head for much longer. Basically the whole book is the 101 on «How many small bad decisions - which not looked too bad at the time - tend to pile up and can destroy your life if you run with them» (or to borrow from another review: «life sucks and then you die (in my own words)»).

Which I found pretty easy to relate to and reading this book on my commute to work was probably one of the worse decisions I made recently.

5/5. Would suffer again.

Review of 'Stoner' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

I can understand the people who quit halfway through this book and then complain about how it's overrated. I kept going to the end, though, and I'm glad I read it. I don't know how to explain why. It was like living someone's life through, and being reminded by doing that all lives are to some extent meaningless, that contentment washes out regrets, and that it all ends. I can't possibly explain why that was good, but it was.

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Subjects

  • Literature -- Study and teaching -- Fiction.
  • English teachers -- Fiction.
  • College teachers -- Fiction.
  • Marital conflict -- Fiction.
  • Adultery -- Fiction.
  • Middle West -- Fiction.

Lists