Thoughts  by John Williams, New York Review Book 2003 (orig 1965), 305 pages

Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.


Challenge: Classics Club 50!
Type/Source: eBook/Kindle

MOTIVATION for READING: I had heard very good things about this book; I had expectations that it would be just the kind of book I love. And it was!

WHAT’s it ABOUT: Stoner is a Professor of Literature at the University of Missouri. This book explores his entire life, start to finish.

WHAT’s GOOD: The writing.

What’s NOT so good: I love contemplative character studies. If you don’t, just skip it. It’s OK.              I LOVED this.

FINAL THOUGHTS: I’m so glad to finally conquer this one! Yay me.

RATING: Five slices of pie. No pie mentioned. Although, ‘magpie’ is.

“Outside, in the old elm that crowded the back-yard fence, a large black-and-white bird—a magpie—had started to chatter. He listened to the sound of its calling and watched with remote fascination the open beak as it strained out its lonely cry.”



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12 thoughts on “Stoner

  1. The best thing about this book, I think, on reflection, is that it’s about what happens to the life of a person for whom what happens in his reading is as real (at moments, more real) than his actual life.

  2. Is this a memoir? I have never heard of it.

    I think that quote is a bit depressing, to be honest. I know I don’t have enough time to read all the books, but I don’t want to dwell on it. Nor do I want to lose hope that it is always possible to achieve. That whole shattered serenity thing makes me think he is devastated about the limitations of time.

    1. Nope, not a memoir. The writing is impressive. This isn’t a happy book, it’s almost melancholy. Go ahead a skip this. Skip Idaho, too if you don’t want to read about dementia. (This isn’t about dementia but I know you asked about Goodbye, Vitamin so I thought I would put it out there.)

  3. Pingback: Classics Club Update and Spin-Done-Read Link – Care's Books and Pie

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