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robtwinem

runner

I live in Bristol UK literary fiction and crime are my books of choice and when not reading I like to run

Currently reading

Operation Chastise: The RAF's Most Brilliant Attack of World War II
Max Hastings
Progress: 50/400 pages
When I come Home Again
Caroline Scott
Progress: 20 %
Professional Reader 50 Book Reviews 80% Reviews Published

Quiet and poignant read

Stoner - John Edward Williams

What a wonderful gentle read. The life of William Stoner, a student and then a Professor at the University of Missouri. He initially enrolled to study agriculture, and help manage his father’s farm, but in one very significant life changing moment he discovered his true vocation in the world of literature. His choice of Edith as a future spouse was a fundamental mistake….”She was short, plump woman with fine white hair that floated about her face; her dark eyes twinkled moistly, and she spoke softly and breathlessly  as if she were telling secrets.”………”in her white dress she was a cold light coming into the room”…..And so with a stoical mind and a shrug of inevitability Stoner fills his days with the enquiring and challenging minds of his students and his lifelong love of books and the written word. Katherine Driscoll, a student completing her dissertation, falls in love with Stoner and he, whose life is totally devoid of any affection, reciprocates this much wanted attention. For a time, his personal and private life were full of joy but under pressure from departmental elders the affair ended….”He had wanted love; and he had had love, and had relinquished  it, had let it go into the chaos of potentiality. Katherine, he thought. Katherine.”…….

 

The life of Stoner is a life or ordinariness filled with those special moments, full of decisions taken, choices made, right or wrong, good or bad. It is a clever, poignant book and in many ways a reflection of any human life, and the inevitable fate that awaits us all. Beautiful storytelling and highly recommended.