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Paperback Stoner (Korean Edition) Book

ISBN: 8925554992

ISBN13: 9788925554990

Stoner (Korean Edition)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Discover an American masterpiece. This unassuming story about the life of a quiet English professor has earned the admiration of readers all over the globe. William Stoner is born at the end of the...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Hero or A Loser?

On the first page of this fine novel the author tells us that the protagonist is a man of no particular esteem, a university professor who, after 38 years of teaching at the University of Missouri rose no higher than the lowly rank of Assistant Professor. 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. Then again, I don't read a book necessarily to find someone that I can identify with. I am intrigued by interesting lives that may be totally different from my life, or my fantasy life. One final comment. I found the last 20 pages of this book to be heartbreaking. Being an older person myself, I am especially touched by the difficulties that age brings on. This is an excellent literary novel abounding with elegant writing. For me it was one of those books that I thought about for days after I finished it.

his life was beautiful - his story a masterpiece

This great novel chronicles the life of a man embodying that rare quality which Kenneth Rexroth described as "magnanimity". As we read of his difficulties and of the people in his life who constantly torment and betray him, the lower part of our nature continually cries out to this fictional character, "Get out,for God's sake! Just leave!" But of course it is just his refusal to "get out" which gives Stoner his longevity and nobility, and which redeems him in the final moments of his life (I can hardly ever remember being so moved by the closing pages of a novel.) Stoner is reminiscent of Ford Madox Ford's Christopher Tietjens, the center point of his tetralogy, PARADE'S END, another forgotten 20th century masterpiece. Like Tietjens, William Stoner refuses to cast off the liabilities of his life for any reason; in his review of the Ford novel for the Saturday Evening Post, Rexroth graced Tietjens with the summit of his own brand of critical praise (hard won indeed) by deeming him one of the last of the magnanimous men in literature. I hope that Rexroth had occasion to read "Stoner".

Simply stunning

Stoner is a truly moving work. Its brilliance lies partly in its rectitude, partly in its discomfort and mostly in its artistry. As reviewers have accurately summed, the novel's ultimately about a man's stoicism (which sounds truly boring) and honor, but is really a meditation on individuality. As an English teacher I'm encouraged to teach Ethan Frome to the students, and would much rather teach this novel for its depth, complexity and beauty Please buy, read and pass this book on! (I am a Northerner, not a relative, yet simply a reader!)

A Great Book About a Small Ordinary Life

In this remarkable, overlooked work, John Williams chooses as his central character an undistinguished English professor (Stoner), who lives a largely uneventful life teaching at a drab Midwestern university. Neither Stoner's wife, nor his colleagues, nor his students think much of him. Yet the degree to which Williams succeeds in bringing the reader to identify with -- and care for -- his most unlikely protagonist is nothing short of a triumph. The final pages, in particular, are sad, transcendent, and unforgettable.

Understated masterpiece, akin to Joyce and Tolstoy.

I'd never heard of this author or this book until I read an essay about him in an old back issue of Ploughshares by the novelist Dan Wakefield. I was suspect, too, because I'm not one for academic novels, unless they're farcical, because the only thing there seems to be at stake in academic novels is tenure, which in my opinion, doesn't make for such great reading. Well, not so in Stoner. Stoner is a quiet look at a man's largely unheroic and drab life, "an adventureless tale" as Joyce wrote (and in many respects William Stoner, the protagonist, comes right out of Dubliners). The feat of this book is that Williams makes the diurnal and fairly dull activities of an academic utterly riveting. How does he do it? By not being precious or pretentious about it, which is how so many other writers would have handled the material. Instead, Williams believes in the integrity of his hero, for whom nothing is easily achieved, or for that matter, very attractive. Even Stoner's honeymoon is a fairly squalid affair, and somehow, as bad as the story gets -- and it doesn't get bad in a dramatic or gimmicky way, just bad in the sense that Stoner never really experiences any joy in his life -- we keep reading. The book is grim, yes, and yet it will leave you feeling oddly enthralled. Read it.
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