A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.
A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game--and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Tom Hanks makes his literary debut with this collection of 17 stories whose only connection is the presence of a typewriter—and the actor’s talent for bringing a character to life with just a few words. From the battlefields of World War II to a movie press junket, each setting perfectly encapsulates a moment in time. Uncommon Type is a great choice for escapist reading.
Oscar-winner Hanks's debut collection is a wide-ranging affair of 17 stories threaded together by the recurring image of typewriters some stories, like the intriguing "These Are the Meditations of My Heart," build entire narratives around the machines, while others mention them in passing. In "Alan Bean Plus Four," one of the collection's best entries, four friends decide to build a backyard rocket and orbit the moon. These same characters star in two more stories, the enjoyable bowling yarn "Steve Wong Is Perfect," and the less noteworthy "Three Exhausting Weeks," which uses standard romantic comedy tropes in recollecting a wacky and doomed relationship. Hanks's stories sometimes lead to pat, happy endings, but not always "Christmas Eve 1953" develops a simple holiday story into a rumination on war. Similarly, "The Past Is Important to Us" employs a sharp, unexpected conclusion to elevate a story of time travel and romance at the 1939 World's Fair. Hanks's narrators speak with similar verbal tics multiple narrators say "Noo Yawk," for example but the stories they tell generally charm. The only true misfires come when Hanks breaks away from traditional structure: the story-as-screenplay "Stay With Us" drags, and faux newspaper columns by man of the people Hank Fiset start clever but turn grating. 250,000-copy announced first printing. \n
I wanted to love this book. Instead, I merely liked it. Even that was a stretch at times. It’s a collection of short fiction stories. Some are better than others. Some are really good. Others really not. In the end many of the stories felt like they were over just as they were getting interesting, which is sad as the ones that were getting interesting were getting very interesting.
I enjoyed how Hanks tried to incorporate the typewriter, something he is famous for enjoying so much, into his stories, without overdoing it. Sure, at times it felt a little forced, but it was an interesting common thread spread throughout stories that don’t have any real commonality between them.
If you’re a fan of Tom Hanks, you’ll want to pick this up. It shows his abilities are not limited to just acting. Which is enough. His writing style shows he is multi-talented and a decent writer, I just wish the stories didn’t feel cut off at the knees.
Instantly drew me in. I love this book and I’m excited for future works
It grew on me but ultimately just ok.
Nothing wrong with these stories, but honestly I don’t think that they would have been published if they weren’t written by Tom Hanks. He has a nice sense of character development but ultimately an average collection of average short stories.