Reading Group 1 Book Review – Feb 23 – ‘Uncommon Type’ by Tom Hanks

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 hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighbourhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.

These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.

Group Reviews:

An interesting collection of short stories and a good balance of characters with the typewriter going on in the background.

This months book comprised a bunch of stories, some very entertaining, some fairly bland and the remainder didn’t seem worth pursuing.

I found that the subject matter was very American, which I liked. Although it was clear from references to technology that  many of the stories were set in modern times it felt that they were set in earlier times (1950’s?)

Overall I found it ok and would give it a neutral score.



Posted in Reading Group 1.