Top positive review
EMOTIONAL WARNING!!! EMOTIONAL WARNING!!!
24 March 2014
What strikes me most about this book is the honesty of the writing. It is not flash, over exuberant toffee-flavoured prose. It is down to earth text that will inspire both the hard core readers as well as those that pick up a book just as frequently as an Australian drought breaks. The characterisation shines like gold in the early part of the story. Indeed, Stoner's father just about steals the show when he tries to convince his son to leave home to take up university. There is not a dry eye in the house (either physical or literal) when we read that scene and it is one of the most beautiful pieces of text you will come across in the entire book.
In his second year studying, young Stoner meets and accepts his destiny. By changing his university major from agriculture to literature, the story progresses, life moves on, the world's population implodes, and we all change with it. And so, too, does the man himself. He soon evolves into a rising young academic with a PhD in waiting as well as a wonderful university career beckoning.
But then along comes the first world war and everything changes. And yet it doesn't. The war ends, an Saint Valentine comes knocking on Stoner's metaphorical front door. He meets, and falls in love with a lovely young woman whose parents's idea of finishing school is the local nunnery. And so we meet the newest stunningly fascinating character of the book.
This book is glorious. As i have said, the writing is down to earth, moving, easy to read and totally believable. The story at times is highly emotional. It is not hard to see why the world has fallen in love with this tale in 2014. What IS hard to fathom is why the book was not a success when it was first published. It is a truly great read, and a modern day classic. Buy it, read it and love it. But don't miss it.
I have just finished this classic work and the over-riding emotion one feels at the tomb's completion is sadness. Looking back, the literary highlights from reading this extraordinary volume occur at the various epiphanies Stoner experiences, spread vicariously across the book's pages just as they occurred throughout his life. This book is sad and depressing. Yes, the book is written with a quality of text that is rarely used except by the masters but it is nice to end a book with at least one feeling of goodness emanating from your memory, instead of a series of emotional jolts that leave the reader reeling. I will say nothing of the ending except to say it is not a joyful one. I will reduce the rating down to four stars for this reason as it has left me with the feeling of overall emptiness and pointlessness. S-A-D.