Uncommon Type

Uncommon Type

Some Stories

eBook - 2017
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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!
Publisher: 2017
ISBN: 9781101946169
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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k
KMMS
Jan 29, 2020

It's nice for Hanks that he's developed a new interest, but that doesn't mean this first attempt should be immediately celebrated.

Hanks' writing style is in a word, adequate, but you can also immediately tell this is the writing of an older American man. The un-ironic straightforward patriotism, the cliché female characters, the hokey language, and the romanticizing of the past all do more than enough to give it away. The general optimism portrayed by all characters - a disproportionate number of which are wealthy, even superrich, by the way - is quaint but seems out of touch in today's world. While a couple of the more creative stories, like "Alan Bean Plus Four" and "The Past is Important to Us," will surely stick in my mind, most of them were so boring that I question why they were written at all. It seems a stretch to refer to all of these scenes as "stories."

I wish the stories had at least tried to make a unique point. A wannabe starlet in the 70s cries on the street in New York and is immediately whisked away to stardom, for example. How is that realistic, relevant, or at all interesting? It feels like the writing was sent to press without anyone editing for content.

The typewriter gimmick is cool, but there's really just one story that actually features the typewriter. Stringing these scenes together on the basis that they all contain, at some point, the word "typewriter" is just that: a gimmick.

i
iloveseaotters
Oct 19, 2019

I was so excited to see that my favorite actor, Tom Hanks had written a book and after getting this book for Christmas, I couldn't wait to get started on it! The stories are short enough that you can put it away for a while if you need to and come back to it.

I admit that the reason I didn't give this the entire five stars is because although I liked the book as a whole, I didn't like every story. Some were much better than others; some were hilarious and some were boring. But it was fascinating how Tom managed to put a typewriter into each and every story in some aspect or another. I am definitely going to find the audio book after learning that Tom narrated it (how fun to listen to him reading his own book!) and perhaps re-read this book again at some point. I'm glad I got it as a Christmas gift from my husband so that I don't have to return it to the library and wish that I had my own copy.

Tom is definitely an amazing and very unique man and this book was very enjoyable as a whole. Although I wouldn't want him to transition over to writing full time in exchange for his acting talents, I hope he will write more books like this.

m
MiRiAm12345
May 13, 2019

Can Tom Hanks act? Of course! Can he narrate with the skill of a professional book narrator? Absolutely not. His voice is stilted, but so are the stories he wrote in this collection...at least if all of them of of the same quality as the first and only one I bothered to listen to on the CD version of the book.

VaughanPLDavidB May 03, 2019

This collection of stories has typewriters, of all things, playing prominent or background roles in all of them. My general feeling as I read was that if the author were not Tom Hanks, this collection would not have been published. But then, I also thought that if the author were not Tom Hanks I would not be reading it, so I guess the publishers got it right.

There are a few stories in this collection that are sweet, one or two others poignant, but most of the rest can be described as either pointless or ridiculous. There are two things that are near and dear to the heart of of the author: WW2 soldiers and space exploration. While the story featuring space exploration can best be described as preposterous, Hanks reserved his best for the story of a couple of war buddies having their annual Christmas telephone conversation. It is by no means perfect, as I think Hanks jams too many themes into one short story, themes already covered in many other stories, including disabled veterans, PTSD, and gays serving in the military. There is also a story on time travel that stands out, but otherwise 2.5 stars for the overall quality of the collection, plus .5 to the author for giving it a shot.

l
lauralaura
Feb 09, 2019

If your reading is motivated by skillful writing or compelling stories this isn't the book for you.

f
Frey29
Jan 27, 2019

This was a nice collection of short stories. There were some very clever moments and some downright funny ones. Nice light reading.

a
annabug4
Dec 30, 2018

July

AnnabelleLee27 Oct 05, 2018

A collection of short stories, some of which are quite insightful and many are poignant and charming. The characters were interesting but I found myself increasingly wanting fewer stories that lasted longer and dug deeper. However, listening to Hanks read his work was so delightful that it felt like a visit from an old friend.

h
HollyHertel
Aug 07, 2018

Wow! What a writer. It's not fair, because Tom Hanks is such a great actor, how can he be both? He has a wry, tongue-in-cheek quality. This book of short stories has some real gems. Highly recommend this! I want to listen to the audiobook; Hanks is probably a fabulous reader. How can he not be?!

l
LindaMarion
Jul 25, 2018

glad tom hanks can write but i lost interest after a bit. stories and characters not strong enough for me.

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