Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
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 neighborhood 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. Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing. Alternatingly whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.
Three exhausting weeks -- Christmas eve, 1953 -- A junket in the city of light -- Our town today with Hank Fiset: an elephant in the pressroom -- Welcome to Mars -- A month on Greene Street -- Alan Bean plus four -- Our town today with Hank Fiset: at loose in the Big Apple -- Who's who? -- A special weekend -- These are the meditations of my heart -- Our town today with Hank Fiset: back from back in time -- The past is important to us -- Stay with us -- Go see Costas -- Our town today with Hank Fiset: your Evangelista, Esperanza -- Steve Wong is perfect.
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.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
In his debut collection, Hank's stories range in length from under ten minutes to an hour-plus. The actor, who narrates, displays a range of vocal textures that convey mood and tone. One story describes a time traveler from the near future who has fallen in love with a woman he met at the 1939 World's Fair and his reckless choice to stay in the past. Another is a satirical look at near--stardom. Yet another lightly raps the knuckles of certain trendy self-help concepts. And another is a poignant look at war on a Christmas Eve in the 1950s. All have a typewriter folded neatly into the plot, almost as an additional character. Blind listeners may find that the last story is dramatized in a manner that suggests an audio-described production. VERDICT Recommended for short story fans and Hanks devotees. ["Hanks's stories evoke dreams and flights of imagination that everyone has experienced, making the 'what ifs' of life tangible": LJ 10/15/17 review of the Knopf hc.]-David Faucheux, Lafayette, LA © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
As an actor, Tom Hanks has an understated performance style; the hard work seems to get done under the surface, where we can't see it. All we see is the truth of the character. The same goes for the 17 short stories in this thoroughly engaging book, Hanks' fiction debut. Here are stories about friends who become lovers and then decide that wasn't a good idea; about old war buddies whose Christmas Eve conversation sparks some powerful memories; about a movie star enduring a press junket; about a billionaire and his assistant on the trail of acquisitions who find in America's heartland a humanity very different from their glass-tower world. The stories are brief and sometimes seem abbreviated, but they possess a real feel for character and a slice-of-life realism that combine to deliver considerable depth beneath the surface. A surprising and satisfying book from a first-time fiction writer. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Hanks is both much loved and often criticized as an actor; his writing, however, may well cross that divide with its undeniable craft and plainspoken insight.--Pitt, David Copyright 2017 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Seventeen wide-ranging and whimsical storieswith a typewriter tucked into each one.Only one of the stories in Hanks' debut features an actor: it's a sharp satire with priceless insider details about a handsome dope on a press junket in Europe. The other 16 span a surprisingly wide spectrum. There's a recently divorced mom who's desperate to avoid the new neighbor who might be hitting on her; a billionaire inventor who's become addicted to taking time-travel vacations; a World War II veteran whose Christmas Eve 1953 is disturbed by memories of Christmas Eve 1944; a young man who celebrates his 19th birthday by going surfing with his dad; a Bulgarian immigrant literally just off the boat, spending his first few days as a New Yorker. Three stories are editions of a small-town newspaper column called "Our Town Today with Hank Fiset." Three others feature a group of pals named MDash, Anna, Steve Wong, and an unnamed first-person narrator. In one story, the friends go bowling; in another, they go to the moon; in the third, the narrator and Anna try dating for three weeks only to find that "being Anna's boyfriend was like training to be a Navy SEAL while working full-time in an Amazon fulfillment center in the Oklahoma Panhandle in tornado season." Or as Steve Wong puts it, "We are like a TV show with diversity casting. African guy, him. Asian guy, me. Mongrel Caucasoid, you. Strong, determined woman, Anna, who would never let a man define her. You and her pairing off is like a story line from season eleven when the network is trying to keep us on the air." There's a typewriter in every tale, be it IBM Selectric, Royal, Underwood, Hermes 2000, or some other model. Hanks can write the hell out of typing, and his dialogue is excellent, too. Has he read William Saroyan? He should. While these stories have the all-American sweetness, humor, and heart we associate with his screen roles, Hanks writes like a writer, not a movie star. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.