Book Review: Stoner by John Williams
In some ways, this book is technically close to perfect. That does not, however, mean that is is a terribly enjoyable read. Stoner was a dull character to begin with, who grew tedious and downright unpleasant as the story progressed. He is unhappy with his life, and yet I felt a distance to him that made it difficult for me to develop much sympathy for the character or to be as invested in the story as I would have liked to have been. Stoner seemed unhappy and uninspired, and despite the fact that as a reader we follow him throughout his adult life and his many ups and downs, he never became fully fleshed out for me or evoked much of an emotional reaction. That being said, I think Williams has an elegant, almost lyrical writing style, which made the book flow easily, even if the plot was predictable and Stoner himself not a terrible sympathetic figure. I would be interested in reading something else by him, to see if that thoughtful and smooth style of writing with, perhaps, a slightly more engaging plot and protagonist, would make for a more enjoyable read.