BY JOHN WILLIAMS
Can you enjoy a novel that is basically about a man’s sad life? The answer is yes, well you can certainly be absorbed into the story of William Stoner, an English professor at the University of Missouri who fails in everyday life but finds meaning and fulfilment in his work, as a teacher of English.
Stoner has been described as a classic which was not discovered at the time of its publication, but has become a bestseller 50 years after the author’s death. William Stoner fails in love. At the university his career is curtailed when he is shafted by his colleagues in the English department, consequently being given the worst classes to teach. His only daughter is turned against him. Yet William Stoner sticks to his guns and carries on with his teaching. He is a martyr for sure, but not always a likeable one.
This novel is not exciting, but it is totally engaging and primarily it is sad. It has been described as a “quietness of a novel.” This is true, an ordinary, insignificant, unsuccessful life brought to our attention in a memorable and totally captivating way.
- for people who love books -