Uncommon Type

Book review by Deane Barker tags: fiction, short-stories

A lovely little book of short stories by Tom Hanks. The hook is that every story “features” a typewriter in some way (in quotes, because some appearances are brief – Hanks apparently collects old typewriters).

Short stories are interesting because there’s no room for plot. They’re very…serial. They move forward without any twists or turns. They’re kind of like a random slice of life – a peek into someone’s world. They invite mysterious endings that leave you hanging and leave much to interpretation.

There’s about 20 of them in here, and all they’re all very nice to read. A couple are odd, but most of them are…pleasant? Dare I say that they’re the – wait for it – Tom Hanks of short stories?

There’s one that is sort of sci fi horror, but the rest are simply random peeks into the lives of people.

  • A Bulgarian immigrant comes to the United States as a sailor, jumps ship, and tries to make it in NYC

  • A family man in the 50s spends Christmas Eve with his wife and kids, then gets an expected phone call which brings back memories of the war

  • A recently divorced woman moves to a new neighborhood and misjudges one of her neighbors

  • A billionaire discovers time travel and keeps going back to meet a beautiful woman in 1939, over and over

  • An actor who stumbled into a supporting role in the latest blockbuster goes on his first press junket in Europe

  • A girl from Arizona moves to NYC in 1978 to make it big on Broadway

I enjoyed it. I’d read one every day. There’s nothing shocking or dark, and Hanks is quite a good writer.

Book Info

Tom Hanks
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A hardcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

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