Stoner by John Williams


From the opening lines of the book, we learn that William Stoner is a man who did not leave much of a physical trace on the world around him, with the only reference of him existing tucked away in a file deep in some university archives. From there, we follow the titular man throughout his life amid the early 20th century, navigating love, loss and friendship. The novel is dripping with quiet devastation; small events hit with the emotional resonance of a Greek tragedy. “Stoner” is ultimately about the lives of average people, who go through the usual motions, the ebbs and flows of marriage and children, who are forgotten after two or three generations, but their lives still carry weight, and their stories are still worth telling. This book will make you cry, will leave you contemplating your own existence, your own love life, and will carve a deep pit in your stomach that will be hard to climb out of. Harry

Buy the book

John Williams, John McGahern (Introduction by)