"Stoner," by John Williams

Novel, 1965

A dreary, drearily-principled life story told in a conventional start to finish kind of way, about a solid but unremarkable University of Missouri academic. From such unpromising source material, Williams turns in an absolute page-turning gem, with which any disaffected ‘average man’ will surely empathise. A real achievement in which a tragic set of characters slide into old age and obscurity gain, if not heroic, then an almost mythical quality.

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