"The greatest novel you've never read"- Sunday Times
Now I don't know how true that was for me, granted it was good, but I was left a little disappointed. The book is written in order to record 'unrecorded history' or rather the life of an average man and to 'reclaim the significance of an individual life'- something that I think is achieved brilliantly.
However at the end of the day following the life of an average man is, not boring, but can leave you feeling a little disappointed at the end of the book; you constantly expect more which is not delivered. This, in my opinion, is the point of the novel. Yes, Stoner does not achieve absolute greatness or changes the world dramatically, but it teaches us that sometimes the small human victories are just as important. I think if you are looking for something that is thought provoking you will enjoy this book, but maybe don't expect the 'greatest novel' claims on the cover.
At the time of buying the book, I didn't realise that it wasn't a modern novel (you would think that the bold print 'vintage' on the cover would have clued me in but you would be mistaken), in fact it was first published in the UK in 1973 and the author himself was born in 1922, something that you would not be able to tell from reading the story but explains a lot after reading. Again, if you are looking for something that isn't necessarily 'modern' but is an accurate reflection on the past this could be an interesting read for you, and not one you would find in the history books.
The writing style is lovely, and beautifully fitting for the development of the character and the story, as well as being classically crisp and clear.
I enjoyed this book, not as much as I had hoped I would, but it is a lovely story, simple straight forward and a telling account of an individual life.