Book Review: Uncommon Type: Some Stories
I love Tom Hanks. I've never really thought about who my favorite actor/actress is but I think if I did I would probably put Tom Hanks as #1. So, when I heard that he wrote a book of short stories I immediately pre-ordered it. I've grown to love books of short stories this year and Uncommon Type: Some Stories is both the best and at times worst of a book of short stories.
My preference for novels still leans towards putting your best work forward. And at times I found some of the stories in Uncommon Type to be completely lacking. There's a story where a group of friends build/buy a rocket and go to the moon and come back. There's almost no plot, no conflict, nothing really happens. It's the most middle of the road story and one that I'll probably forget about quickly after writing this review.
On the other hand, there were a handful of stories that I found incredibly profound. One story was two army buddies who call each other at midnight on Christmas each year. One of the two has a family, a stable job, and seems to have found contentment after WWII. The other is living out of a suitcase trying to outrun his past. It's a simple story that we've heard a million times and yet I still found it to really be effective. There's another story with a mother and her two kids who move to a new house after a divorce, and the story is about them getting to know their neighbor. There's nothing overly profound about this or many of the stories in the book but they're all really enjoyable.
I'll be completely frank that I think this is a very good book that's given an extra bump because I listened to Tom Hanks narrate the book. He's got a great reading voice, and does a pretty spectacular job of voices and embodying his characters. I don't think all of the stories work, some are really lacking, but at the end of the book, I was very happy to have read it.