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Publisher's Summary

Waterstone's book of the year

Colum McCann once called Stoner one of the great forgotten novels of the past century, but it seems it is forgotten no longer - in 2013 translations of Stoner began appearing on best-seller lists across Europe.

William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at 19 to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father's farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman. His life is quiet, and after his death his colleagues remember him rarely.

Yet with truthfulness, compassion and intense power, this novel uncovers a story of universal value. Stoner tells of the conflicts, defeats and victories of the human race that pass unrecorded by history and reclaims the significance of an individual life.

A listening experience like no other, itself a paean to the power of literature, it is a novel to be savoured.

©2016 John Williams (P)2016 Random House AudioBooks

What listeners say about Stoner

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Painful and beautiful

Such a complex yet freely flowing story! Gripping and engaging like few other books. I think you might have to have experienced a bit of life and love yourself to fully appreciate this book.

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Good read!

A simplistic but engaging narrative! The plot was well adapted by the narrator so much so that It was very hard to put down. (If that idiom applies to audio books) 😋

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The arc of a human (humanist) beautifully written

Still missing my time with Stoner - the book and the man. His story is both unique and universal. Molina's narration was spot-on. If you're after something in the same vein, try William Boyd's 'Any Human Heart'.

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Es una obra maestra

Esta muy bellamente narrado, perfectamente escrito, que transforma una vida aburrida en casi una obra maestra

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  • Daylan
  • 09-06-20

Hell of a writer

The story of an every man. The writing is superb and the narration is perfectly suited. I loved that there was no big ground breaking moments, just the story of a guy living his life, but it was engrossing. Definitely made me contemplative of life. I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but this was great.

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  • Jarrad
  • 04-17-19

The best novel i've never heard of

By the end of this novel i felt as if Stoner was someone i knew very dearly. Very well written and extremely evocative. I am almost tempted to listen to it over again.

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  • Jan
  • 11-26-21

One of the best books I have listened to

The narrator was excellent
And so east to listen to
I throughly enjoyed this book

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  • Toni
  • 09-04-18

How many other great bolks remain forgotten?

I spent the last chapter weeping. A wonderful book. Beautiful prose at times exultant. An inspiring death scene. Thank heavens this novel did not remain forgotten.

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  • AB
  • 03-11-22

A monumental work, far-too-unknown

Stunned to have gotten into my late 60s without having heard of and read this book before. It's as good or better than The Great Gatsby (an obvious comparison for a number of reasons) and equal to anything I have ever read in my life. Alfred Mollina's narration is similarly, right up there with the best I have ever heard an audiobook.

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  • Merc Moldrich
  • 08-10-22

A life lived, that's all it was.

A great story and Alfred Molina was the perfect person to narrate.

The character of William Stoner is the embodiment of the meaning of stoicism.

Melancholy is the undercurrent throughout but the narrator brings out the other colours of the story.

Recommend Repeat Listening!

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  • Susan Z.
  • 04-17-22

Banal

After listening to the novel on the recommendation of someone who's taste in books I respect, I was surprised to find the book extremely trite. The over- emphasised stoicism, the profound sexism and pseudo-humility masquerading as wisdom all made this a grating pretentious read.

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  • David Joseph Clarkson
  • 01-25-22

Stunning powerful novel

This novel will stay with me for a long time. Echoes of CP Snow’s “Corridors of Power” it has great depth and profound insights into the hunt condition. I thoroughly recommend it.

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  • Samantha
  • 12-29-21

Well written but so depressing!

Well read, good story but very black. A few mysteries not revealed. Popr William stoner.