Summary and book reviews of Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Uncommon Type

Some Stories

by Tom Hanks

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks X
Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
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    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2017, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2018, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Matt Grant
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About this Book

Book Summary

A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.

A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game - and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!

Three Exhausting Weeks

Day 1

Anna said there was only one place to find a meaningful gift for MDash – the Antique Warehouse, not so much a place for old treasures as a permanent swap meet in what used to be the Lux Theater. Before HBO, Netflix, and the one hundred and seven other entertainment outlets bankrupted the Lux, I sat for many hours in that once-splendid cinema palace and watched movies. Now it's stall after stall of what passes for antiques. Anna and I looked into every one of them.

MDash was about to become a naturalized US Citizen, which was as big a deal for us as it was for him. Steve Wong's grandparents were naturalized in the forties. My dad had escaped the low-grade thugs that were East European Communists in the 1970s and, way back when, Anna's ancestors rowed boats across the North Atlantic, seeking to pillage whatever was pillage-able in the New World. The Anna family legend is that they found Martha's Vineyard ...

Continue ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

After I finished them, most of Hank's stories flitted from my brain like a light balloon. In seventeen stories, Hanks — whose squeaky-clean image as "America's Dad" has itself become as American as apple pie — presents a world as neatly packaged and free from real-world troubles as the average Hollywood rom-com. This is the short story collection of a new and burgeoning writer, as uneven and unsure as all debuts can be. But it's also the voice of one of America's most beloved actors, a growing literary talent, and a man who is clearly not content to explore just one aspect of the human condition...continued

Full Review (688 words).

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(Reviewed by Matt Grant).

Media Reviews

NPR
Is this great literature? No — it's too generic and mawkish. But Uncommon Type offers heartfelt charm along with nostalgia for sweeter, simpler times — even if they never really were quite so sweet or simple.

Bookpage
Given the intelligence Hanks brings to the craft of acting, it makes sense that he would have a knack for storytelling. Filled with warmth, comedy and wisdom, this companionable collection is as appealing as its author.

Bustle
Smart and equally heartfelt, this collection is a must-read for fans of the actor and literary lovers alike.

USA Today
Accomplished and delightful. .... Terrific. ... Hanks proves his bona fides as a serious scribe.

Publishers Weekly
Hanks's narrators speak with similar verbal tics - multiple narrators say 'Noo Yawk,' for example - but the stories they tell generally charm. The only true misfires come when Hanks breaks away from traditional structure: the story-as-screenplay 'Stay With Us' drags, and faux newspaper columns by man of the people Hank Fiset start clever but turn grating.

Booklist
A surprising and satisfying book from a first-time fiction writer.

Kirkus Reviews
While these stories have the all-American sweetness, humor, and heart we associate with his screen roles, Hanks writes like a writer, not a movie star.

Author Blurb Steve Martin
It turns out that Tom Hanks is also a wise and hilarious writer with an endlessly surprising mind. Damn it.

Author Blurb Mindy Kaling
The central quality to Tom's writing is a kind of poignant playfulness. It's exactly what you hope from him, except you wish he were sitting in your home, reading it aloud to you, one story at a time.

Author Blurb Carl Hiaasen
Wait - Tom Hanks can write, too? Funny, moving, deftly surprising stories? That's just swell. Maybe there's no crying in baseball, pal, but it's perfectly acceptable in the book business. That's how we drown envy.

Author Blurb Stephen Fry
Mr. Hanks turns out to be as authentically genuine a Writer with as capital a W as ever touched a typewriter key. The stories in Uncommon Type range from the hilarious to the deeply touching...All with that extra quality of keenly observant and sympathetic intelligence that has always set Tom Hanks apart. I blink, bubble and boggle in amazed admiration.

Author Blurb Anna Funder
Uncommon Type is funny, wise, gloriously inventive and humane. Tom Hanks sees inside people – a wary divorcee, a billionaire trading desire for disaster, a boy witnessing his father's infidelity, a motley crew shooting for the moon – with such acute empathy and good humour we'd follow him anywhere.

Author Blurb Ann Patchett
Reading Tom Hanks's Uncommon Type is like finding out that Alice Munro is also the greatest actress of our time.

Reader Reviews

Cloggie Downunder

Very enjoyable.
Uncommon Type: Some Stories is the first print book by American actor, filmmaker and author, Tom Hanks. This is a collection of seventeen quite diverse stories. They vary not only in subject matter, but also format. Many are straight narrative, but ...   Read More
Rene M

A Good Read
It had been a long time since I read anyone's collection of short stories. I didn't have any expectations of this book, nor did I read any reviews prior, other than the ones printed on the book jacket. I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

The History of the Typewriter

Tom Hanks' short story collection Uncommon Type, puts his love for typewriters on display. Hanks has a personal collection of over one hundred machines, made up of nearly every make and model ever put on the market. For those who grew up in the digital age, typewriters may seem all but extinct, a relic of a past era. But at one time, typewriters were as revolutionary and cutting edge as the latest laptop technology. The earliest progenitors of the typewriter believed they were creating a writing device only for the blind. They didn't foresee typewriters being needed by those who could see; after all, what were pens for?

Like most inventions, the creation of the typewriter wasn't a singular event; historians estimate that the typewriter ...

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