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September 28, 2017

Uncommon Type

Uncommon Type

By: Tom Hanks

America’s favorite movie star (according to a People Magazine survey) has become an author.  Turns out, Tom Hanks is not “just a pretty good writer – for an actor,” but he demonstrates real talent in this field of artistic expression.  Uncommon Type is a collection of 17 short stories, with one common thread – a typewriter is featured in every story.

One might go into reading this book with a bias.  In fact, to this reader, some of the stories seemed like short screenplays with Hanks as one of the main characters.   This is not a bad thing, because visualizing a character can enhance the reading experience, and I really like Tom Hanks movies!  Aside from that, the stories and varied, interesting, and insightful, the characters are relatable, and the prose is relaxed and very readable.   There is something here for just about everyone, including historical settings, romance, adventure, family dynamics, pathos, and even time travel.  And, if you enjoy Hanks’ sense of humor, you won’t be disappointed, as it is sprinkled throughout.

“A short story is the ultimate close-up magic trick – a couple of thousand words to take you around the universe or break your heart.” – author Neil Gaiman.   The art and skill of the short story should not be underestimated, as most noted authors will attest.  Tom Hanks has demonstrated considerable skill in his first book.


Review By:  Donna LeFeber