Wednesday, November 6, 2013



A while back I told of downloading to my Kindle the novel, Stoner. Well, last night just before going to sleep I finished reading it. And I don't for an instant regret paying ten dollars for it.

I don't have the words to describe my experience of reading this book, so I will post some of the reviews:

From Publishers Weekly:
This reprint of Williams's remarkable 1965 novel offers a window on early 20th century higher education in addition to its rich characterizations and seamless prose ... Williams (1922–1994) won the NBA for Augustus (1973), and NYRB will republish his western, Butch's Crossing next year. Williams's prose flows in a smooth, efficient current that demands contemplation.

"It is a marvelous discovery for everyone who loves literature."
--Ian McEwan, BBC Radio 4

"One of the great forgotten novels of the past century. I have bought at least 50 copies of it in the past few years, using it as a gift for friends... The book is so beautifully paced and cadenced that it deserves the status of classic."
--Colum McCann's Top 10 Novels
The Guardian:

"Stoner is undeniably a great book, but I can also understand why it isn’t a sentimental favorite in its native land. You could almost describe it as an anti-Gatsby....Part of Stoner's  greatness is that it sees life whole and as it is, without delusion yet without despair....The novel embodies the very virtues it exalts, the same virtues that probably relegate it, like its titular hero, to its perpetual place in the shade. But the book, like professor William Stoner, isn’t out to win popularity contests. It endures, illumined from within."
--Tim Krieder, The New Yorker

"It’s simply a novel about a guy who goes to college and becomes a teacher. But it’s one of the most fascinating things that you’ve ever come across."
--Tom Hanks, Time

I hasten to add that not everyone will like the book, But I most certainly did. (And I don't know why.)
Now I guess I'll have to read another of John Williams's books... probably Butcher's Crossing.

Did you know that . . . ?

The cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II, moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.



On this day in 1982, Shirley Allen was arrested for poisoning her husband, Lloyd Allen, with ethylene glycol, commonly known as anti-freeze. After witnessing her mother spike Lloyd's drinks with the deadly substance, Shirley's own daughter turned her in to the authorities.

Lloyd Allen was Shirley's sixth husband and the second to die from mysterious causes; the other four had divorced her. John Gregg, who died a year after he married Shirley in 1977, had changed the beneficiary on his life insurance policy shortly before his death. Shirley was outraged to find that she was left with nothing.

When Allen's death was investigated, toxicology reports confirmed that his body tissue contained a lethal amount of ethyl glycol. After a short four-day trial, Shirley Allen was sentenced to life in prison in 1983.


1. The body of written works of a language, period, or culture.
2. Imaginative or creative writing, especially of recognized artistic value.
3. The art or occupation of a literary writer.
4. The body of written work produced by scholars or researchers in a given field.

Wikipedia states that Literature is the art of written work. The word literature literally means: "things made from letters". Literature is commonly classified as having two major forms -- fiction and non-fiction -- and two major techniques -- poetry and prose.



Patrick Daniel "Pat" Tillman
(November 6, 1976 – April 22, 2004)
Pat Tillman was an American football player who left his professional career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. He joined the Army Rangers and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Army at first reported that Tillman had been killed by enemy fire, and then Lieutenant General Stanley A. McChrystal approved the award of a Silver Star. The actual cause of Tillman's death was ruled by The Pentagon as friendly fire.

Sally Margaret Field
(born November 6, 1946)
Sally Field is an American actress, singer, producer, director, and screenwriter. In each decade of her career, she has been known for her leading American TV and film roles, most notably in Gidget (1965–66), The Flying Nun (1967–70), Sybil (1976), Smokey and the Bandit (1977), Hooper (1978), Norma Rae (1979), Absence of Malice (1981), Places in the Heart (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Not Without My Daughter (1991), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Forrest Gump (1994), Eye for an Eye (1996), ER, Brothers & Sisters (2006–11), The Amazing Spider-Man and Lincoln (2012).

Jonathan Harris
(Nov 6, 1914 – Nov 3, 2002)
Jonathon Harris was an American character actor. Two of his best-known roles were as the timid accountant Bradford Webster in the TV version of The Third Man and the prissy villain Dr. Zachary Smith of the 1960s science fiction television series Lost in Space. Near the end of his career, he provided the voice of "Manny", a praying mantis in the animated feature A Bug's Life.

Emily Jean "Emma" Stone
(born November 6, 1988)
Emma Stone is an American actress. In 2007, she starred in the action drama Drive as Violet Trimble, and made her feature film debut in Superbad (2007). She has appeared in The House Bunny (2008), Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009), Zombieland (2009), and Paper Man (2009). In 2010, Stone voiced Mazie in Marmaduke, and starred as the lead in the comedy Easy A. In 2011, she co-starred in Crazy, Stupid, Love. and The Help. In 2012, Stone starred as Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man. In 2013, she co-starred in Gangster Squad, and voiced the character of Eep in the animated film The Croods.


John Williams’s “Stoner” is something rarer than a great novel -- it is a perfect novel, so well told and beautifully written, so deeply moving, that it takes your breath away.
The Inner Lives of Men


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