A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighbourhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.
These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.
Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing. By turns whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.
All American life is here ... Delightful ... Hanks’s prose is impressive, with a strong voice and stylistic flair ... so fluent, convincing and confident that you forget it belongs to Tom Hanks, movie star. He's just a writer. And he’s going to write a great novel one day.
On the page, as on screen, Hanks is, simply, a lovely person to be around ... Hanks captures the child’s-eye view of the world with pitch-perfect accuracy … and as a writing project it nails perhaps the hardest thing of all: a story in which nothing and everything happens.
Oscars season is upon us – did you know that some of the Best Actress and Best Actor nominees narrated Penguin audiobooks? Listen to some familiar faces read aloud from much-loved titles below.
"Bette’s mind processed the vision, the very first blemish in the fabric of her new life on Greene Street — the guy next door looking for a woman." Read on for a short story from Tom Hanks' Uncommon Type