A beautiful and devastating novel about academia, and failed dreams. Stoner is about a man in the late 19th century America who went to school because of his farming parents. He went to study agriculture but fell in love with literature and became a professor. The rest of the story chronological his life and his constant stream of failures and regret. It’s a depressing read but my god the writing is beautiful. Almost like an ‘Elliott Smith’ song based on the academic life. It’s a very straightforward story and John Williams does the impossible by making an unremarkable story and turning into something rare and true. The writing is gorgeous, the plot is soul shattering and the ending will leave you speechless. I went back and read the highlights of this book twice. It’s been a year since I’ve read this book and it still gnaws in the back of my mind at least once a week. One of my favorite books ever and a story worth reading.
“Sometimes, immersed in his books, there would come to him the awareness of all that he did not know, of all that he had not read; and the serenity for which he labored was shattered as he realized the little time he had in life to read so much, to learn what he had to know.”