Yesterday I received my first book of our Book Swap Project in the post, and here it is:
I haven’t read an Ian McEwan book since On Chesil Beach in around 2010 and so I’m really looking forward to this. I did watch Atonement last week for the first time which is based on McEwan’s novel, but I don’t think that quite counts…
I bought this book a while back and after a pause in reading at about Chapter 4 a few weeks ago, I was determined to finish this on our holiday last week and in the evenings since being home.
The first thing I will say is, I would advise this as a read for absolutely anybody and everybody.
Usually I find myself making excuses for why I don’t have time to read, but this weekend I found myself making excuses as to why everything else could wait whilst I sat curled up in the duvet on the sofa engrossed in Stoner.
This novel is the most beautifully simple story about the life of a simple man. This is not a story about any elaborate adventurous event, or a far fetched fantasy, but focuses on the ups and downs of what in the grand scheme of things, is a very ordinary life.
And that, in my opinion, is what makes this novel so overwhelmingly brilliant and something everyone should read. It touches upon the disappointments of the everyday, the fragility of time in our lives, the dangers of comfort zones and the results of settling for what we think is enough. Whilst the main story of Stoner’s life is set in the 1920s and 1930s, many of the issues touched upon remain wholly relevant to the world today.
What resonated with me the most, was the reoccurring waves of a sense of ambition and passion that Stoner has throughout the novel for pursuing his research, which continue to be overwhelmed and suppressed by the speed at which our other daily commitments take over. This is something I continue to lose a battle against.
John E. Williams made me feel sympathy, sorrow, love, hope, ambition and melancholy in just the turn of a few pages.
Up until now I have kept this blog focused on poems, but this week I have had a change of heart after finishing an incredible book which all I want to do is talk about.
This also comes at the perfect time as myself and some friends from University a couple of years ago, whom now live several hours away from me, have decided to start a Book Swap Project to encourage us all to read more. Today I received my first book in the post and so from hereon I will also be sharing my thoughts on the books I will be reading.
First stop is last week’s novel (which I am now sending on as my first book swap!) which has left me deep in thought for quite some time…