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Uncommon Type

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A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.

A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game--and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!

405 pages, Hardcover

First published October 17, 2017

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About the author

Tom Hanks

27 books1,905 followers
Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks (born July 9, 1956) is an American actor and filmmaker. He is known for his roles in Big (1988), Philadelphia (1993), Forrest Gump (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Saving Private Ryan, You've Got Mail (both 1998), Cast Away (2000), The Da Vinci Code (2006), Captain Phillips, and Saving Mr. Banks (both 2013), as well as for his voice work in the animated films The Polar Express (2004) and the Toy Story series.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 7,124 reviews
Profile Image for Roxane.
Author 120 books159k followers
November 14, 2017
These stories are aggressively competent and aggressively bland. There is a very old fashioned feel to them as if the author yearns for simpler times. The present day stories make sure to note things like iPhones and podcasts as if to remind us that he knows technology exists. The stories also portray a pleasant, multiethnic world where everything has gone the way of Benetton ads and all is well among all of us. But the stories have no teeth. They aren’t memorable. They are aggressively competent but they aren’t necessarily good and they certainly aren’t bad. They just are. Alas.
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,010 reviews585 followers
October 25, 2019
Audiobook.....narrated by none other than Tom Hanks himself.

I was looking forward to Tom Hanks debut unveiling for months....having pre-paid for the audiobook the ‘second’ I learned Tom Hanks was reading HIS STORIES.
I was especially excited to ‘listen’ to Skyline High School celebrity classmate render imagery, illuminate and spotlight juicy details with a wide range of textures - feelings and thoughts. I wanted him to dramatize - flaunt - personify - exemplify all of his greatness.....and for me: he did!

I’m not sure I would recommend racing to hear story-after-story-after-story - as I did —a hungry glutton. It’s 10 hours long. I finished it in 2 days....a two day Tom Hank intensive audiothon. I didn’t think I would tire of listening to Tommy Hanks....
but I admit.... I did need a few breaks.
What stands out the most for me is HOW CREATIVE and BRILLIANT is mind is.
I’ve already shared this a few time: A few of the stories I ABSOLUTELY LOVED!.....
and even the few I wasn’t as crazy about - they were often the stories I most admired.
Hanks utilizes language - plots - characterization- emotions - gadgets - landmarks- history - foods - nature- entertainment- relationships- family - friends - and the vintage typewriter to enhance - enrich his stories.

*17* stories is an ambitious undertaking for his first collection-of-fiction. Tom Hanks is as well-qualified to show his writing skills to the world as any other seasoned author.......
.....actor, screen writer, director, producer, Hanks has written before. His writings have appeared in ‘The New York Times’, ‘Vanity Fair’, and ‘The New Yorker’.
So - he’s not that much of a newbie to the craft.

I was laughing hysterically in one of the stories where Anna - LITTLE Ms.BOSSY in
“Three Exhausting Weeks” .....keeps her lazy-loafer-boyfriend -running ( literally), doing yoga, stretching, drinking almond milk ( doesn’t he realize milk can kill him), cleaning her yard, painting walls in her apartment, taking scuba diving lessons, - being his jump-to-it-errand boy ... all for the pleasure of good sex.... ( no naps however) —6am sharp: time to GET TO WORK! This story is soooooo funny and soooo exhausting! Classic FUNNY!!!

“Welcome to Mars”..... is a different type of story altogether about a surfer who was celebrating his 19th B’day at his favorite beach with his dad.....
It’s a heartbreaking story and left a lasting impression with me.

“Christmas Eve” .... is a sad story about a World War II veteran....Santa Claus - children - even the tooth fairy....also a lasting gut wrenching story.

“Our Town” is FUN.... ( back to laughing again).... in New York City..... Great characters.

17 stories in all..... that include families, neighbors, community gatherings, men and women dialogues, starwar curtains, A flea market outing in Alameda, dating wars, dinner in the old spaghetti factory, A woodpecker, flip flops, kids dog piling on their father, ex-boyfriend and ex-husband, margaritas, telescopes, space program stories, a PLASTIC typewriter,.....ha: many typewriter stories, chili dogs, kennel corn,
tunafish sandwich without lettuce, bowling, a Broadway actress, yummy popsicles......
all inspired by punching the typewriter keys: a tribute to THE TYPEWRITER.

I’ve heard the mixed reviews already. A full range of ratings are coming out.
It was a smiling-joy for me....

Tom Hanks got a great start at our old Skykine High School —� he is not talented, kind, lovable, but a VERY SMART COOKIE!

I’m satisfied......and will indulge listening to Tommy again!
Profile Image for Sean Barrs .
1,118 reviews44.8k followers
November 3, 2017
Tom Hanks clearly loves typewriters. He wrote this up on one, which is really quite cool if you think about it. He made me want to get one just for the sake of it, which, for me, demonstrates a large part of the effectiveness of his writing:

“Make the machine part of your life. A part of your day. Do not use it a few times, then need room on the table and close it back into its case to sit on a shelf in the back of a closet. Do that and you may never write with it again.”


The best story in here was “These are the Meditations of my Heart,” which is where this quote came from. It’s a brief story about a woman who falls in love with typewriters and what they can bring to someone’s life. As such Hanks recognises the power of words throughout along with the power of literature and the power of communication. I feel like this was the strongest element of his writing. Typewriters are used through many of the stories and they are deeply emblematic of what words can achieve. Sometimes they just do what spoken language can never do and for the woman in “These are the Meditations of my Heart” they have the power of salvation and refuge.

As a recurring trope this is narrative gold; it really did help to make the stories feel like a collection rather than a load of random bits shoved together, which many writers fail miserably to do. However, I did have a few issues with the book. I just don’t think Hanks can create male characters very well. The women he writes about are all complex individuals, often dealing with some repressed history and using every ounce of energy they have to get on with their lives. They almost all seem to be going through some sense of internal crises with a big smile on their faces.

There’s much more beneath the outward appearance of the women. They are well-rounded and I do feel like they have lived a troubled life. The men, on the other hand, are plain and ridiculously straight forward. They all felt flat and simple. I feel like they walked on the page the moment I read them, having not experienced life until the moment of that story. It might be that Hanks just preferred to write about women and chose to give the men the backseat in their passivity here. For me though it felt unbalanced and a little careless, especially from a collection that appeared to be striving towards a presentation of the realities of life.

The good and the bad

There is no denying the fact that Hanks can write, and he can write rather well, though I think he needs a touch more imagination when devising his plots. Many of them felt rather ordinary and a little bland, flavourless is the word I am thinking of. He also needs a little bit more forcefulness when delivering his endings. Although this is a collection of short-stories, and they do go very well together, I think the characters needed a bit more of a distinguishable voice. Without the type-writers, this would have all fallen apart.

Overall though, there are some entertaining stories in here (some less so) though I think Hanks’ inexperience as a writer often diminishes them. I feel that many could have been a lot better than they were. If anything, Hanks shows us the potential he has to be excellent over time. And I give him my whole-hearted respect for this venture. His name will sell the book alone; however, his skills just need a little bit of sharpening to get him to the next level.
Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,723 followers
December 3, 2017
توم هانكس، الفنان الجميل، مهووس الآلة الكاتبة العتيقة كتب عليها 17 قصة قصيرة مختلفة

مع حوالي 12 شخصية مختلفة..من اجواء بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية، السبعينات، الحاضر وحتي المستقبل القريب
لكنها قصص بسيطة الي عادية، لا تتوقع عمق ولا فكرة فلسفية ولا حبكة خارقة ولا مفاجأة في النهاية ولا الكلام ده خالص
Yeah, Mr. Hanks can write pretty good on old Typewriter machines, we got it..

BUT, the stories were mostly simple to ordinary, not Uncommon Types..

But I give them that; varity, sense of humour, Nostalgia triggering, mostly realistic just like real life..so real...and one with a very talented sci-fi plot, amazing.

I loved the painful ones with happy endings, or the sad one like the coming of age..bit painful but bittersweet...and some didn't find a point to it at all.

You can enjoy reading it in an open air cafe, with coffee (some stories will force you have a cup, and one will force you to buy a hot dog sandwich)

بصراحة انا مش عارف ليه توم هانكس اختار يكتب غير انه يحشر لنا الآلة الكاتبة في كل قصة...اللي يعتبر مهووس حقيقي بها لدرجة ان له تطبيق علي متجر آبل لبرنامج كتابة بنفس طريقة الآلة الكاتبة

لكن القصص عاما فيها من الحياة فعلا نفسها ، ظريفة، دمها خفيف، حس مرح وساخر كتير، مؤلمة احيانا، بنهايات سعيدة اغلب الوقت، بتحفز الذكريات القديمة دايما
متنوعة وبعضها افكارها حلوة فعلا، وبعضها مجرد قصة قصيرة عادية
قصة مكتوبة كسيناريو ، واحدة من وجهة نظر بطل ، واحدة خيالية زي كتابات بو وجول فيرن لكن في الحاضر ، واحدة في المستقبل ، مقالات صحفية ...وغيرها بشخصيات مختلفة

The amazing artist of the sketch
👇👇👇👇تفاصيل القصص او نبذة عنها وتقييم كل واحدة في الاستيتس "تحديثات مراحل القراءة" تحت 👇👇👇👇

لو قدرت تجيب النسخة الصوتية من الكتاب حتلاقيها بصوت توم هانكس نفسه ، ولو تحب تقرا قصة من ال17-واحدة من المفضلين ليا جدا - حتلاقي اول قصة جريدة الجارديان منزلاها...بشكل ظريف الكتروني
The First Story-my favorite cast of the short stories القصة الاولي من هنا
ولو عجبك زيي ابطال القصة الاولي ، الاصدقاء الاربعة اللي منهم واحد عربي ، حتلاقيهم في قصتين تانيين مش ححرقهم لك

واكيد لو خلصت القصص دي كلها ، حتلاقي نفسك بتتمني تجرب تكتب ولو كلمتين علي آلة كاتبة .. جرب بقي التطبيق بتاعه لو معاك آي فون او آي باد

او اعمل زيي وأسأل والدتك او والدك علي ذكرياتهم مع الألة الكاتبة.. حتلاقي عندك قصة او قصتين زيادة فوق ال17 قصة بتوع توم هانكس

محمد العربي
من 30 اكتوبر 2017
الي 8 نوفمبر 2017
Profile Image for Brina.
933 reviews4 followers
December 25, 2017
As a rule, I try to steer clear of books ghost written by celebrities. These books are not going to win awards for their literary prowess no matter how engaging the subject matter is. For the past few months I have seen goodreads friends reviewing a short story collection by Tom Hanks himself. Tom Hanks, the actor I have pretty much watched my whole life starting with Big and A League of Our Own and most recently as Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks. That this is a collection of fictional stories rather than the standard ghost written memoir, I had my curiosity piqued. While these stories are still most likely not going to win awards for literary prowess, they were an appropriate read for a lazy day at home as I enjoyed spending a day with Mr. Hanks in a capacity other than acting.

Mr. Hanks has focused on a few themes in his writing: children of divorce, movement from small town to big city America, and the use of a type writer. Hanks actually wrote this seventeen story collection on a type writer, and hearkens back to a more charming era in American history where there was no social media and everything was either typed or written by hand. The fact that he typed rather than wrote these stories made me respect his decision to branch out into fiction writing all the more so. He even offers typed newspaper articles as segues between some of the more powerful stories in the collection, again hearkening back to a time when Americans got the majority of their news from the printed newspaper rather than the internet. Reading this on such a quiet day made me feel transported back a generation, and it almost felt as though Hanks was writing for a newspaper before he became a Hollywood star. All thanks to a typewriter.

While the stories were for the most part simple in style and contain neatly tied up, happy endings, a few stood out for me Welcome to Mars, A Month on Greene Street, and A Special Weekend all deal with divorce in some capacity. In Welcome to Mars, nineteen year old Kirk Ullen asks his father Frank to take him surfing on the morning of his birthday. Having stayed away from the water over the last few years as his parents' marriage decayed around him, Kirk's trip to the beach signifies an end to his childhood that for the most part had ended years before. A Month on Greene Street features Bette Monk whose husband had left her for another woman. Desiring a clean break, she moves her three children to a house in a middle class suburbs. This story speaks of a time when children could stay out after dark with little fear of much happening to them. Even though the story takes place in the present, everyone seems carefree with little else on their mind other than the present time. Bette Monk also stood as a character who would do anything for her children, and this stuck with me, especially at this time of eroding family values in society. Finally, in a contrast to Greene Street, A Special Weekend features soon to be ten year old Kenny Stahl who gets to spend a weekend with his mother and her new boy friend. Even though on the surface, the mom wants to enjoy quality time with her son, her thoughts were on the future, putting her family behind her. I found this devastating for a children but Hanks wrote him with a backbone so hopefully he will get past this crossroads moment of his upbringing.

The Past is Important to Us was farfetched but I laughed at parts of it as it reminded me of movies I have seen featuring time traveling. Hanks creates what most of us have probably thought of in dreams at least once in our lives-- what would happen if we traveled back in time and what are the consequences. Finally, the recurring characters in Three Exhausting Weeks, Alan Bean Plus Four, and Steve Wong is Perfect are hilarious and denote nontraditional 21st century friendships. Anna, Steve, MDash, and the narrator make up a diverse quartet who go on a myriad of adventures in their hometown from building and traveling in their own rocket ship to Steve bowling one perfect game after another with the others along for the glorious ride. Even though all these stories stretch quality fiction to its limits, I found them to be enjoyable, witty enough to make me think about the characters, while still being full of both Hanks trademark humor and drama that I have come to know in his movies. I especially liked Anna and wished that Hanks could have written a full length novella about her. She is intelligent, an alpha go getter woman, a perfect 21st century renaissance woman, and a character who still grew on me as I read the three stories featuring her.

As 2017 moves into its last week (wow), I am happy to have read what was probably the most popular celebrity written book of the year. I still get excited when I hear that Tom Hanks has done a new movie. Even if I do not necessarily like the subject matter, I find his acting to be top notch. His writing isn't quite at the level of his acting, at least not yet; however, these stories hearkened back to simpler times even if they occurred in the present and were engaging and enjoyable to read. I hope that Mr. Hanks gets an inkling to write another book of stories or even a full length novel in between his next movie roles. I know I would find it to be an enjoyable read.

3.75 stars
Profile Image for Fergus, Quondam Happy Face.
1,028 reviews17.7k followers
August 20, 2023
This great actor - who’s an INSPIRATION to us all - put the shadow of Coronavirus behind him, thank Heaven! And his similarly inspiring book of short stories deserves to be better known.

If you’ve Loved his films and shows, and perchance marked this wonderful book as a TBR - hesitate no more.

For now is the time to read it.

I wrote this review at a moment when New Yorkers, like Tom is part of the time, were afflicted far more than any other state with this virus.

And it was a Dark Moment which may only grow Darker.

Let’s publicly thank Tom, and give a great big Well Done! to him and all those like him who have grappled with this Minotaur and WON.

This little book will show you ordinary people with ordinary dreams like us who have taken on the world - and at first tremulously faltered.

And then with coaching ROARED back to life!

Tom coaches us Little Guys and grooms us to face our own Minotaurs successfully.

We’re not gonna save the world on our own.

But we can at least save ourselves, inspiring those around us to do the same - and leave a glowing trail of stardust behind us when we finally do exit from this planet.

Like Tom has more than amply done already.

And if you’re still unsure about getting this book, look - I’ll make it easy...

I’ve summarized one of these glowingly human stories as neatly as I’m able, in the attached notes. (NB: recently my notes have disappeared on my device - it may be the same for you.)

Read ‘em if you see ‘em and tell me - and Tom, if he reads this - that you’re IMPRESSED. And then run out ‘n buy it!

You know, there are heroes in this world... and then there are heroes. Heroes like Tom, who’s defeated a Triple Threat:

Our cynicism.

Our despair...

And now a disease that now fills ALL our attention at EVERY moment, and that seems unconquerable -

Until Tom Hanks showed us it JUST AIN’T SO!


Profile Image for Sharon Orlopp.
Author 1 book523 followers
April 30, 2023
I love Tom Hanks tremendously but Uncommon Type was a DNF for me on page 87. I don't read many short stories. Two of the short stories were fabulous but several of them did not hold my attention.

I loved the photos of the typewriters throughout the book.

I am on a waiting list for Hank's book, The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece. I am hoping/expecting to like this book better.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.5k followers
June 12, 2018
a book by the man, the myth, the legend that is tom hanks sounds like a dream come true, right? yeah, i thought so too until i actually read this and was heartbroken that i didnt fall in love.

im not a fan of short story collections to begin with, but i thought this would different. the writing was good, albeit a little old fashioned, but i just could not get into the stories. and i dont think that was tom hanks’ fault - it just takes a lot for me to connect with characters/plots and its difficult for me to do that over and over again in the space of 30 pages each time. i also think this would have been a different experience had i listened to the audiobook - tom hanks narrating his own stories might have lent a more enjoyable tone to the stories. so sorry im not a fan, hank, but keep it up!

2 stars
Profile Image for Suz.
1,155 reviews600 followers
November 24, 2017
What an eclectic mix! I could feel Mr Hanks in these stories; his quirky humour (how do I know what he’s like, well I think I do now?!) shining through to his stories, his first work of fiction.

A very different mix of stories, some related, some not. A group of young adults building a craft and entering space, that same group encouraging their amazing bowling player friend to appear on television to prove his amazing amount of strikes. This was a cool character that goes by the name of Steve Wong. Like all compilations of short stories, some are good and others not, but I did like the majority. Perhaps they were a bit mumbo jumbo, i.e. All over the place in regards to layout? But this adds to the uniqueness in a way.

I love the story ‘Go See Costas’ a Bulgarian man via Greece who survived horrible things arriving to the big land of America, all the while helping his friend arrive in secret, smuggling him off the boat. I really enjoyed the way the chief of the boat saw this man’s goodness, treats him to a free shave and explains the lay of the land in New York:

Look. New York, New York, is a simple city to learn. It is shaped like your hand. The numbered avenues are long and run from your fingertips to your wrist. The numbered streets run across the palm. Broadway is the lifeline and curves the length around. The two middle fingers are the Central Park.

I love reading about New York, I hope I get there one day.

Another sweet one is the second story ‘Christmas Eve 1953’ that is the special friendship between two soldiers, mates, and their yearly ritual Christmas phone call.

All in all, a very quirky combination of short stories, a little left field like I imagine the author, and the actor to be. Very good! This is a great book to have in a library collection, and I think it would be a great gift for Christmas - for film buffs and book lovers alike.
Profile Image for Barbara.
1,390 reviews4,905 followers
June 18, 2021

3.5 stars

Tom Hanks is an award-winning American actor and producer who has appeared in films, television, and on the stage. He's also an imaginative writer, as demonstrated in this book of short stories.

Tom Hanks

The collection includes a variety of vignettes that run the gamut from funny, to touching, to heartrending. In a nod to Hanks' well-known passion for vintage typewriters, these durable machines make an appearance in every story.


The opening story, one of the funniest in the collection, features four friends - Alan, Anna, MDash, and Steve Wong - who make multiple appearances in the book. Alan and Anna - who've been platonic friends for years - unexpectedly embark on a romance.

They're an odd match since Alan is easygoing to the point of sloth.....

and Anna has an activity planned for every minute of the day.

By day 21 of the fling, a worn out Alan is just getting over the flu (despite his girlfriend's grueling recovery regimen)…..and Anna leaves this note: 'Eat the soup in the refrigerator, cold in the morning.....hot at lunch; do the exercise bike twice before noon; take an hour for the stretch routine on the link I emailed you; then take a steam bath and drink 3 bottles of distilled water.

Alan has a different plan though. 😊

The four friends are featured in two more stories in the anthology. In their second appearance the foursome prepare a rocket, pack up granola bars and water, and take a trip around the moon.

In the group's final bow, Steve Wong uses his custom bowling shoes and bowling ball to score a perfect 300 game. Against all odds, Steve repeats the feat again and again and again, becoming a huge local celebrity.....much to his chagrin.

When Steve reluctantly agrees to appear on a TV sports show, he doesn't want to bowl any more....until hecklers' shout 'Hoax.' 😝


In a Christmas/war story set in 1953, Virgil and his family are preparing for the holiday - with a tree, gifts, and the standard milk and cookies for Santa.

The occasion reminds Virgil of Christmas Eve of 1944, when he was in Normandy fighting the Germans. On that occasion Virgil lost three fingers and his left leg above the knee.....but made a friend for life.


In a story about Hollywood, B-list actor Rory Thorpe suddenly becomes famous when he appears in a movie with the gorgeous Willa Sax. Thorpe is sent on a worldwide promo tour for the film, which is jam-packed with interviews and activities.

Thorpe's schedule, outlined in the story, is hilarious.....and exhausting. Nevertheless, Rory is enjoying the hotels, food, and other perks and is looking forward to his next stop. Then the tour is abruptly canceled in a 'ripped-from-the headlines' scenario.


Hank Fiset, a cranky journalist for the Tri-Cities Daily News/Herald, is the main character in four stories. In his debut appearance, Fiset laments the fact that most modern readers get their news from digital devices.

Next, Hank visits New York City, and snottily notes that it's not 'all that.' In fact NOTHING in New York is better than what's available in the Tri-Cities area.

Later, Fiset riffs on coffee, talking about the Tri-Cities' many coffee shops and the elaborate beverages they sell - though Hank himself lives on the mundane newsroom stuff. ☕

Finally, Hank goes to a flea market and buys an old typewriter. While writing on the machine, Hank recalls other times he's used a typewriter: in his dad's store when he was a kid; as the editor of his 8th grade newspaper.....

…..during high school typing class; when he was a sports reporter for his college paper; and as a journalist for the Shopper's Guide....which led to him meeting his wife.


In a bittersweet family story, Kirk - who's turning 19 - goes surfing with his dad Frank....a father-son birthday tradition.

The duo are having fun at Mars Beach when Frank takes a break to make a few business calls. Kirk is accidently injured, goes looking for his dad, and observes something he's not meant to see.


Bette, who's a tad clairvoyant, is a recent divorcée who wants a fresh start.....without men. Bette and her kids move into a new house, and Bette immediately gets the feeling that Paul -the single man next door - plans to hit on her.

For weeks Bette makes convoluted efforts to avoid the neighbor, though her kids - who are enthralled with Paul's homemade telescope - visit him often. In time Bette discovers that Paul is a different man than she pictured.


In a fun success story, Sue - a budding young actor from Scottsdale, Arizona - moves to New York City to make it big. Sue bunks on her friend's sofa for too many weeks, with no luck and dwindling resources.

Then Sue happens to meet an old acquaintance, Bob Roy, who works in theatre management. Bob re-writes Sue's resumé, gives her a new showbiz name, and sends her out into the world.


A nostalgic story details a boy's birthday celebration with his mom. Kenny, who's about to turn 10, is waiting for his (non-custodial) mother to pick him up from his father's house for a celebratory weekend.

Mom pulls up in a snazzy convertible sports car and off they go. During the birthday festivities Kenny visits his mother's office and fools around with her typewriter and other desktop doodads; learns to eat 'grown-up food' - with kid-friendly desserts - in nice restaurants; sleeps in a murphy bed in his mom's apartment; goes to fairytale town, visits the zoo, and plays peewee golf; drives past his old house; and meets some of his mom's acquaintances.

In a wonderful grand finale, mom's boyfriend flies Kenny home in his private plane - and Kenny gets to man the controls for a few minutes. Now that's the kind of weekend a kid will remember forever! 😁


A girl getting over a breakup is given a vintage typewriter for free.....if she pledges to put it in a prominent place and use it all the time. The young lady takes the machine home and uses it for all manner of writing, including a to-do list; a shopping list; and - most importantly - 'a meditation from my heart.'


My favorite story - reminiscent of Stephen's King's "11/22/63" - is about going back in time. Burt is a very rich man who thinks nothing of plunking down 6 million dollars a pop for time travel vacations at New York City's 'Chronometric Adventures.' You pays your money and Chronometric Adventures sends you back to 1939 for 22 hours.....after which you MUST return.

For his first time travel journey Burt takes his wife, and they visit New York's 1939 World's Fair.

On his next trip, Burt goes alone and meets a beautiful young woman named Carmen, who's visiting the fair with her niece Virginia. Burt is enamored and keeps going back.....maneuvering to spend more time with Carmen and Virginia on each subsequent trip. (Then Burt sticks around and kills Hitler.....just kidding!!! 😜)


In an immigration tale, Assan is a Bulgarian native who flees horrific persecution from the communists and ends up in Greece. Assan then bargains for a job on a Greek ship headed for New York - and sneaks his friend aboard as a stowaway.

When the ship arrives in America, Assan's friend heads for Chicago and Assan remains in in New York. The Bulgarian takes English classes, sees strange and wonderful sights, and tries to land a job.....which isn't easy for an immigrant.


In a story about fresh perspectives, the very wealthy Francis Xavier Rustin (FXR) owns the gigantic 'New Olympus Hotel' on the Las Vegas strip. FXR has assistants at his beck and call 24/7......to deliver his breakfast, take care of his paperwork, do his shopping, and so on.

FXR decides that the purchase of a particular parcel of land will net him a killing, and takes his invaluable assistant, Ms. Mercury, on a buying trip.

To appear like a member of the hoi polloi, FXR acquires a VERY cheap car.....and heads out with his aide. FXR and Ms. Mercury bunk down in a run down hotel in the desert and hobnob with the eccentric owners.....which leads to a new outlook on life.


I listened to the audiobook, narrated by the author - which is a nice fringe benefit. As in any anthology, some stories are better than others, but all the tales are well-written, with interesting characters and realistic dialog. Some stories made me laugh, some made me sad, and a few made no particular impression. Overall this is a good collection, worth reading. Recommended to fans of literature and short stories.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....
Profile Image for Seemita.
180 reviews1,613 followers
November 21, 2017
[A 2.5 stars, to be candid.]

Anticipation was high, emotions were higher; and with bated breath, I opened the book titled ‘Uncommon Type’ penned by one of my favorite actors. An anthology. An eclectic mix. Many slices of life. A debutant’s spirit. What can possibly be lacking in such an endeavor? Storytelling, apparently.

Almost all of the seventeen stories are set in the US, chronicling the lives of men and women from myriad walks of life – an actor on a film-promotion spree, a soldier hardened by his battle days, a writer pecking at typewriters to choose the best one, a businessman abusing money for multiple time travel expeditions, a sportsperson endangering friendship for his bowling skills. While the premises, in themselves, are not victims of insipidity, their unfurling into coherent prose is. The words are jammed together, one after another, as if they have no other place to go and Hanks tries hard to lid them into one, continuous, relevant bottle of a story. Many of them seem out of place, unfortunately, and I was tempted to dip my hand and remove the verbose chunk. The conversational bits seemed clearly influenced by the author’s cinematic tongue, and when juxtaposed against the book, appeared distorted. I also had a gripe against the depiction of most female characters in this collection; they were either dominating, or manipulative, or plain cold.

But this 400-odd pages’ book isn’t without its flashes of brilliance and compassion. In ‘Christmas Eve’ , two friends reminisce their time in the war, and how, even after the passage of a decade, its shadows loom large on their lives, hanging like an adamant demon refusing to leave guard. One has made friends with it and the other is still struggling to forgive it. A poignant tale. In the ‘These Are The Meditations Of My Heart” , a young girl walks into a shop to get her typewriter repaired only to receive a vintage beauty in return. Peppering the exchange between the young writer and the knowledgeable shopkeeper with genuine awe, tender geniality and polished facts, Hanks establishes the beneficiary-benefactor relationship like an expert. The individual stories earned the following ratings on my scale (I haven’t rated 4 stories here):
1. Three Exhausting Weeks – 2.5/5
2. Christmas Eve – 4/5
3. A Junket in the City of Light – 3/5
4. Welcome to Mars – 3.5/5
5. A Month on Greene Street – 2.5/5
6. Alan Bean Plus Four – 1/5
7. Who’s Who – 2.5/5
8. A Special Weekend – 1.5/5
9. These Are the Meditations of My Heart – 3.5/5
10. The Past is Important to Us – 3.5/5
11. Stay With Us – 1/5
12. Go See Costas – 2/5
13. Steve Wong is Perfect – 2/5

I shall also be withholding myself unnecessarily if I didn’t give Hanks, brownie points for his closure abilities. Most stories offer a turbulent flight but provide a smooth landing. I wish the journey, too, was memorable commensurately.

Giving a tentative caress to the typewriter donning its gorgeous crimson red cover, I dispatched the book to my shelf; I, also, left a mental note to myself cajoling that like the actor, Hanks – the author, shall become more appealing and indispensable with time. An ardent fan’s closing note, unapologetically.
Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,531 reviews9 followers
October 25, 2017
When my husband picked this up from the library for me, he expressed skepticism that Tom Hanks could write; and I said that if Steve Martin can do it, so can Tom.

The first story was clever, about a guy and girl, friends who decide to become more than friends. Their three week whirlwind relationship was very funny. Wishing my initial instincts had proven true, I told my husband, "This guy can write!"

But from that point on, I couldn't find another story that I felt like finishing. I skimmed them up to page 200, the halfway point, and decided to call it quits. It's not that he can't write, he can. But the subjects he chose to pursue just did not interest me. Some reminded me of his films. I think if you count Hanks' films among your all-time favorites, you will probably like this book.
Profile Image for Sam.
73 reviews9 followers
March 20, 2023
Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC.
Overly sentimental review ahead.

This short story collection is warm, surprising and engaging. Each story envelops the reader with its own unique sense of place, time and character; the most endearing characters of all may be the typewriters who find their way into every story. Tom Hanks' vast perspective and experience is relayed with wit and warmth, leaving one craving an audio book with the clacking of typewriters in the background. He manages to capture what the American dream means for a recently arrived immigrant, a veteran, a newspaper reporter, and so many more. My favorites included the Hank Fiset columns, "These Are the Meditations of My Heart" and "Stay With Us."
Profile Image for Em Jay.
188 reviews42 followers
August 15, 2017
**I received this book through a Goodreads Giveaway**

Unfortunately, this was a DNF for me. I hate leaving books unfinished, but life is too short, and this collection is too long.

I just...oh, man, I didn't care. I found almost every one of these stories as dull as the cover. Can Tom Hanks write? Definitely. The tone was warm and nostalgic and lovely, and I'd read more from him for sure. I especially liked Christmas Eve 1953.
But I could. Not. Care. The endings were too abrupt, the characters felt too flat (probably a side effect of the short lengths) and too much time was spent on mundanities. I'd finish a story and forget what I'd read straight away.

I'm sorry. Maybe I'll come back to it later. For now, summer is almost over, and I've got no time for boring books.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,470 reviews1,009 followers
December 29, 2017
So turns out that Tom Hanks can spin a quirky little yarn quite well.

The stories in this collection are all beautifully readable and some genuinely compelling. I liked the tone of them and the variety of themes, all though with the anchor of that typewriter.

If you like short stories (I do because I can get through a whole one in my 10 minute coffee breaks) I'm fairly sure you'll find a few to love here. I was especially fond of "A Junket in the City of Light" myself but you'll find your own.

I can't say they were brilliantly written or dazzling but I can say that they showed a lot of promise and I happily spent time with the characters within the pages. There is a casual feeling about the writing which worked really well and as I said back up there there is a beautifully quirky sense to each and every one.

Yes. *Nods* Let's have a few more.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,478 reviews7,773 followers
December 22, 2017
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

I’ve made it very clear I’m not a big fan of fictional shorts in general, and I really struggle with collections of them. That being said, now that I’m attempting to dabble in audiobooks they really are the perfect fit for my short commute so I probably need to suck it up and start enjoying them more. All I can really say about Uncommon Type is it was completely adequate for my 15 minute, twice a day listening pleasure. I have been a fan of Tom Hank since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and he starred in (what I now realize was really freaking edgy) my favorite sitcom Bosom Buddies. I’ve loved him ever since and had zero doubt that he would be able to spin a yarn. And that he did. Seventeen of them to be exact. Each very distinct (excluding reference to a typewriter) and perfectly pleasant, just like “America’s Dad” . . . .

Profile Image for Shahram.
92 reviews9 followers
April 23, 2022
شامل 17 داستان کوتاه،ارتباط برقرار نکردم،در همه داستانها ماشین تحریر،حضور ثابت داشت،ترجیح میدادم یک بار دیگه نجات سرجوخه رایان یا فورست گامپ رو ببینم 😅
Profile Image for Diane.
1,081 reviews2,717 followers
June 26, 2018
These stories were utterly charming! I listened to Uncommon Type on audio, performed by Tom Hanks himself, and I highly recommend it. From the very first story, about a laid-back guy who starts dating a go-getting gal, I was smiling and giggling and was excited to keep reading.

Tom Hanks is such a likeable guy that I shouldn't be surprised for liking his writing. These stories are sweet and funny, clever and insightful. And part of the charm is that many of the stories (if not all, I wasn't counting closely) reference in some way a typewriter, which I know in real life Tom Hanks collects. (Side recommendation: the documentary "California Typewriter" is marvelous.)

I should thank Ann Patchett for recommending this book -- she had it posted in the Staff Recs area of her bookstore in Nashville (where I took note of every single title Ann praised) -- and once again, the great Ann Patchett hasn't steered me wrong. Highly recommended for fans of short stories and fans of Tom Hanks.

Profile Image for Lori.
1,490 reviews55.8k followers
October 17, 2017
A collection of pleasant, though unremarkable, stories - all tethered to one another by typewriters. I believe most of them were written while Tom was out and about travelling for work, which would account for the vast array of locations and settings. Among my favorites were the stories that featured Anna (atta-baaaaby) and Steve Wong. At least, they were the most memorable for me.

But who am I kidding. For the past two weeks, I got to listen to Tom Hanks read to me on my commute to and from work. That was pretty fricken awesome!
Profile Image for Eliasdgian.
413 reviews116 followers
March 20, 2020
Μακριά από τον κόσμο της έβδομης τέχνης και τα πολλά φώτα που αυτός συνεπάγεται, ο περιώνυμος ηθοποιός, σεναριογράφος, σκηνοθέτης και παραγωγός, καταπιάνεται με την τέχνη της γραφής. Όχι ως σεναριογράφος αυτή την φορά, αλλά ως ("κανονικός") συγγραφέας. Εντάξει, τα νερά δεν είναι ακριβώς αχαρτογράφητα για τον Τομ (επιτρέψτε μου την οικειότητα), αν συνυπολογίσει κανείς ότι κείμενά του έχουν κατά καιρούς δημοσιευτεί στο New Yorker, το Vanity Fair και τους New York Times, ενώ ουκ ολίγα είναι και τα σενάρια που έχει κατά καιρούς γράψει (με τελευταίο αυτό της ταινίας Greyhound, που, ιού επιτρέποντος, αναμένεται στις αίθουσες φέτος το καλοκαίρι), αλλά μια συλλογή διηγημάτων, όπως κι αν το δει κανείς, είναι τελείως άλλο πράγμα.

Τι το "ασυνήθιστο" λοιπόν έχουν τα στοιχεία (διηγήματα) που συνθέτουν την πρώτη ολοκληρωμένη λογοτεχνική προσπάθεια του Τομ Χανκς; Ποιο άλλο στοιχείο στο ύφος ή το περιεχόμενο της περί ου ο λόγος συλλογής (πέραν, φυσικά, της "βαρύτητας" του ονόματος του συγγραφέα), αξίζει να επισημάνει κανείς;

Ξεκινώντας ανάποδα, από τα ασήμαντα στα σημαντικά, υπογραμμίζουμε: (i) την πανταχού παρούσα γραφομηχανή. Κάθε διήγημα της συλλογής συνοδεύεται από την ασπρόμαυρη, καλλιτεχνική φωτογραφία μιας γραφομηχανής (υποθέτω ότι πρόκειται για ορισμένες από τις 150 και πλέον γραφομηχανες που αριθμεί η σχετική συλλογή του Τομ Χανκς) και σε κάθε διήγημα της συλλογής μια γραφομηχανή διαδραματίζει έναν κάποιο ρόλο (όχι απαραίτητα πρωταγωνιστικό), (ii) την (μάλλον) πρωτότυπη θεματολογία των ιστοριών του. Ωραίες και διαφορετικές ιδέες σχηματίζουν, μέσα από έναν λιτό και καθαρό λόγο, όμορφες ιστορίες που ταξιδεύουν τον αναγνώστη μπρος και πίσω στον χρόνο, και (iii) την ευαισθησία και την τρυφερότητα. Ό,τι ακριβώς (πρέπει να) χαρακτηρίζει τον άνθρωπο Τομ, χαρακτηρίζει και τον συγγραφέα Τομ. Υπάρχει μια γλυκύτητα στις ιστορίες και μια ωραία μελαγχολία σε κάποιες από αυτές, που παρασέρνουν τον αναγνώστη κι επιβεβαιώνουν, αν δεν ήταν ήδη σαφές, ότι ο (ομοεθνής μας πλέον) Τομ Χανκς είναι μια πολύπλευρη καλλιτεχνική προσωπικότητα.
Profile Image for Truman32.
348 reviews101 followers
October 31, 2017
Thomas Jeffery Hanks it seems can do just about anything. He has won so many awards for his acting that he uses Golden Globe statues to tenderize the chicken breasts for his world famous, and yet nutritiously responsible Chicken Cordon Hanks dish. The hit at many Spielberg potlucks. He produces, writes, and directs films. He is always very funny and his David S. Pumpkins character is recognized internationally for it’s technical genius and it’s subtle and clever insights into the human condition. Hanks is also politically active, he creates apps for your iPhone, and has been known to create low fat and low calorie recipes (that still has your family demanding second helpings) for Cooking Light magazine in his down time.

But that down time might just be getting a little shorter. With Uncommon Type: Some Stories, Mr. Hanks has whipped his raincoat open, hollered out a brazen, “Hey! Look what I have here” and exposed himself with no shame as one fantastic writer. One no doubt to be reckoned with.

The stories are all marvelous. Some are funny; there are three that involve the same group of friends ("Three Exhausting Weeks", "Alan Bean Plus Four", and "Steve Wong is Perfect") that would make even the crankiest curmudgeon give those neighborhood kids a break, allow them to recover the baseball that landed onto his yard without threatening their lives with his cane, and crack a smile. Other stories such as "Christmas Eve 1953" or my favorite, the immigrant tale "Go See Costas" will stick with you like for many many days after consuming. In this way, it is similar to my Aunt Gertrude’s meatloaf, but with way less burning sensations in the bowels, violent breaking of wind, and hallucinations. All 17 stories in this collection are thoughtful, smart, and absorbing.

Yes, it would be easy to hate Hanks. The guy is so flawless. He is talented and it seems he really can do it all. He’s the Tom Brady of Hollywood. However, put aside those hurtful negative feelings, grab a copy of Uncommon Type and jump on the Hanks Train! This is a great collection of tales and a fun read!
Profile Image for Maria Bikaki.
805 reviews406 followers
December 18, 2019
«Κάνε τη γραφομηχανή κομμάτιτης ζωής σου. Κομμάτι της καθημερινότητας σου. Μην τη χρησιμοποιήσεις μερικές φορές κι όταν χρειαστείς τον χώρο στο τραπέζι την κλείσεις ξανά στη θήκη της και να τη βάλεις σ’ ένα ράφι στο βάθος της ντουλάπας. Αν το κάνεις, μπορεί και να μην ξαναγράψεις ποτέ.. Είναι δυνατόν να έχεις πικάπ και να μην ακούς ποτέ βινύλια; Οι γραφομηχανές πρέπει να χρησιμοποιούνται. Όπως μια βάρκα πρέπει να πλέει. Ένα αεροπλάνο να πετάει. Τι νόημα έχει ένα πιάνο αν δεν παίζεις ποτέ; Μαζεύει σκόνη και δεν υπάρχει μουσική στη ζωή σου».

Αυτό έκανε και ο Τομ Χανκς και εκτός από πολυλατρεμένος οσκαρικός ηθοποιός μας συστήθηκε και επίσημα και ως συγγραφέας. Με μια συλλογή 17 διηγημάτων, όλων με κοινό άξονα μια γραφομηχανή ο Χανκς εισχωρεί στον κόσμο του βιβλίου με ένα τρόπο φρέσκο, πρωτότυπο και άκρως απολαυστικό.
Διορατικός, χιουμοριστικός και τίμιος συγγραφικά ο Τομ Χανκς κάνει εξαιρετικά ελπιδοφόρο ντεμπούτο στο χώρο της συγγραφής δίνοντας στο κοινό του έναν ακόμα λόγο να τον θαυμάζει και να τον αγαπά. Μου άρεσε πολύ. Να θυμηθώ να δω και το you’ ve got mail το σ/κ.
Profile Image for Linda Quinn.
1,213 reviews18 followers
July 4, 2017
This is a wonderful collection of short stories. Some are whimsical, some nostalgic, some have more depth but they are all one thing, smart. I would be angry at the amount of Tom Hank's talent if he didn't seem like such a nice guy. Even if you don't care for short stories, pick this book up and savor it.
Profile Image for Melissa.
593 reviews817 followers
January 1, 2019
I love short stories. And Tom Hanks. So, short stories by Tom Hanks? I was super happy to have won this book in a Goodreads giveaway!

The stories were good. Not excellent, but fun enough. My favorite ones were by the end of the book:
-The past is important to us
-Stay with us
-Go see Costas
-Steve Wong is perfect
1,038 reviews117 followers
November 17, 2017
I️ was kind of “meh” with this book. It’s a collection of short stories written by Tom Hanks. A typewriter is a common motif throughout the stories. It’s not a challenging read by any means. However, the stories are not particularly engaging or captivating.
Profile Image for Vonia.
611 reviews97 followers
September 7, 2022
Uncommon Type (2017)
Author: Tom Hanks
Read: 12/29/20
Rating: 2/5 stars

Mister Tom Hanks likes typewriters. He wanted to have something published. So he wrote some short stories. Seventeen, to be exact. And then wedged the mention of some particular model into each and every one of them. Cumbersomely. Painfully so. As if following up with the typewriters and wanting to make his collection have a nostalgic feel, there are also forced mentions of other anachronisms and out-of-place insertions of social media and technology. Often so unnatural as to be interruptive to the narrative. Metaphors and similes are often awkward or nonsensical. ("Anna and I went at it like two stew cooks in Green Bay, Wisconsin", "I need a man right now like your chicken coop needs a satellite dish", "a miracle of mother Nature that gets more sunshine than Taylor Swift gets Facebook likes", "a roar exploded so loud you'd have thought every member... was on the cusp of simultaneous orgasm with the love of his or her life.") Characters that are often hard to care about or relate to. Excessive telling rather than showing. (e.g. "... lectured her on the dangers of an unlocked apartment door in New York City in 1978"; "The driver blew a kiss that was probably meant for his mom, not for Kenny", "Ibrahim smelled fresh air for the first time in twenty one days, that's how long it had been since the Berengaria had left Piraeus, with Ibrahim hiding under the steel decking.")

Hanks has some interesting ideas and a decent handle on storytelling, but not someone to be called a great writer. Without his celebrity status, this book would hardly have received the recognition and none of the praising blurbs it has now. A quick search for Hank's biography reveals that most of not all these stories are clearly autobiographical in nature. And it's not like he's been shy about his affinity for typewriters. So it's safe to say that this was a piece of self-indulgent work, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Depending on who you ask, that is. It does mean something to feel like we are getting to know this big time Hollywood star a little more intimately, on a more personal level. Yes, Forrest, "Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Looks like this box came with mostly duds. The pieces worth trying are marked with an asterisk(*).

*Three Exhausting Weeks: Many laughs at expense of abused boyfriend.

Christmas Eve 1953: Clunky Christmas story becomes wearisome war tale.

A Junket in the City of Light: Amateurishly written (likely) autobiographical divulging fame's travails.

Our Town Today With Hank Fiset, An Elephant in the Pressroom: Homage to typewriters and newspapers condemning auto-correct.

Welcome to Mars: Clichéd coming-of-age tale where surfers are Martians.

*A Month on Green Street: Astronomy, astrology, drugs play matchmaker for neighbors?

Alan Bean Plus Four: Allegorical science-fiction- social media eclipses space travel.

Our Town Today With Hank Fiset, At Loose in the Big Apple: Exasperating newspaper columnist complains about New York.

*Who's Who?: Arizona girl changes name, chases Broadway dreams.

A Special Weekend: Ten-year-old pilot's inaugural flight while reminiscing pre-parental-divorce.

*These Are the Meditations of My Heart: Post-breakup healing begins with cathartic typewriter rebound.

Our Town Today With Hank Fiset, Back From Back in Time: Another nostalgic typewriter tribute in aggravating layout.

*The Past Is Important to Us: 1939 World's Fair romance exposes time-travel dangers.

*Stay With Us: Heartwarming screenplay where billionaire purchases middle-of-nowhere paradise.

Go See Costas: Bulgarian immigrates with stowaway, tenacity finally pays.

*Our Town Today with Hank Fiset, Your Evangelista, Esperanza: Beneficent Luddite offers typewriting services to community.

Steve Wong Is Perfect: Superstardom strikes out fun for perfect bowler.

#7WordReview #anachronism #astronomy #beach #bowling #celebrity #Christmas #comingofage #divorce #epistolaryparts #hotel #IllustrationsinAdultBooks #immigrant #infidelity #neighbors #newspaper #NewYork #Ohio #onaboat #onaplane #PTSD #publishingindustry #sciencefiction #shortstories #space #timetravel #war
Profile Image for Theresa.
273 reviews17 followers
January 6, 2018
DNF - 55%

When I saw Tom Hanks was writing a book, I was all in. When I found out he was narrating the audiobook, I couldn't buy those extra audible credits fast enough. But while Hanks is an incredible actor and narrator, his stories are kind of vanilla.

The writing reminds me of books written in the mid-20th century. It was descriptive but lacked something. I found myself having to go back to the beginning of stories because it just couldn't keep my attention. Every time I sat down to listen harder, I began mentally making my grocery list or my to-do lists for the week. The way audible breaks it down also made it hard. Instead of each short story having its own "chapter" they're separated between three or four. Since many of the stories sound so similar, it made it difficult for me to realize we were on a different story.

I'm starting to think I should have bought the hard copy, maybe I would feel differently. I think at some point I will try reading this again with the hard copy, but for now I stand by my rating.
Profile Image for Behin.
75 reviews25 followers
December 18, 2021
وایییییی بالاخره تموم شد
این کتاب خیلی سخت بود خوندنش به چند دلیل:اول اینکه ترجمش واقعا افتضاح بود، دوم اینکه توقع من خیلی خیلی خیلی ازش بالا بود🥲
پارسال به شدتتتت طرفدار تام هنکس بودم(الانم هستم)بعد یه روز خواهرم گفت عه تام هنکس کتاب نوشته دیگه خلاصه منم تا متوجه شدم که ترجمه شده خریدمش
مدت ها منتظر بودم امتحانام تموم شه(امتحانای خرداد ۱۴۰۰) که بعد بشینم اینو بخونم
امتحانام تموم شد و شروعش کردم...انقد نا امیدم کرد که کاری کرد مدتهااا کتاب نخونم😭دیگه بالاخره الان تموم شد
بنظرم تام هنکس خیلیییی بازیگر خوبیه ولی واقعا نتونستم با کتابش ارتباط برقرار کنم شاید بخاطر این بود که ترجمش خیلی خیلی بد بود
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