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Uncommon Type

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  31,383 ratings  ·  5,482 reviews
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
Hardcover, 405 pages
Published October 17th 2017 by Knopf Publishing Group
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Kate I agree too; I think that’s a good explanation of why they’re not my favorite... thanks for putting it into words for me!!

But I love Tom Hanks!! Maybe…more
I agree too; I think that’s a good explanation of why they’re not my favorite... thanks for putting it into words for me!!

But I love Tom Hanks!! Maybe he’ll write a novel; his writing is certainly good enough and entertaining! (less)

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Average rating 3.44  · 
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 ·  31,383 ratings  ·  5,482 reviews

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Nov 14, 2017 rated it liked it
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 competen ...more
Elyse  Walters
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 m
Amalia Gavea
"In her living room she opened the windows to get a bit of breeze. The sun had set, so the first fireflies of the evening would begin to flare in a bit. She sat on the windowsill and enjoyed the cold, shaped pineapple and watched as squirrels ran along the telephone wires, perfect sine waves with their bodies and tails. Sitting there, she had her second ice pop as well, until the fireflies began to float magically above the patches of grass and sidewalk."

I'm not a Hollywood fan, nor I enjoy
Sean Barrs
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 h
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 Won
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
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 difficu
[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
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
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it

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 collect
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This great actor - who’s an INSPIRATION to us all - recently 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.

This is a moment when New Yorkers, like Tom is part of the time, are afflicted far more than any other state with this virus.

And it is a Dark Moment which may only gro
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

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 f
Liz Barnsley
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 c
Em Jay
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaway-wins
**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 fel
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 wor
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
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 count
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
Linda Quinn
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 har
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
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.
Robin Bonne
I picked this book up and read through several stories, hoping that one might be a gem. Sadly, all I found were turds.
Since this was written and narrated by Tom Hanks I had high hopes.
The only story I really liked was the one with the quirky kid Kenny, he was a weird little guy and it worked for me.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every story is expertly crafted. I would add a subtitle to this book: The Typewriter Chronicles. I just love how Tom sneaks in a typewriter somewhere in the story, even for just a moment in some, others as an important object. As I listened to each story I carefully and excitedly waited for the typewriter cameo! (I promptly ordered a book about old typewriters from Amazon as I was reading this book.)
See what you made me do Tom! Seriously, great, unique stories by a creative and talented guy we a
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was such an entertaining and interesting story, or collection of stories. I really enjoyed listening for the common threads in each story and getting to know each character. A perfectly perfect book!
Book of the Month
An Emerging Author Makes His Big-Time Debut

By Judge Maris Kreizman

You may have heard some buzz about a debut fiction writer by the name of Tom Hanks. Yes, him. The most likable movie star on the planet just happens to have published an entirely charming story collection that is artfully constructed and emotionally affecting. Beginner's luck? Maybe not. Just as with his acting career, Hanks manages to do comedy and tragedy equally well in his writing, even if there's some sillier stuff thrown in
Nat K
3.5★s for me. I really enjoyed reading these short stories.

Tom Hanks strikes me as an affable fellow, and his writing is the same. He doesn’t rock the boat or write anything offensive. But his stories are from the heart.

I found these seventeen short stories to be told in a conversational manner, as if you were chatting with a friend over a coffee, and they were telling you about their day. It’s quite a hefty book at over four hundreds pages, but oh-so-enjoyable. Like delicious bread with luscio
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Having always admired Tom Hanks as an actor and a human being, I am happy to say I can now give him a 5 star review as an author. When I requested Hanks' collection of short stories from, I thought reading these might be like the old truism about watching a dog walk on 2 legs: it's not how well he does it but that he does it at all. Then I plunged into this delightful collection and discovered Mr. Hanks has a range as deep and wide as his dramatic performances. The title "Uncommon ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tom Hanks is an actor who puts you at ease and you feel he is just a 'regular' guy. He appears to be that everyman and so comfortable to approach if you needed directions to an address or if he was your neighbor or your bank loan officer or mailman or ... just anybody. He is mostly called our modern day 'Jimmy Stewart' in his style and image, but I think of him more as our 'Jack Lemmon'. Hanks can be in a serious drama or a comedy and still give you that sense that he is universal in all aspects ...more
Feb 21, 2017 marked it as to-read
Cannot wait for this!
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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 ...more

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