James's Reviews > Uncommon Type

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks
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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 of his personality.

He produces the same feeling with this surprising fantastic new book of 17 short pieces of fiction.

That same ease and feeling of comfort is transcribed on the page. Hanks' wonderful eye and ear and the textures of everyday simple life are related in several of these stories and, also, his sense of irony and sadness. He has an aura of the 'everyman' in his acting and that shines in the observations of these tales.

Every story either features a typewriter or references a typewriter in some way. Each story is prefaced by a photograph of a typewriter from the past. One story (a favorite of mine) is all about a typewriter entitled THESE ARE THE MEDITATIONS OF MY HEART.

Hanks knows the wonder of being a simple young boy spending a weekend with his divorced mom and her new 'friend' who takes him on a plane ride. He gets himself into the mind and experiences of a divorced mom moving into a new house and neighborhood with her kids and feels weary of the single dad next door. He, also, gives the reader a bit of heartbreaking sci-fi and several entries by an old fashioned columnist who laments the passing of time and a frenzied story about an actor on a press junket. There are three stories about a group of friends, two of which work at a Home Depot. The last story STEVE WONG IS PERFECT is perfect in all ways. Another favorite is WHO'S WHO? about an aspiring depressed young actress who comes to New York City to find a job and finds heartache and despair, but finds salvation by a gay man 'city-wise' insider from her past who lives in the core of the Big Apple and knows how to avoid the 'worms' who wiggle through that apple.

Hanks notices the 'little' things, the everyday pleasures and pain even if they take place in The Future. There are a few mediocre entries, but most are good, melancholy, smart, and truly funny.

I was truly amazed at the pleasure I had in reading these stories and surprised by his talent as a writer. IN some ways, I had the same feeling when I read a few of Steve Martin's short novels.

I received a copy of UNCOMMON TYPE as an advanced reading copy and I'm so glad I took the time to read. It comes out in October.
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Reading Progress

September 6, 2017 – Started Reading
September 6, 2017 – Shelved
September 9, 2017 –
page 249
September 9, 2017 –
page 0
September 14, 2017 – Finished Reading

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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters Wonderful— you captured what we love about Tom Hanks with your words BEAUTIFUL

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