John Williams

Price: $16.95

Staff Pick

It’s not uncommon for a great literary work to slip out of the collective conscious and be forgotten about. It is less common, I think, for such a book to be rediscovered and enjoyed by new readers. John Williams’ Stoner, published in 1965 and not republished until 2007, is such a book.

Williams’ novel follows the life of an idealistic English professor named William Stoner, weathered and eroded by negative forces that seem to dog his life at every step. Stoner is a story about failure, the sort of failure that occurs when two incompatible ideas meet head-on and yet Williams finds beauty in Stoner’s failures, and constructs a compelling story of a principled man living in an unprincipled world.

This book is written in taut, sparse prose that somehow still crackles with intensity and emotion, creating for the reader a profound empathy and interest in the path of his tragic hero, and in doing so, creates a book the brings the phrase “perfect novel” to my lips.


Discover an American masterpiece. This unassuming story about the life of a quiet English professor has earned the admiration of readers all over the globe.

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