Monday, February 6, 2017
I stumbled upon this book in the library and took it with me because of a review a friend of mine had written on Goodreads.
The book jacket gave an impression of a bleak, raw, emotional novel to which I have a natural inclination.
My first thoughts were not very optimistic though. Stoner is a character that needs time to grow on you. He seems very peculiar and I thought more than once that maybe this book wasn't for me after all. It didn't carry the significance I searched for and I kind of neglected it a little, spending more time visualizing the cathedral build in Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth. But since that novel takes some time to finish and can get a little tedious, I went back to Stoner, desperate to give a last chance, before deciding to bring it back unfinished.
As I pushed myself further through his strange years of solitude and got exasperated at his peculiarities, I suddenly realized I was taken in. I wanted to know what happened to him, I felt for him, I weeped for his misfortune and I was thrilled when he found the love he longed for without knowing he had missed out before. I was indignant at how he was treated by his superior, and felt victorious when he began to fight back.
Like I said before, Stoner is a character that grown on you, that slowly seeps into your skin until you feel what he feels and you end up wishing you could've been there to tell him that he's not alone.
In the afterword it is said that the way John Williams could take a simple life without any extraordinary events happening, and turn this into a novel worth having in your bookcase. It's set in a day and age that isn't easy to grasp when you're used to constant social badgering, but as I was engrossed in the story, I stepped into his world, becoming more relaxed than I felt in ages.
I think it was the slow pace of his life, without any sudden turns or falls, that creates a sense of being at ease, of experiencing this story on a deeper emotional level.