Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks | Book Review

Saturday 9 November 2019

     So Tom Hanks wrote a book? Tom Freakin’ Hanks? The guy who saved Private Ryan and survived Apollo 13? Yes. Yes he did. He may be an accomplished Academy Award winning actor, but he dabbles in the written word as well! But can he write as well as he acts? Here’s my review.

     Thomas Jeffrey Hanks loves typewriters. I’ve known this since his interview on The Nerdist podcast. They managed to rope in such a big star by sending him the gift of an antique typewriter as a bribe, which he loved.  Why am I mentioning this? Because Uncommon Type is a book of short stories with typewriters as a common theme, though they main not be a crucial element to each story. This book has 17 short stories that all fall in the general fiction genre. One story highlights Hank’s interest in WWII and another highlights his interest in space, which I think captures how diverse this book is.

  Just like most short story collections, this one runs the gamut of enjoyability. I liked some stories a lot more than others. Some characters were relateable and enjoyable while others felt a little over-the-top or try hard. Some of my favorite stories were Steve Wong Is Perfect, Christmas Eve 1953, and The Past Is Important To Us. Others like Our Town Today with Hank Fiset, Three Exhausting Weeks, and Who's Who . The good news is that I liked most of the stories. I switched between the physical book and audio book and certain stories did better with different media. My interest in the book waxed and waned as I read and listened. Some stories got me pumped and wanting to read more while some left me cold.

     Would I recommend this book? It depends. Are you a fan of short stories? Is general fiction your jam? If you said yes to either of those last two questions, sure, give this a try. If you said no to either one of those questions then don’t. In that case the most you could do is buy it as a book to place on your coffee table as a conversation starter. “Tom Hanks wrote a book?” your friend may say.  “Yes. Yes he did.” You’d answer. “Do you want to borrow it?”

Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks gets a 7 out of 11

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