Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks


Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

Yes, it is THAT Tom Hanks and much to many people’s surprise, THE Tom Hanks has written a collection of entertaining, well-crafted short stories that provides what is, these days, a rare commodity: a warm fuzzy feeling and a smile on your face. There is no pretense of high literary style here, just good old fashioned story telling with a twist. 

Most of the 17 short stories are unrelated, with a few being pulled together by the same cast of four friends. The stories are in turn moving, thoughtful and some are downright hilarious. 

One thing that all the stories do have in common, however, is a sense of wholesomeness, Tom Hanks style. It is obvious that Mr Hanks would like to shine a light on - and remind the reader of - the good old fashioned values and virtues that make America great (not again, just great) the ones that welcome immigrants, respect diversity - and put a man on the moon. 

The stories all celebrate the extraordinary in the ordinary. There are no heroes in the stories - not the kinds we read about in the papers at least - but plenty of everyday heroes who try to navigate the difference between right and wrong and whose moral compasses are set on trying to always "do the right thing". 

Uncommon Type does feel like a drink of water in the desert of our current political climate, but the harking back to times when, at least the idea of such values was stronger in American society, can also at times seem a bit too nostalgic and Pollyanna like. 

But maybe we could all do with a bit of nostalgia and Pollyanna for a few hours.

Happy reading! 

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Hannah Gough