Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks

41BzWOZ+NrL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_While many people, myself included, may be enticed to pick up this book because of the author, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by Hanks’ writing and thoroughly enjoyed this book.  A series of short stories all united by one object, a type writer, he weaves each entry together into a cohesive narrative. I loved how each story begins with a black and white print of the type writer mentioned in the story. I found myself looking at each print in detail and noticing the intricacies and differences and becoming more intrigued by how each would factor into its story.  Sometimes the type writer would be mentioned in passing to elicit a feeling of nostalgia, sometimes it was the centerpiece of a story functioning as a gateway to a new path for a particular character. I loved how much detail Hanks incorporated into such a brief look at a character’s life. While most of the stories are standalone, there are a few that repeat characters. I really enjoyed the first story in the series, Three Exhausting Weeks, which examined the blossoming of a romantic relationship between two friends who are very different and how their new relationship affects their larger group of friends.  It was full of truth and humor.  I also enjoyed Welcome to Mars which has an entirely different tone.  Focusing on the relationship between father and son, Hanks created characters that had depth and flaws.  I really enjoyed Hanks’ writing.  It was clear and sharp and his stories were heartfelt, meaningful, and relatable.

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