I read John Williams’ Stoner after learning of it from a nook in the web I’ve since forgotten. Like many of the New York Review of Books Press editions, it has a small, ardent following that I don’t care to join. Only The Dud Avocado is so marvelous that I need to frequently remind others of its virtues.
Now Stephen Elliott writes the post on Stoner that I considered writing, although I didn’t love Stoner as Elliott does. But I respect and admire it, especially because of the love it inspires from the people who show how much passion they, like the protagonist, have for literature. Check out this summary for more examples. I don’t perceive the redemptive aspects of Stoner some critics have observed, yet it was also clear and cold and strong, like vodka from the freezer, and there is no mistaking the sensation of having experienced a book. Distinct memories of the sensation it inspired remain with me when other works I remembering liking better have become fuzzy and gray over time.