“He had everything a man – a very rich man – was supposed to have, need, or want. Except for time, of course.”
A true collection of short stories should have some kind of underlying theme that ties them together so the reader feels he or she is reading a book that has some thought put into it. Uncommon Type is a collection of short stories by Tom Hanks that does just that. The theme in Uncommon Type is the written word, often on a typewriter.
I put this book on my to-read list and hold as soon as I saw it in Bookpages. I waited a few months for it to become available through my library’s Overdrive account. I think because it was written by Tom Hanks, it was a very popular checkout. I think it must have also been popular because the short stories are very well-written.
One of my favorite stories in the book deals with time travel (the quote at the beginning is from that story). A man decides to travel back to the World’s Fair as part of a service offered by a company for a lot of money. He spies a young lady and wants to spend time with her, so he travels back a few more times. When he is informed that he can only do one more trip and stay healthy, he tries to stay as long as he can. The result is not what he expects. Some of the stories are harder to get into than others, but some characters appear in several of the stories to help tie the book together. Some are sad, some bittersweet and others happy.
If you like short stories or are looking for something different to read, I would recommend Uncommon Type. I still ponder some of the stories and they subtle way they all tie together with the written word.
Do you enjoying reading short stories? Do you have a favorite? Comment below!