#BookReviewWednesday – Uncommon Type

The book-a-week challenge kicks off with this review of Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type.

I have been writing short stories for ages. I think all writers, at some point in their writing life, take a stab at it. I like the form. Maybe because it’s like a half-hour comedy or an hour-long drama on television. When it’s good, it’s very good.

HanksBookCover2Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type is very good. Others have many things to say about him as an actor, producer, champion of causes, husband, father. I’ll stick to a few words about Hanks the writer.

Uncommon Type is at times funny, sweet, nostalgic, tense, dull, poignant, and thoughtful. The collection of stories is built around many themes but mainly its about looking back. There are stories you might expect from Hanks, based on his interests: the Greatest Generation, space, family. A boy’s memorable weekend just before he turns 10. A young woman’s leap of faith to “make it” in New York. My favorite: a coming-of-age story, Welcome to Mars. Hanks’ stories reveal the mind of a creative storyteller. No surprise there.

But don’t let the title, or the typewriter motif, fool you. Or the reflective nature of some of the stories. The common theme here is heart. At the center of every good story, that’s the most important thing, isn’t it?

Uncommon Type – Some Stories, by Tom Hanks.

4 stars out of 5.

Available in all formats everywhere.


Check in every week for Book Review Wednesday. I’m reading and reviewing a book a week throughout 2018. Join me. Authors, if you have a book you would like reviewed, send me an email at joe@josephmarkbrewer.com.


Joseph Mark Brewer writes the Shig Sato mysteries. Mix up some Lieutenant Columbo and Kurt Wallander and you have an interesting character in Sato and a thrilling new series set in the heart of Tokyo. And click here for your copy of The Gangster’s Son, The Thief’s Mistake, Traitors & Lies, or Cat’s Meow at a special discount you’ll find only at this site. To get the latest Shig Sato news and previews, check out Shig’s Readers Club — you’ll get a free copy of Tokyo Summer, the exciting Shig Sato prequel that tells the story of the events that led up to The Gangster’s Son. No obligation. Shig insists.




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