Uncommon Type | Penguin Random House Canada

Uncommon Type

Some Stories

Publisher: Knopf Canada
A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. 

A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game--and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have!



“[The] stories have an unmistakable Hanksian feel. The themes are wide-ranging—and [Hanks] clearly loves America while gently satirizing it. You can hear his soothing voice of reason as you read every sentence. Even certain words (‘Yowza!’) seem like they were made to be spoken by Hanks himself.” —Toronto Star
“[W]hat may be most impressive about Uncommon Type is how Hanks effortlessly takes on the voice of such a diverse cast of protagonists. . . . While not all are told in first-person narration, many of Hanks’s stories seem a lot like his movie performances: funny and charming but also filled with hidden depth and darkness.” —Calgary Herald
“Based on his keen observations of the world and told in his familiar voice, the . . . stories get to the heart of humanity through imaginative tales of friendships, families and everyday life. . . . [A] heartwarming and comforting read.” —Hello! Magazine
“Tom Hanks has a hit on his hands as author of the winning Uncommon Type. . . . Hanks proves his bona fides as a serious scribe, producing a collection of seventeen short stories so accomplished and delightful he can rest assured he has a great fallback plan should that acting thing, you know, not work out. And that voice. We hear it all through Uncommon Type, as though the star is in the same room, gleefully reading to us. . . . Hanks does what all the best story writers do: He packs a punch, a pow, a wow.” —USA Today (★★★½ out of four)
“[S]urprisingly uplifting. . . . Hanks’s prose is impressive, with a strong voice and stylistic flair. Dialogue flows naturally, with an ear for idiom (‘you knothead!’), and the cityscapes and suburban landscapes are artfully done. . . . This could be the least doom-laden voice to come out of liberal America since the election. And it’s so fluent, convincing and confident that you forget it belongs to Tom Hanks, movie star. He’s just a writer. And he’s going to write a great novel one day.” —The Times

“Seventeen wide-ranging and whimsical stories—with a typewriter tucked into each one. Only one of the stories in Hanks’s debut features an actor: it’s a sharp satire with priceless insider details about a handsome dope on a press junket in Europe. The other sixteen span a surprisingly wide spectrum. . . . Hanks can write the hell out of typing, and his dialogue is excellent, too. Has he read William Saroyan? He should. While these stories have the all-American sweetness, humor, and heart we associate with his screen roles, Hanks writes like a writer, not a movie star.” —Kirkus Reviews