My husband received this book as a birthday gift, and I was excited because of my fondness for Tom Hanks. I could quickly name, as many can, beloved movies starring Hanks – Splash, Big, Forrest Gump, A League of their Own… and many more. Since it seems that Hanks has the Midas touch, I was certain I would enjoy his book.
Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Uncommon Type is a book of fictional short stories, each, in some way, involving a typewriter. I’ve never been a fan of short story anthologies, so I’m not sure why I thought this would be any different. With Hanks involved, I thought I would give it a chance, but ultimately, I gave up halfway through. While I can appreciate the art, I prefer the character development in a good book. If you read my other reviews, you’ll find that the difference between my ratings often lies in my connection to the characters. In short stories, I just can’t build a high-quality relationship.
Aside from my distaste for the medium, I thought that the stories were quite strange. I couldn’t help but think that Hanks’ name is the only reason he was given a publishing deal. Don’t get me wrong, if I was a household name, I am sure I would play around with hobbies and likely take advantage of my cache. I can’t fault Hanks for this. I just think a lesser-known human may have peaked at using this material to win a local creative writing contest.