Stoner by John Williams

About the book

William Stoner enters the University of Missouri at nineteen to study agriculture. A seminar on English literature changes his life, and he never returns to work on his father’s farm. Stoner becomes a teacher. He marries the wrong woman. His life is quiet, and after his death his colleagues remember him rarely. Yet with truthfulness, compassion and intense power, this novel uncovers a story of universal value. Stoner tells of the conflicts, defeats and victories of the human race that pass unrecorded by history, and reclaims the significance of an individual life. A reading experience like no other, itself a paean to the power of literature, it is a novel to be savoured.


Reviewed by Hill Head Readers

An excellent book. Well written with characters that were brilliantly drawn. We felt Stoner’s ‘biography’ was very realistic and the group enjoyed the ‘ups and downs’ of his academic career”

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Moo by Jane Smiley

About the book

Brilliantly funny satire set in a contemporary American university. Deep in the wheatfields of the American midwest, Moo University is in a state of disarray…In this witty and biting comedy of manners, Jane Smiley turns her wryly perceptive eye towards a community where men and women, the innocent and the cynical, thinkers and careerists, live and work together – in complete disharmony.

Reviewed by NWR

This is one of those books where there are so many characters and interweaving plots that it’s easy to lose one’s way. There are many interesting characteristics and observations of campus life and a good deal of humour but it is not an easy book to discuss in a group and a bit of a slog to get through.

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