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There's nothing common about Tom Hanks

Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks

Perhaps if you are an ardent fan of Tom Hanks, you won't be surprised by the literary prowess that he embodies. After all, this Oscar-winning superstar has already published a series of short stories in The New Yorker. So, by extension, it would only be fitting that he would inevitably publish a book of some sort.

Uncommon Type: Some Stories due for release this month, is Tom Hank's debut as an author. Published by Knopf Canada, the book has seventeen short stories that somehow involve a different typewriter. Here's something that you may not know. The typewriter theme is not a mere coincidence. Tom Hanks has a long fascination with typewriters, collecting well over 100 of these literary tools in his possession. 


From my interpretation, Uncommon Type: Some Stories seems to be a metaphor for uncommon stories, which really are stories about people...different types of people. The forgotten heroes. Of course there's a typewriter element in each one of them. Just like different typewriters stamp a unique type onto the paper, each key hammering a letter that's not-to-be-imitated, so too are the stories in Tom Hanks book. 

They are imaginative and different, but each possess that human element that is relatable. Playful, sad, satirical and poignant, Tom Hanks knows how to tell a story. His stories are imaginative, just as much as they are subtle and transparent. They provide a moment of discovery and leave you with that "Aha" moment, wondering how he's able to write so succinctly and purposefully. 

In Christmas Eve 1953, he writes of a war hero, who goes on to have a wonderful family (and he is great at being a dad and a husband), but still continues to be haunted by the memories of what happened on the battlefield in 1944. His only comfort is an old friend who was there with him. 

In the story Three Exhausting Weeks (love the title), Tom Hanks writes of a man who has found a girlfriend, and how his life changes over the course of a few weeks. Guys will love this story that is satirical and pokes fun at the imbalance of relationships. I think of Tom Hanks as a master of people, and it's uncanny how fluidly he builds up a story, with behaviours that start of as innocent and insouciant, but which quickly bubble to a crescendo. Perhaps, he's trying to get people to be more observant of the human condition and identify cues earlier on in their relationships, rather than throwing their arms up in the air after the fact and wondering "what just happened?" Whatever the case, his stories are not just to be read, they are to be absorbed. 

An actor. A writer. A storyteller. Tom Hanks really proves he can do it all with Uncommon Type: Some Stories. 

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