StonerNYRB Classics published their edition of Stoner in June of 2006, and it is the book we’ll be talking about in Episode 9 of The Mookse and the Gripes Podcast.

In 1965, John Williams published Stoner, a novel about a professor of English named William Stoner, a relatively nondescript person whom no one will remember much after his death. The novel did not do well, selling only 2,000 copies when it was first published. However, periodically since its publication someone has come forward declaring it a masterpiece. But those sentiments also seemed to go away without anyone paying any particular attention. That’s all changed recently. This past year, according to Publishers Weekly, Stoner has sold over 50,000 copies and become a world-wide best seller.

In Episode 10 we will be doing a Halloween special with Jeremias Gotthelf’s The Black Spider.

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By |2014-04-09T12:16:41-04:00October 13th, 2013|Categories: Podcast|8 Comments


  1. Guy Savage October 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Hello Trevor: I have this but haven’t got to it yet. Currently reading NYRB’s Great Granny Webster.

  2. Betsy October 13, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Trevor – I really enjoyed this podcast. Thank you to you and Brian! “Stoner” sounds like it’s worth a very good look. But the contemporary reader (me) easily mistakes the title – turns out it has nothing to do with drugs!

  3. Trevor October 13, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Yes, Betsy, in this case the book cover really helps! I’d love your take, particularly on any misogyny.

    Guy, I put Great Granny Webster up as a potential off-season Booker read on my forum, but it lost out to Muriel Spark’s The Public Image. I plan on getting to Great Granny Webster sometime, but let me know how you like it.

  4. dwayne October 13, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    One of the books I’ve been dying to read.

  5. Guy Savage October 14, 2013 at 1:21 am

    I’ve also read the Spark book, and of the two I prefer Great Granny Webster

  6. Moira October 14, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I did two blog entries on Stoner – this one links to the other one – and absolutely loved it, but said about Stoner’s wife: ‘In fact, one might venture (hesitantly) that Edith is not a convincing character because she is so dreadful, as seen through Stoner’s eyes: there is surely room here for a Wide Sargasso Sea (Jean Rhys’s version of the first Mrs Rochester from Jane Eyre) – the marriage seen from Edith’s point of view could make equally riveting reading.’

  7. norton halber October 14, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    One of the best books that I have read.

  8. Trevor October 14, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Thanks for the comments, everyone. I’d love to get some more thoughts to share in our next podcast (giving you credit, of course). Moira, do you mind if I share your thoughts on Edith? If so, let me know by email and let me know how you’d like me to introduce you: Moira from ____, who blogs at clothesinbooks . . . etc. That goes for anyone interested.

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