Written By: John Williams

Narrated By: Robin Field

Date: June 2010

Duration: 9 hours 46 minutes


William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar's life, far different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a "proper" family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.

John Williams' luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.


  • Charles M.

    Classic and underrated

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Donald J.

    A moving and impactful book! The narrator was outstanding.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Andreas Zacho

    A funny yet moving book that spans a lifetime. You feel for the protagonist and every side character is memorable. Robin Field makes the characters feel alive and diverse. Excellent! One of my favorite books of all time!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Cyn K.

    The narrator did a fine job. The book is utterly depressing but designed to be so. It doesn't bode well for my profession which is as an English professor.

  • Katie C.

    A slow, slow read about a protagonist's life. I had a hard time feeling sympathy for Stoner because he was so passive. He allowed a lot of the early things to happen in his life with his wife and daughter. A lot of his problems stem from the early ones, mainly his family. He lives a miserable life and the book is a little depressing.

  • deepak p

    It has been my experience to let my mind wander when i am listening to an audio book. Rewinds inevitably follow. But not with 'Stoner'. The superb narration clutches you and you are hooked....what a treat!

  • Liza

    I am torn about this book. The writing style is very good and reminds a lot of Wallace Stegner. It is hard to go through the first quarter of the book that is very slow, but it improves later on. But the story itself left me quite unsatisfied. Stoner lives a life of misery, of acceptance, most of the time even of a victim. He lets his wife ruin his life, his relationship with his daughter and his daughter's life. He's just there, passive, as if he can't move his little finger. In the rare cases that he does rebel, it is rather a passive-aggresive sad protest. Maybe I have more of an issue with passive people that let their life crumble in front of their eyes, maybe it is because I wanted something to happen and not enough did. So 3.5 stars. So no question that Stegner is a few levels above this, especially with Stegner's engaging plots.

  • robert buckman

    This book is a great work of art. The narrator does it justice.


by John Williams

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Stoner, John Williams
Stoner, John Williams
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