Rating: 3 / 5
Uncommon Type is a collection of short stories showcasing Tom Hanks’ breadth as an author. Each story features a typewriter and, although occasionally it’s shoehorned into the plot, Hanks’ appreciation for the old machines provides a charming common thread to the anthology.
He shifts confidently between modern-day absurdity (one story is told partly through emojis) and the past. There is a frank account of the trenches of World War Two, in which Hanks provides a thoughtful description of the emotional and physical trauma of the front lines. The book is not violent beyond this—it has a quiet optimism and rejoices in the small things.
The book’s dialogues shine within plots that give a means for Hanks’ creativity. There’s a richness to the characters despite the brevity of each story. There is humour and wit too, which appear generously enough to make Uncommon Type a worthy read.