Who would have thought Tom Hanks would also be good at writing? Is there anything he can’t do?
Tom Hank’s first book was launched a couple of weeks ago and of course, I had to buy it. Help me, I suffer from incredibly bad FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)
Uncommon Type: Some Stories is the compilation of 17 short stories. I must admit I’ve never been keen on this type of books as I like to get to know the characters and their relationships in a deeper way. But, saying that I was pleasantly surprised by this book.
The book took me down memory lane to situations I didn’t even know were still stored up in my head… how amazing is the human mind?. Ok, let me explain. What I loved about the book is that although it’s a compilation of short stories, most of them with different timelines and characters, all of them have one thing in common: A typewriter. In some stories, the typewriter is at the heart of it, whereas in other ones, it’s just casually mentioned while describing objects in the room or while talking about how things functioned in the old days. For me, it became a Where’s-Waldo-type-of-game. At the beginning of each story I was eager to know how he would integrate a typewriter into the story without forcing it because after all, there is only a certain number of ways you can casually mention a typewriter. But he did it and I really enjoyed the connections.
So what memories re-surfaced while reading this book? Well, let me tell you that when I was in primary school (2 decades ago) we used to have a class to learn how to use a typewriter, you know, our future back then was meant to be secretaries/assistants or something like that. I was very little, probably 8 or 10 years old. I still remember the big classroom, rows and rows of individual tables with old typewriter machines on each of them. We had a big book full of exercises to complete. Starting with the basics: where to put your fingers, and which finger is meant to press what key. I clearly remember the first exercise of the book: Complete a page of the following sequence: ASDF ÑLKJ (I grew up in Colombia, hence the Ñ). The keys were hard to press, and my little finger wasn’t strong enough to press the A key hard so it will press the ink into the paper, part of my work looked like this: ASDF ÑLKJ SDF ÑLKJ ASDF LKJ SDF. I don’t know why I liked that class so much, but I also remember getting to my grandma’s house and being very happy and excited about taking the old typewriter machine out of its grey hard case which was kept under the sewing machine – ohhh old times make me smile!
It could be because of those references to my early childhood years, but I really enjoyed this book. It has some random science fiction stories which I’m still trying to decide if I like or not, but overall, it’s a very easy, enjoyable, funny book to read. Real critics have said Tom Hanks should just stick to what he does best: Acting. I’m not sure, I don’t think it was that bad for being its first book.
Did you learn to use typewriters in school? Let me know down in the comments!