Academy-award winning actor, director, producer — is there anything Tom Hanks can’t do? Now the beloved everyman is releasing a book of short stories called Uncommon Type, inspired by one of his hobbies: collecting vintage typewriters. Here are a few things to know about the new Tom Hanks book, arriving October 17.
1. Hanks has been working on the book for two years.
He said in a statement, “In the two years of working on the stories, I made movies in New York, Berlin, Budapest, and Atlanta, and wrote in all of them. I wrote in hotels during press tours. I wrote on vacation. I wrote on planes, at home, and in the office. When I could actually make a schedule, and keep to it, I wrote in the mornings from 9 to 1.”
2. The collection includes 17 short stories, each featuring a different typewriter.
The stories touch on a range of themes and characters, from a struggling immigrant to an actor to an “eccentric billionaire.” Hanks’s short story, “Alan Bean Plus Four“, published in The New Yorker in 2014, caught the eye of publisher Alfred A. Knopf, who then developed a deal for the book.
3. Hanks dedicated the book to his late friend, writer and director Nora Ephron
The inscription in the front of the book reads “Because of Nora.” Ephron directed Hanks in the beloved romantic comedies Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail, co-starring Meg Ryan.
4. Hanks will also narrate the audio version of the book.
According to The Guardian, fans can look forward to hearing Hanks read his own work for the audiobook. The Guardian also reports that the UK edition, published by William Heinemann, will be published simultaneously with Knopf’s US edition — and foreign-language rights have so far been sold in seven countries.
5. Initial reviews give it a thumbs up.
Did you expect anything less? Though Publishers Weekly refers to a few stories as “misfires,” the publication promises that Hanks’s narrators “generally charm.” Kirkus says, “Hanks can write the hell out of typing, and his dialogue is excellent, too,” and later: “Hanks writes like a writer, not a movie star.”
Do you plan to read Uncommon Type? Let us know in the comments!