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Uncommon Type

Some Stories
Written by: Tom Hanks
Narrated by: Tom Hanks
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
4 out of 5 stars (57 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 37.63
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Publisher's Summary

A collection of 17 wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. 

A gentle Eastern European immigrant arrives in New York City after his family and his life have been torn apart by his country's civil war. A man who loves to bowl rolls a perfect game - and then another and then another and then many more in a row until he winds up ESPN's newest celebrity, and he must decide if the combination of perfection and celebrity has ruined the thing he loves. An eccentric billionaire and his faithful executive assistant venture into America looking for acquisitions and discover a down and out motel, romance, and a bit of real life. These are just some of the tales Tom Hanks tells in this first collection of his short stories. They are surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and, for the millions and millions of Tom Hanks fans, an absolute must-have! 

Featuring additional performances by Peter Gerety, Peter Scolari, Cecily Strong, Holland Taylor, and Wilmer Valderrama on "Stay with Us". 

©2017 Tom Hanks (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"The stories are wide ranging, at times funny, bizarre, and poignant - but the real draw is Hanks himself. As expected, his performance is charismatic. His strengths shine in male characters, especially curious boys and men in conversation. He regularly plays with accents, making memorable a couple of recurring characters. The final story, a screenplay, offers a special treat - a full cast of his friends performing along with him." (AudioFile)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Ben
  • 2018-01-31

It's Tom Hanks, and actually some good stories too

Ok, so I definitely bought this audiobook mainly just because of Tom Hanks narrating it. And because of this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgJ3kSOHMiU

But I actually liked most of the stories. Most of them. Some of them were a bit weird, but I kinda expected that with short stories. Some of them are also just a bit...boring?

There are a few storylines (or characters) that have multiple stories. Some are pretty much the same, like the newspaper column, while others are vastly different - like the group of friends who go bowling, end up in outerspace with a backyard rocket, and who go through romantic issues as well. And lots of standalone stories that go through the gamut from deep emotional fiction to wildly ridiculous science fiction. And then it ends with a full-cast read-aloud screenplay with music.

I liked the recurring theme of typewriters throughout the stories. A few stories are pretty much about a typewriter, but some you really need to listen for them. A few made me want to go write on one. A few made me think "well, that's how he worked in in. Cop out..." I'd say give it a listen, good to hear his voice, and a few stories are stand-outs!

Now go type something!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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entertaining and touching stories!

Enjoyed every minute of it. Tom Hanks is entertaining, his narrative is excellent and the characters are original and endearing.

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excellent

tom hanks is an excellent story teller. If you haven't listened to this book yet, you need to add it to you list. fantastic.

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Disappointing

I expected this to be about Tom Hanks personally and when it was not I shifted my expectations. I love short stories generally - the idea that the story gives you just the briefest snapshot into the window of some other world. Short Stories are not novellas. Tom Hanks seems to be unaware of this difference. I only made it through a few stories before giving up in dismay, but they were poorly written, monotonously read, and with no clear purpose or takeaway to the story. In my opinion, the only way one would enjoy this is if they're a die-hard Tom Hanks fan and will just blindly like anything he creates. I, however, wanted it to either be about his life and personal anecdotes, or to be actual short stories that are worthy of consumption. This was neither.

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Tom Hanks is the best.

Wonderful collection of short stories written by my favorite actor. I'd say it's mature themed, quite a few f bombs, more than I expected. 


I liked how different each of the stories were. Stories of relationships, soldiers dealing with PTSD, the ridiculousness of the film industry (which I can picture being very closely based off of his experiences), child/parent relationships, mothers instinct, divorce. Stories about, dealing with struggles of being pushed out of your comfort zone, time travel, the complexity of immigrating to a new country. 


I think his years of being the best actor in Hollywood (IMO) have greatly helped his craft. Loved little nods to his own work, specifically Apollo 13. The characters and their storylines came to life, their dialogue was great and most importantly he does the different accents too! (In the audio version obviously)  


I really enjoyed it overall, and would recommend getting the book on audible! Although, I'd still love a physical copy of the book too. <3 even if you don't love Tom Hanks like I do, but enjoy wonderfully written short stories, you should give this a try. 

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my best recent read

I had not expected to like these stories as much as I did. He is a strong writer as well, it turns out; a bit science fiction and a bit nostalgic historical fiction. These stories stuck with me, and continue to. they're not all perfect, but they are varied and funny and touching and strange. you won't regret diving in!

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  • Ale
  • 2017-12-11

Absolutely loved it!

As millions know, Tom Hanks is a talented actor. What’s probably new to many is that he is a fantastic writer. His stories in this book captured my imagination and have awakened my curiosity about a number of topics and things, namely typewriters... In his voice these stories came to life with passion and warmth. I laughed, cringed and even teared up once or twice. My commute was so much better with Mr. Hanks’ company. What am I going to do now?

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Awesome Audio book

For what Tom Hanks may lack in pure writing skills, and that is little, his for the most part wholesome “awe shucks” character shines through and he brings his characters to life as nobody else could. Final chapter is even more of a audible bonus, highly recommend.

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Buyers Beware

I had such high hopes for this book but I could only slog through a few chapters. The way things were described was very petty and made me awkward listening to it. Basically in the first 5 minutes Tom Hanks descibes having sex with what turns out to be a very crazy and controlling girlfriend. My ears will be forever damaged.

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Disappointed

Thinking this was about Tom Hanks and his life..couldn't wait for it to be over. Wasn't a fan

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  • Joan B
  • 2017-11-04

Absolutely the best..

I loved this audio book. The stories that were narrated by the only guy who could/would do them justice just happens to be the author of the stories ! I thoroughly enjoyed the stories. I can imagine that if you read the stories, it would be a good book. But having Tom Hanks read them is so terrific. Being the great actor that he is, it makes sense that his narration would be extra good.. and it is ! I highly recommend the audio format for this set of short stories.

29 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret Moreau
  • 2017-11-20

need better story breaks

Good listen. I felt there needed to be more of a break between stories. sometimes was difficult to realize a story had ended, and a new begun.

48 of 49 people found this review helpful

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  • SoyaKid
  • 2017-11-07

Hanks' performance makes up for the misses...

...and it should be said that there are more hits than misses. Perhaps those misses would be appreciated by a more experienced (aka: older) audience. I found most of the stories like snuggling down into your favorite old chair - not exciting, not intriguing but instead wonderfully comforting. The extremely well developed and sometimes recurring characters felt like friends by the end of this read. It was also interesting to hear how Hanks' film roles (and the research for them) have colored and perhaps inspired some of these stories. Have to run, popping out to buy a typewriter 😉

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Linda J.
  • 2017-11-18

I liked it!

I'm not a fan of short stories- they usually leave me feeling like they aren't well-developed. And I had Tom Hanks in a neat box labeled "actor", so I was skeptical of his writing talent. But I liked it..... A lot!!!

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura Vidal
  • 2017-11-05

Is there anything Tom doesn't excell at?<br />

I'd been looking forward to this release and it's has exceeded my expectations.
What a delightful bunch of stories! And Tom's narrative is so funny and entertaining! I can't wait for his next book.

31 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 2017-11-06

Very Good for Periodic Reading

I realize that perhaps not everyone likes Short Stories, but as a mid 70 year old senior, I do.I listen a lot at bed time so I tend to far asleep with long books. I think Tom Hanks did a very commendable job with this collection of Short Stories. I enjoyed them all.
A short story comes in handy during a long wait in a doctors office, or on a car trip.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Dennis
  • 2017-10-26

Enjoyable and Inspirational

Inspired to buy a Swiss made Hermès 3000 manual type writer. Before the price skyrockets. Listened while driving across the Wyoming plains. Had to sit in parking lot of the hotel to finish.

42 of 44 people found this review helpful

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  • Lili
  • 2017-11-13

Old fashioned romp of stories, some real gems!

The critics have not been kind to Tom Hanks and his book. And I can understand why. Not too long in I was thinking...uhhh, do I want to keep reading this? But I kept going because I could see some amazing passages hidden inside the less than stellar start.

I found the first story quite off putting. Hearing Tom Hanks narrate the passage about the woman sitting on “his” lap and removing his towel, no bueno.

The first third of the second story...is one of the most extraordinary descriptions of a mid century era family Christmas you will ever have the good fortune to listen to. It will make you feel deeply warm and nostalgic for times long past even if you were born in 1987, but certainly more so if you were born in the decades before that. Sadly the story takes a very non Christmasy turn, and by the end you may have a bit of PTSD.

Which became an issue going forward. As I read each successive story I kept waiting for the next shoe to drop and for bad things to happen to the characters. Well, sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. Some stories are a joy, and some are awkward and contrived. It’s a bit all over the place. But, it’s Tom Hanks, and even in the weird parts it’s still Tom Hanks narrating, and doing that quite well. I did the math, I really really loved 44% of the book. Normally that wouldn’t be enough, normally I would have returned such an uneven book. But I didn’t hate the less than great parts, and I honestly didn’t want to miss out on any of the amazing parts, so I kept going, and I am so glad I did.

The feel of the book reminds me of that old Steven Spielberg TV show called Amazing Stories that aired in 1987...both are simultaneously old fashioned and futuristic and fantastical. But kind of like the future as it was imagined and portrayed in the 1960s...like by 2001 we would all have jet packs and flying cars.

Tom Hanks has an uncanny ability to describe the mundane...the appearance of an office, a conversation, a meal in a restaurant...in a way that both elevates the situation at hand and enthralls you with all the details and nuances. There were times I felt so deeply nostalgic for people and places long since past in my life that I was in tears. Then there were other stories where I was like...what the heck was that?

I feel like the great moments are both worth the price of admission, and worth trudging through some of the stories that will in no way be your cup of tea. Taken as a whole the book feels inventive, vintage, playful, funny, heartbreaking, and a bit self indulgent. I for one hope he writes a second book, as there is something very worthwhile here, but it needs more polish, and tighter editing. The final story was a treat. I normally do not like music or sound effects in my audio books, and the last story has both, plus a small cast of other actors, so it’s kind of like a teleplay and it was fun from start to finish.

So Tom Hanks, thanks for the memories!








12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Jody R. Nathan
  • 2017-10-21

uncommonly good

I am going out on a limb,here,but I think Tom Hanks likes typewriters. I like this book. I enjoyed listening to Tom Hanks read his collection of short stories, all of which include a typewriter.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • nick
  • 2017-11-09

Brilliant

I loved this collection! Short stories are kind of the pinnacle of literary writing. They can be really difficult to get right. But these stories were very well written. I'm really impressed with Hanks' writing ability. The narration was spot on, of course. This was one of my favorite listens in quite a while. I will be picking up a physical copy of the book but I'm glad I listened to him narrate it. Well done!

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Deborah
  • 2018-02-19

Quality short stories

Apparently simple, but actually complex and intricate, Hanks' short stories say so much more than what is on the surface. As a writer, he has a real sensitivity for human relationships, and talks about life with a hint of nostalgia (but then again, maybe not? It's not that clear cut...).
Read them more than once. You won't find the same thing in them. Enjoyable. Thought provoking. Good.