This novel is about the ordinary life of a man named Stoner, and nothing dramatic happens. Stoner, who comes from a farming background, is the protagonist. After graduating from high school, he expects to take over the family farm, but his father tells him to “go to college.” Then, the story follows Stoner’s very typical life, from finding his passion, getting a job, getting married, and having children, until his death.

However, despite the seemingly uneventful nature of the story, it actually feels incredibly dramatic as you read it. It makes you realize that humans are like that. Even though it may seem like nothing is happening, there are tremendous changes happening within a person’s inner world.

The impression you get from reading the novel changes depending on your age. I first read it when I was around 30 years old. But when I recently re-read it, Stoner’s way of dying felt very relatable, and I could clearly imagine myself dying in a similar way.

The episodes depicted in the novel, such as having someone you don’t get along with in the same college, are all small stories. And it is precisely this smallness that feels real. The accumulation of details is what makes up life, and once you are born, you have no choice but to savor those small moments. It makes you feel that this novel is truly amazing.