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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

Critic Reviews

"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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

43 of 43 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

26 of 26 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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 😉

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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!!!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

30 of 31 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • PICKERINGTON, OH, United States
  • 11-06-17

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dennis
  • Omaha, NE, United States
  • 10-26-17

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.

41 of 43 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Luci
  • The nearest bookstore
  • 11-13-17

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!








11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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
  • Arizona, USA
  • 11-09-17

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