BBC News

Novelist McEwan praises Stoner

A little-known book called Stoner has caught the imagination of readers and writers alike.

Written by American writer John Williams, it was first published in 1965, and is now being hailed as one of the great novels of the century.

Author Ian McEwan explains the book's appeal to the Today programme's Sarah Montague.

He said: "As soon as you start reading it you feel you're in very, very good hands. It's a very authoritative prose. The story, just to list its elements make it sound rather dull, and a little too sad, but in fact a small life out of which John Williams makes a very, very beautiful novel.

"It is the most extraordinary discovery for us readers."

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Friday 5 July 2013.