流畅好读，不紧不慢。用一种优美又克制的语言讲了 Stoner 的一生：上学，恋爱，结婚，生子，工作，外遇，死亡。似乎有些苍白，但一直都有一点光。
前一百页无聊甚至憋屈，Stoner 的人生似乎只是由几个关键时刻驱动：课堂上的 Shakespeare Sonnet；遇见 Edith 从而仓促地进入婚姻；一句“不通过”导致与上司结仇。
作为旁观者很容易就去质疑，“他为什么要做出这种选择？”"他为什么不抵抗不改变？" Stoner 的人生在慢慢前进，直到走到一个个关键节点，才会想，“为什么会走到这里？”，却也是“必然会走到这里”。
Stoner 是有很多缺点的，他在刚上学时没有什么决心，他在步入婚姻时不知道自己要什么，他被动甚至软弱，他也顽固。 Stoner 的顽固甚至带有一种让人心酸的可爱，在确诊癌症却仍要坚持去参加敌人举行的宴会时，朋友笑他说 “You have turned into an ornery old son-of-bitch，haven't you？” Stoner 没有成为一个好儿子，好丈夫，好父亲，好情人。甚至在他最爱的事业上，他都没成为一个最好的老师。但他也一直坚持着他的坚持，不曾妥协。也许在有那么多的无可奈何后，无论他怎么选择，世界都是牢笼。
He went out of the office into the darkness of the long corridor and walked heavily into the sunlightg, into the open world that was like a prison whenever he turned.
Dispassionately, reasonably, he contemplated the failure that his life must appear to be. He had wanted friendship and the closeness of friendship that might hold him in the race of mankind; he had had two friends, one of whom had died senselessly before he was known, the other of whom had now withdrawn so distantly into the ranks of the living that . . . He had wanted the singleness and the still connective passion of marriage; he had had that, too, and he had not known what to do with it, and it had died. He had wanted love; and he had had love, and had relinquished it, had let it go into the chaos of potentiality. Katherine, he thought. "Katherine."
他有不太亲密但一直维护他的朋友 ，也有到最后一刻互相放过彼此的妻子，有一直压抑不快乐却也最终逃出去了的女儿，更有一生都热爱的知识和事业。他也有过爱情，和Katherine 的 affair 算是全书里唯一一段笼罩着温柔的光的地方了，虽然短暂，但有过还是比没有好，他是有过一个安静并安心的世界的。
It was a world of half-light in which they lived and to which they brought the better parts of themselves--so that, after a while, the outer world where people walked and spoke, where there was change and continual movement, seemed to them false and unreal. Their lives were sharply divided between the two worlds, and it seemed to them natural that they should live so divided.
到结局时有一点情绪，却也没有难过，这不是一个失败者的故事，这是一个人一直都在做他自己的故事。He was himself, and he knew what he had been. And he did his best.