Partly, the answer is that the writing is clear, honest, and respectful. The story of Stoner's life, written by John Williams in 1965 and reissued in 2006, is told in precisely detailed language that fully engages the reader. We care about Stoner and the people he cares about; we believe in their humanity. But the excitement that sweeps us forward is the gathering certainty, conveyed by the clarity and conviction of the writing, that there is some pattern to be revealed, some meaning to this story that we can only dimly perceive. The revelation, both for Stoner and for the reader, is the climax of the book, which produces an intense experience of insight. The everyday surface of what we have been reading is stripped away, and an apprehension of an inner truth transforms our understanding of Stoner's life and, for a moment, of life itself. All good books yield some kind of insight, but Stoner in particular propels us into the experience of it.