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Dear Life Audio CD – Audiobook, 13 Nov 2012


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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group; Unabridged edition (13 Nov. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307939367
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307939364
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 15 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 790,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Alice Munro.can create a whole world in a short story - these stories are only 20 or 30 pages long, but they live in the mind like novels. These are stories about the stories we tell ourselves, and they are first rate" (Evening Standard)

"A quiet revelation... Dear Life is full of remarkable moments in ordinary lives and is imbued with an aching sadness" (Laurie Sansom Herald)

"In this superb collection of short stories, the acclaimed Canadian writer shows repeatedly how apparently ordinary lives can be infused with dramatic intensity" (Mail on Sunday)

"A collection of truly beautiful short stories, perfectly crafted in a way that leaves no wanting feeling. Profound, poignant and undeniably powerful, this truly is the short story at its finest" (The Bookbag)

"A writer who has refined her remarkable talents over a long lifetime, a writer whose mastery of the craft has reached a level that her nickname, "Canada's Chekhov" feels emptied of all hyperbole. Beautifully written and ambitious in terms of form" (Billy O'Callaghan Irish Examiner) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature**

The brilliant new collection of stories by the winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By David Williams on 22 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Canadian writer Alice Munro is the undisputed queen of the short story format and this collection, which the author (approaching 82) hints may be her last, may also be her best.

The stories are all set in familiar Munro territory around Lake Huron and all of them revolve around small incidents in generally modest, some would say ordinary, lives. That is not their limitation but their strength. There are no extra trappings to distract from the sensibilities of the (generally female) central characters. The simplicity in the telling belies the complexity of the felt experience but brings us in to experience it virtually at first hand. There is a particularly quality of wistfulness about these late stories, as if the author has turned for one last contemplative look back down a road travelled and not to be returned upon, as if each story carries a personal memory, not simply a story-teller's conjuration.

This is certainly true of the last four pieces which the author introduces with an explanation that these are indeed memoir not stories. They gain an extra poignancy by being avowedly autobiographical, and they add to the sense of valediction. I do hope, however, this is not to be Ms Munro's farewell.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By D. Abington on 8 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alice Munro is one of the best writers in the English speaking world. I have read none better. This collection confirms this and more. The stories are sparse, but contain more about the human condition than most novels twice the length. Some of the stories hit you in the pit of the stomach with their strange and rather frightening denouments. It takes several days before you can go back and continue reading. One imparticular is 'Train'. The thing about her stories is that you can go back and read them again and again and get a completely different angle on a story. Like life really. This collection is nothing but brilliant as with all her books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Dowden HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
This is our current book group choice and I must also admit my first foray into Alice Munro's writings. One thing that perhaps I should make people aware of, if like me this is your first time, then disregard the hype. There is a lot of hype surrounding Alice Munro, and this book as well, some of it deserved, but also quite a bit that is perhaps misleading, so forget what you may have read or been told about this and just read it and base it on the merits that you find in it.

This is a collection of short stories, some of which have been published before, and the last four pieces here are as the author herself describes them, autobiographical and not really stories as such. Munro writes with at times a broad brush stroke conveying scenes and people, giving an impression rather than a deeply descriptive story. At times we are led gradually into what has happened in the past to a character, as for instance in one story a man jumps off a train, but it isn't really until later we find out why he got off where he did, instead of waiting until he reached home. By playing with your expectations in this way Munro manages to keep you absorbed and compelled to carry on, and find out what the ultimate ending will be to each story.

Perhaps not for everyone, for a start you have to be into short stories, this collection does make for a very interesting and entertaining read that will hopefully give us much to discuss at our next meeting.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Phil O'Sofa on 28 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
Although this collection of 14 short stories helped Alice Munro win the Nobel Prize for literature, and the cover of my edition says `Winner of The Man Booker International Prize', this is misleading. Both awards are recognition for a long history of great writing. And fair enough, who can argue with that? But they don't apply specifically to these latest works, which I don't rate as highly as some of her earlier collections.

As with most of Alice Munro's work, we cover long periods of time in a short space, usually with a quick summing up at the end, the main theme being, I suppose, how lives change; birth, sex and death.
Most of the stories are set around the end of the Second World War, some a little later, and one thing that struck me, about some of them at least, was the way the main female character was so easily led into a sexual relationship by a man who was clearly taking advantage of her, as if she had no say in the matter. (I'm thinking here especially of the second story, Amundsen, but it applies to the first one as well, and several others too). Perhaps this is the author's point; that women were badly treated by domineering men even more in those days than they are now, and they sometimes submitted without apparent protest.

My main criticism is that some of these stories require the reader to believe in unlikely events, without actually making them seem believable. Short tories don't give much scope for things such as plot and character development, so there's a risk that they just seem like a pointless attempt at a bit of drama; someone dies unexpectedly, but so what? It's only fiction. We aren't given the chance to really get involved, so why should we care?
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