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Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage [Mass Market Paperback]

Alice Munro
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Aug 2002

**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature**

In these stories lives come into focus through single events or sudden memories which bring the past bubbling to the surface. The past, as Alice Munro's characters discover, is made up not only of what is remembered, but also what isn't. The past is there, just out of the picture, but if memories haven't been savoured, recalled in the mind and boxed away, it's as if they have never been - until a moment when the pieces of the jigsaw re-form suddenly, sometimes pleasurably but more often painfully. Women look back at their young selves, at first marriages made when they were naive and trusting, at husbands and their difficult, demanding little ways.

There is in this new collection an underlying heartbreak, a sense of regret in her characters for what might have been, for a fork in the road not taken, a memory suppressed in an act of prudent emotional housekeeping. But at the same time there is hope, there are second chances - here are people who reinvent themselves, seize life by the throat, who have moved on and can dare to conjure up the hidden memories, daring to go beyond what is remembered.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (1 Aug 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099422743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099422747
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

The award-winning Canadian writer Alice Munro's collection Hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage is about the lives, hopes, dreams and ends of women: their marriages, their relationships with those who touch their lives in some momentous way--however brief or long-standing--and the extraordinary effects wrought by the hand of fate. She is not only a genius storyteller, she has a cunning ability to make you believe the short story you've just read was actually a full-length novel. So if you've ever thought twice about buying a book of short stories, then the marvellous Alice Munro will make you think again..

Munro's world is one of post-war Canada, when women are beginning to experience a constrained kind of freedom. In "What is Remembered", a chance meeting at a funeral has a profound, yet stabilising effect on Meriel, a young wife and mother. "Young husbands", writes Munro, "were stern in those days". Between learning how to kowtow to bosses and manage wives, there was so much else to learn: mortgages, lawns and politics for a start. The wives, meantime, were afforded the opportunity of "a second kind of adolescence"--but only in the confines of the family home, while the men were absent, and only after wifely jobs were accounted for. In the book's title story, a capable, spinsterly housekeeper finds love in the most unexpected place, in the most unexpected way. However the opportunity presents itself, it is what you choose to make of it that really matters, the author seems to be saying. Johanna could be deeply disappointed with her "opportunity" but, in her straightforward way, amends a few details and makes the most of it.

Alice Munro's stories are retrospective; tales of lives lived, for better or worse. If you want something, take it, quickly. You only get one life, and this is it. --Carey Green --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Another breathtaking demonstration of her mastery of the short story... No one could possibly dispute Munro's greatness; the genius of her seamless, unmatchable prose which nets up the flow of everyday life so miraculously" (Daily Mail)

"Munro gives each of her stories the rich density of a compacted novel...The distinctive vitality of her stories come from their imaginative limberness...triumphantly displays impressive feats of flexibility, always gracefully adapted to life's twists and turns" (Sunday Times)

"Munro is an artist of the domestic interior... She stands at an angle to the mass of her contemporaries set aside both by the beauty of her prose and by the calm intensity of her engagement with her material" (Evening Standard)

"The nine stories in this collection have the kind of spaciousness, the attention to detail, that one expects from lengthier fiction... There is a core of mystery in every Munro story, and that is why re-reading them is such a continuous pleasure" (Independent)

"Each of her tales contains the depth and scope of a novel...these melancholy, autumnal tales of small-town Canadian life demonstrate the gentle power of the short story at its best" (New Statesman)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality 30 Sep 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I don't often write reviews but I was very surprised to see that the only two reviewers of this collection thought it quite average. I guess that a lot of readers will be made to feel uncomfortable, as I was, by some of the subject matter. Long term illnesses are featured in several of the stories. I appreciated this. It's not an easy thing to write about, and Alice Munro does it extremely well without being sentimental. The final story was made into a film not long ago, starring Julie Christie. I had seen the film, and found it very moving. The story was probably better, I think. Many of the stories also feature women who are not entirely sympathetic, dissatisfied with their marriages or with their situations without very good reason. Several cheat or think about cheating on their partners. Again, I guess that a lot of readers don't like this, but I appreciated it. I enjoy reading about complex characters. My only, probably ridiculous complaint is that the stories are almost too well crafted to be lovable. They are, however, extremely admirable, and better than the vast majority of others I have read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written but vanilla "so what" stories 18 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really struggled through the first half-dozen stories and then gave up. Couldn't find anything really to engage with in any of the characters and each story left me with that awful "so what" feeling. I don't have enough life left to waste on stuff that doesn't grip me and pull me in, and this didn't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Munro fan 31 Dec 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Best to say at the outset that I am not a Munro fan. Yes, she picks up and describes small details in a country community but in a way that fails to move me. I can appreciate her technique but in an essentially cerebral way. I can't identify with her characrers in any way and I get no emotional kick from her Writing. So this book is ok but not exciting. Try Penelope Lively if you want better value for money!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Six stars from north of the border line... 5 April 2011
By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
My introduction to Alice Munro was in reading The Love of a Good Woman: Stories, which I did around 10 years ago, and I was duly impressed. Shortly thereafter, I purchased this book, and for truly inexplicable reasons, I allowed it to gather dust on my bookshelf. The dust served as a rebuke to my housekeeping, and my judgment. Both have now finally been remedied. This book is an intense, enjoyable read, and I might even be a bit wiser, as I sort out how well this woman can observe the human condition.

As one might deduce from the subject line, Ms. Munro is Canadian, and one of their very best writers. Most of her works are short stories, and for that form, she must rank as one of the world's leading practitioners. Somewhere in high school, like others, I picked up the notion that a short story was a literary form of a "lesser god"; "real writers" wrote novels. Munro single-handedly can rectify the error in this so-called thinking.

This book is a collection of nine stories, and each one is so dense and rich that it conveys all the wonderful insights into human interactions that a full novel can. Munro has the skills of the best "mystery writer." She tosses out feints, utilizes twists and turns in the plot; she fakes and weaves, so that it would be a very rare reader indeed who could accurately predict where the story will end. And there is a wonderful eroticism imbedded in most of the stories. Not the sledgehammer version pioneered by Henry Miller, and emulated by many, but rather a far subtler one, with the focus on the tension involved in the first touching of another's flesh. With Ms. Munro just the grazing of finger-tips is far more erotic than Mr. Miller's use of flashlights.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Book in poor condition 13 Mar 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book looks like it has been used. I didn't order used edition. Yellow pages and dirty cover. Disappointed with product
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly deserved award-winner 15 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a find! Stories that speak out to me only as Inci Aral's can (and soon you will be able read her in English too). Credible, fast-moving, heart-warming. Perfect read at the end of the day to vindicate all that we do to stay human.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 22 Dec 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fantastic short stories; you could say every story is a condensed novel. I liked the surprises in particular - she manages frequently to turn the story in an unexpected direction and so change the reader's perception completely. A writing friend of mine said: "She breaks all writers' rules and still manages to compose elegant tales".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars So not a beach read..
I was amused at some of the other reviews. Interesting to see people who are clearly used to reading pulp, struggling with the beautiful nuance and high art of modern literary... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mrs. R. G. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars Munro's stories have the ability to remain long in reader's memory....
"Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage" by Alice Munro, this year's Nobel Prize laureate for literature, is the tenth story collection author created that in the form... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Denis Vukosav
5.0 out of 5 stars Outsiders in a small town
What powers of observation has Alice Munro! Even the ticket-seller at the station becomes a fascinating character. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Neasa MacErlean
3.0 out of 5 stars book for bedtime
I didnt enjoy this as much as I had hoped - I found its style a little dull... perfect if you want an easy unchallenging bedtime read!
Published 12 months ago by Diana Prince
3.0 out of 5 stars Hateship, Friendskip...
Was a bit disappointed, found the book a bit boring, only managed to read two stories yet. But then I mainly bought if because I am older than the author myself - and believe I... Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2012 by Anne
3.0 out of 5 stars Powerful writing, looming tension
This collection of short stories was my introduction to Alice Munro's world and writing. It is not light reading material, not ideal if you seek some fluffy escapism, but each... Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2010 by Stella (Ex Libris)
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