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Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage Hardcover – 31 Dec 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart Inc. (31 Dec. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771065256
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771065255
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 713,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

Review

'She has a touch of genius', Mail on Sunday .'One of the two or three best writers of fiction of any length now alive', Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Read on 30 Sept. 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 By Denis Vukosav TOP 50 REVIEWER on 7 Nov. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"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 of a short story manages to say more about life and people than most of the authors in the whole novel.

Her last collection is made of nine stories in which author using her distinct writing style once again succeeds to compel reader on thinking about own life, about the mistakes we make, about the melancholy of her characters' lives. And our own.

Munro is skillful writer who knows how to do with words, and her stories, rarely larger than 30 pages, seem like compressed novels due to her ability to show whole pictures with a sentence or two full of well-chosen words.
Her stories seem much simpler than they are really, due to her skill to look at one's whole life through small details that mark it.

They are not necessarily sad, though they are even less happy, because there are lots of shades of sadness, just like Tolstoy said that all happy families are similar one to another, and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

The stories are short but, it's not easy to say what their exact theme is, though motif that runs through all of them is love that is shown how it arises. Or disappear.

Alice Munro with this collection as with all previous succeeded getting reader to think more about themselves than about the characters of her stories, they only serve as personification of reader thoughts, doubts and disappointments.
And due to that fact it's not strange that reader will feel fully drawn into her world because her world is our world, full of (unfulfilled) dreams, illusions and hopes.

Alice Munro's stories have the ability to remain long in reader's memory and for this reason, as well as all of the above-mentioned, this story collection is worth the time reader spend on its reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Norman Bishop on 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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Format: Mass Market Paperback
What powers of observation has Alice Munro! Even the ticket-seller at the station becomes a fascinating character. This is a longish short story which sets big themes in a small Canadian town, and develops them in front of the reader in a very appealing, sometimes humorous, compassionate way. Two outsiders create the drama, the heavy-boned, inelegant but decent 30-something housekeeper and a widower with a reputation for the ladies which also disguises some decency. The catalysts are two teenage girls with a bit of time on their hands. Alice Munro seems to bring the different generations together effortlessly as well as the post-war, rural past with people who are as modern and forward-looking as it is possible to be. I am impressed that the Nobel Prize judges decided to award the 2013 Literature award to her. They normally seek out big themes like war, strife and starvation. This short story, the first I have read by her, deals with big themes in normal life, though - frustration, fear, keeping your fingers crossed that things will work out and dealing with the obstacles that we all create for each other. A wonderful writer!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Beresford on 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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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By John P. Jones III TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 April 2011
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.
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