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New Selected Stories Hardcover – 15 Sep 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Chatto & Windus (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701179880
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701179885
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 182,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"At 80 Munro is still one of our most fearless explorers of the human being, as she descends, time and again, headlamp on full beam, pickaxe and butter-knife at the ready." (The Times)

"Munro's writing does what proper literature should do - plunges you into reality in all its knotty complexities...Munro transcends the short form." (Sunday Telegraph)

"Munro...is an astute and lavishly confident writer, her clean, well-shaped sentences delivering a near constant supply of stinging insight, together with moments of wonderful soft-fingered grace. Her economy with words can be dazzling." (New Statesman)

"Alice Munro, winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize, is sometimes called the `Canadian Chekhov' for her mastery of the short-story form. This new selection... proves that the nickname, for all that it's become a cliché, is well deserved." (Time Out)

"Munro is so good that one gropes for superlatives...(her) stories read like short novels; entire lives comprehended in a peripheral glimpse, an uncanny anticipation, a sudden intuition." (Sunday Telegraph)

Book Description

**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature**

A new selection of Alice Munro's short stories spanning her last five collections: The Love of a Good Woman; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; Runaway; The View from Castle Rock; and Too Much Happiness, which brings together her finest work from the past fifteen years.


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Antenna TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 May 2012
Format: Hardcover
Why is Alice Munro regarded widely described as one of the greatest female short story writers, yet also perhaps read less than this accolade would suggest?

This selection from five collections covering the decade 1998-2009 displays the key aspects of her writing. On one hand, stories which are often as long as 30-40 pages, loosely plotted to allow digressions into the lives of various characters, generally lacking in suspense or dramatic endings, or pithy punchlines. On the other, very acute observation of human behaviour and empathy with their thoughts and emotions, a strong sense and apparent love of the Canadian landscape and seasons, and a deceptive rambling in stories which maintain a clear underlying purpose and momentum.

I particularly enjoyed "The Bear came over the Mountain", about a sensitive and creative woman whose Alzheimer's has become sufficiently serious for her husband to place her in a home. When she forms an attachment to another resident, is this a kind of revenge for her husband's serial infidelity? What makes this story interesting is that it is written from the husband's perspective. Although sad in places, this is too insightful and at times sharply witty to be depressing.

On a lighter note, I appreciated "Chance" about an academically inclined but uncertain young woman on the brink of her adult life and possible career, who responds to a letter from a married man she has met by chance on a train. To what extent is she choosing her fate?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Masia on 4 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback
For someone who hasn’t read Alice Munro before this particular collection could be seen as a good introduction to her work as it features a selection of her stories from her collections between 1998-2009.

Having won many prestigious awards her name is synonymous with beautifully crafted stories of acute observations of human behaviour and emotion. This is certainly reflected in all the stories here. Each story is complete in its telling of an experience but often you are left thinking I wonder what happened next or was she/he really happy with the choices they made. Munro draws you in to people’s lives and leaves you still continuing their story in your head. I found it in turns intense, engaging and thought-provoking.

If you like stories that run at a pace with “stuff happening” you might find this book stifling or unrewarding as you have to invest time and patience in reading every sentence and absorbing the language and style which is very descriptive.

Also with this collection of stories I felt that the theme was one of overriding melancholy or tragedy throughout so if you like reading for several hours as I do, you might find the stories become a little heavy when read one after another there’s not much in the way of light-heartedness or humour.

In contrast, to compare this collection with one of my favourite authors William Trevor – his short story collection “Outside Ireland” explores everyday lives of everyday people with intimacy and complexity but he also has moments of great wit which alleviate the sadness and tragedies abounding.

Highly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Elmes on 30 July 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Alice Munro is as good as everyone says. These short stories are perceptive, warm crystallizations of very human problems and desires. They challenge and illuminate and her prose is a delight.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patrick May on 3 Nov. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Super read! Highly recommended. Beautifully crafted stories and not a word is wasted. Each story is a little gem. This book is a joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrs V. Packer on 7 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback
I don't usually like short stories - in fact I usually avoid them - but I tried this collection as it was recommended by one of my favourite authors, Lori Lanssens, and I absolutely loved the stories, There is tremendous depth and acuity shown by the author and it was possible to become involved with the character despite the brevity of the story - previously one of my main objections to short stories. Perhaps this collection would be better described as novellas rather than short stories. A delightful experience and I recommend them to everyone, especially short story phobics as I am (or was)!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Hale on 15 Mar. 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you read any Alice Munro you will know that she is the best short story writer of all time. If you have not, you are lucky because there a number of collections awaiting you. You will not be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Catwoman on 9 Feb. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alice Munro's stories read more like short novels. They are poignant and full of bittersweet characters. Munro writes very visually, you can see the Canadian landscapes and small town settings which she draws beautifully. There is a sense loss in many of the stories but Munro's genius is her sympathy with her characters. Their refusal to let life defeat them is uplifting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sue Lines on 13 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It is some months since I read this book and yet the stories are still fresh in my mind - the sign of an outstanding writer.
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