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Selected Stories [Paperback]

Alice Munro
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Nov 1997
This first-ever selection of Alice Munro's stories sums up her genius. Her territory is the secrets that cackle beneath the façade of everyday lives, the pain and promises, loves and fears of apparently ordinary men and women whom she renders extraordinary and unforgettable.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (6 Nov 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099732416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099732419
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 12.9 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"One of the most esteemed writers in the world... Few writers capture the moral ambiguities, murkiness, messiness - and joy - of relationships with as much empathy and grace as Munro... An outstanding showcase for Munro's scrupulous, humane, unnervingly perceptive vision" (Guardian)

"Her work is practically perfect. Any writer has to gawk when reading her because her work is very subtle and precise" (Jane Smiley)

"The best short story writer alive... Munro can pack more into one of her stories - more subtlety, more grace, more tender twists of the human heart - than many novelists do in a lifetime's oeuvre" (Independent)

"One of the world's best living short-story writers... To say that she has made the short story her own and reinvigorated it somehow falls short - she has reinvented it" (Observer)

"Alice Munro! Now that's writing" (Margaret Atwood)

Book Description

The first-ever selection of one of the world's greatest living short-story writers, winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2009.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book to dip into. 27 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A great book to dip into and a wonderful introduction to Alice Munro. Many of the stories explore relationships and look at the responsibility the characters take on board for mothers, fathers, children and step-mothers at different points their lives.
Munro uses straight forward language in her stories and everyday situations, bringing the characters to life by their reaction to these everyday occurances.
Some of the stories are romantic, like" There's Something I've been meaning to tell you", where we get an insight into the existance of two woman Et and Char, toward the end of their lives. The woman have both loved and lost and accepted "their lot" but the return of a child hood sweetheart to the village stirs up feelings.
Munro has many strong women in these stories, and manages to give them a real degree of sensitivity and softness along side the forcefulness that enables the characters to be opened up so that we can see how they got to be the way they are.
A great book to keep on the bedside table and read every now and again or indeed share.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chekhov... Colette... Munro... 17 April 2003
Format:Paperback
I discovered Alice Munro`s expansive, long-breathed, feisty stories late in the day. It was her collection `The Progress of Love` a few years ago, and I was heartstopped, exultant to have found such generous beauty, such honest and freely passionate writing. I am reading the `Selected` - taking my time with them, for each story is a world, a journey, though it only be from the house to the lake, which her readers know can be the most fascinating odyssey in itself - and marvelling anew at such gemlike works of art as `Material` and `Mobile, Montana`. Ms Munro is a great artist (in a way that, say, Doris Lessing, for all her brilliance, is not) and a very fine writer. She is by no means a `feminist writer`! Not only does such an appellation diminish and limit her achievement, it is plainly inaccurate. She writes with blazing clearness and wry compassion about women and men - as does, say, Doris Lessing...
To give this great writer less than a full 5 stars seems to me impertinent, to say the least. Read her.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Selected Stories 15 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback
Selected Stories by Alice Munro is a real treat for those who appreciate the short story genre and who like their fiction to be unashamedly true in tone. Comprised of twenty-three bittersweet tales of Canadian life, Selected Stories is a perfect example of Munro's writing talents, allowing her to demonstrate her incisive understanding of human nature and to offer entertaining meditations on everyday life.

All of the stories in this collection are a delight to read, but a few do particularly stand out. "Walker Brothers Cowboy" is the collection's opening story and is a masterful evocation of life on the road and an exploration of the father/daughter relationship in which a young girl accompanies her salesman father on one of his regular post-Depression era selling trips. In one particular small town they encounter an ex-girlfriend of the father and the girl is left poignantly weighing up her own mother's disappointments with marriage against the ex-girlfriend's disappointment in losing out on a life with the man she loved.

Far more melancholy is the failed relationship central to "Material", in which a woman finds herself strangely moved by a short story written by her ex-husband. The woman had always expected her ex to be a failure as a writer and, while musing on his success since their break-up, she reflects on the folly of her own decision to sacrifice her literary ambitions in order to concentrate on the mundane issues of everyday life.

Similarly, in "Postcard" there is another woman destined to be unlucky in love and seemingly unhappy in life. After receiving a postcard from her fiancée who was supposedly holidaying in Europe, the heroine discovers that her fair-weather beau has actually gone off to marry someone else.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A massive disappointment 17 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alice Munro - selected stories
Nobel prize in Literature 2013 ISBN 9780099732419

A massive disappointment. The marketing hype for the 2013 Nobel Prize winner led me to expect a collection of the very best short stories with a Canadian scent - a landscape of colour and advantage with folk passionate and resourceful facing all sorts of dangers. Instead I was lured into an author’s weird domain – an Eden project - full of ageing soulless puppetry. The Canadian Mountie and Mr Punch remained hidden with all their surprises – pistol, baby and stick. This selection falls short of the best of our current short story genre.

23 stories in this edition with18 titles under 3 words

Canada surely one of the most exciting countries in the world: animals, Native American Indians, breathtaking landscapes, wild journeys. In this selection of short stories the reader won’t meet the animals or any Native Americans. You won’t be making any of the great Canadian journeys by train or by ship. You won’t canoe up rivers or across lakes, the word caribou synonymous with one of the great Canadian wild life adventures never appears in Munro’s text. There will be no danger of polar bears in fact no bears are sighted, no wolverine, no moose no wolves. Are we in Canada? Are Alice Munro’s tales set in Canada?

Well yes but you enter a sort of Eden like Project where Munro scrutinises the characters in her small town with an occasional visit to Vancouver. Some of the townsfolk folk have money most have less. You will encounter divorce, separation, sexual attraction but you wont learn anything of Politics or Canadian sports and nuggets are not to be found – no gold no mining - the people described are farmers, teachers and retailers.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking
Well, she did win the Nobel Prize for in life's work in literature and she did start a whole new genre of writing in Canada so as an aspiring writer she'll do as a role model. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs. Elizabeth J. M. Lyle
4.0 out of 5 stars Alcie Munro's great short stories
I put this book onto my Kindle as short stories are good to read on train journeys. Alice Munro was recommended as a great short story writer and she is.
Published 4 months ago by Jeanius
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting characters in an unusual setting
In these short stories , both the caracters and the settings create an interesting view of life in that period, often with a twist at the end. Enjoyable and well writen.
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A delight.
This is a delightful collection of short stories. I purchased originally to use with some tudents. What an excellent choice. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Forrester
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a gift
I bought this as a gift which was recommended by a work colleague. I then read reviews on the Amazon site to concrete my choice. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Christine
3.0 out of 5 stars "Too Many Things. Too Many Things Going on at the Same Time; Also Too...
This book came out in 1996 and selected 28 short stories published between 1961 and 1994, from seven of the author's collections through the mid-90s. Read more
Published on 29 Jan 2012 by Reader in Tokyo
4.0 out of 5 stars I'm warming to her.
I was recommended Alice Munro because I have a number of Anne Tyler books. Intially I did not find Munro quite so engaging. Read more
Published on 23 Nov 2009 by Jim Saunders
4.0 out of 5 stars it was great.
the way alice munro writes is extremely good. i liked many of the stories, especiallly the progress of love. i like the way the child is descrbing her mothers life..
Published on 12 Dec 2000
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