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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great book to dip into.
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...
Published on 27 Nov 2000

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat monotonous
Full of interesting and promising thoughts and images. But they all remain mere potential in these short stories.
They are not fulfilled, thus making the stories somewhat monotonous.

Conspicuous too how almost all the characters are "serious" and sad, full of problems. Or maybe Munro just focuses on these aspects of life. The reader can be forgiven...
Published 7 months ago by puffin


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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
This review is from: Selected Stories (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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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chekhov... Colette... Munro..., 17 April 2003
This review is from: Selected Stories (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
This review is from: Selected Stories (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. Although she had believed herself to be fairly ambivalent to him, it is only after confronting the cad about the difference between his words and his deeds that she realises just how much she really cared.

Munro's stories generally have relationships at their heart and, whether those relationships involve parents and children, husbands and wives, friends or any other social interaction, her characterisations are neat and fitting and her dialogue is spot-on. Munro has an acute sense of social interaction and familial obligation and so the relationships in her stories are always familiar, however fantastical they may at first seem. She writes female characters perhaps best of all and so the women featured in Selected Stories are at the same time strong and sensitive, fierce and loyal, shocking and appealing. In-keeping with her skilful use of character, Munro writes an unusual kind of realism so that her stories continuously ring true even when something truly outlandish is slipped into the narrative. There is a tendency towards darkness in each of the stories, not horror but the darker, more desperate side of life that is most often kept hidden, and so there are no real happy endings, rather there are moments of insight and the potential for improvement. However, this does not mean that Munro's stories are grim, merely that they stand on the bleaker side of real, and so it is still possible to find humour and even some joy in her tales.

Alice Munro is arguably one of the finest short story writers of recent times and Selected Stories is a great example of her talent and range as an author. The stories included in this volume are sublime and deeply effecting and so it is an ideal introductory volume to those new to Munro's work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is not a 'one time' read as they are stories that have many strands that can be re-read and enjoyed again - there is always, 12 Aug 2014
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Consumer A "ReaderAAA" (England. UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Selected Stories (Paperback)
Every time you get short stories by Alice Munro they are so pleasurable. This is not a 'one time' read as they are stories that have many strands that can be re-read and enjoyed again - there is always something extra to notice. Alice Munro often seems to have a what if scenario at a particular moment someone had just missed, just met, taken the wrong turning etc., would what happened next have changed the course of someone's life? These are real people . She has a great ability to paint in a person with all their mannerisms just in a few words.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The inside story, 9 July 2014
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All those strangers we see every day have stories to tell. Alice Munro gives them to us, with finely observed detail.
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3.0 out of 5 stars somewhat monotonous, 1 May 2014
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This review is from: Selected Stories (Paperback)
Full of interesting and promising thoughts and images. But they all remain mere potential in these short stories.
They are not fulfilled, thus making the stories somewhat monotonous.

Conspicuous too how almost all the characters are "serious" and sad, full of problems. Or maybe Munro just focuses on these aspects of life. The reader can be forgiven for asking himself after a while: Are there no happy people in Canada?

I do think that Alice Munro has - maybe not discovered but - mastered a certain area of things to write about which is not often written about, a certain niche of honest thoughts about life and relationships.
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5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking, 17 Dec 2013
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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. (tongue in cheek, everyone)
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4.0 out of 5 stars A delight., 19 Dec 2012
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This review is from: Selected Stories (Paperback)
This is a delightful collection of short stories. I purchased originally to use with some tudents. What an excellent choice. Here are beautifully crafted stories by a very accomplished writer
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writer., 14 Dec 2014
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A strand of darkness runs through many (though not all) of these stories. A wonderful writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 15 Dec 2014
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It's a book to a kindle wouldn't recommend it for a holiday read
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Selected Stories
Selected Stories by Alice Munro (Hardcover - 7 Nov 1996)
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