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Selected Stories Paperback – 6 Nov 1997

3.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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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: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 27 Nov. 2000
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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really disliked this book. I found the stories exceptionally repetitive and samey, the plot lines usually weak and always cliched and the characters transparent and uninspiring. There were also several stories such as Vandals which meander on with no real event to speak of or any point to the story.
Extremely disappointing and not worth the effort.
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