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"Dear Life" by Alice Munro is a wonderful collection of short stories. While my favourite is 'Corrie', there wasn't a single story that I disliked. I found myself only able to read one story a day because I wanted a bit of time to think about the story I just finished. Just great.
I read all the short stories in this book but it was not my favourite collection of Alice Munro's work. It didn't hold my interest as much as some of her previous collections.
It also needed better editing!
If you like reading short stories on life with depth, it is a great choice. This book was written by a Nobel Laureate in Literature on short stories. Having said that if you are looking for movie-like entertaining short stories, this book is not. This is a book of short stories on human written by a Nobel Laureate.
A real master of short stories. Great style but simple, unique at the same time. The stories read like unsolved mysteries of life and its players - humans.
Of interest are the last four autobiographical pieces. Not my favorite collection, but still wonderful.
Everyday stories of everyday people and their foibles, we all have one or two of these stories in our lives. She connects with them and makes us examine our own narratives.
I am not a fan of short stories at the best of times and this book is a quintessential example of why I don't like this genre. Snippets of sad lives, neglect, misunderstanding and few redeeming events to pull the characters or the situations into balance. How hard can life be in Saskatchewan?
I couldn't finish the book. I just couldn't connect with any of the characters, and the themes were too repetitive.
It was great to read ALICE again just after her Nobel win.She is a breath of fresh south western Ontario air!
Congratulations to a brilliant author for winning the Nobel prize for literature, 2013. Alice Munro has been my favourite author since I read "Dance of the Happy Shades" and, though USA would love to lay claim to her, she is OURS! A great Canadian with a unique voice, her humility is as impressive as her talent. BRAVA!
It's been a while since I enjoyed a book of short stories as much as I did this one. To read in such picturesque words about events and times in the not so distant past is indeed a treat and Munro has done justice to the times in a remarkable way. Indeed in this collection of short stories, Munro has packed so much detail that I may never read a novel again!
Stories about the moment in time a life is forever altered by a decision, a chance encounter or by a simple twist of fate.
This is the 1st book I've read by Alice Munro. She is very skilled at writing short stories. The book left me feeling melancholy but I did enjoy.
I really only read one short story.....didn't have time to continue with the book as it had to go back to library. I kept it on my list to get again to give it another try...I was interested in the short story I read but it just ended abruptly and left me stunned!!! I won't give up though!!
This collection of short stories is of the usual high standard of Alice Munroe's writings and if you are not familiar with her writings it would be a very intriguing starting point. These short stories are original, intelligent and some are quirky enough with the odd twist and turn that I didn't see coming.
So many other people seemed to enjoy this book of short stories, but I found the book rather dull. I did not like many of the characters and was completely unmoved by the stories.
Alice Munro, the master of the modern short story, continues to show her prodigious talent in her latest collection entitled Dear Life. Each story illuminates a life at a pivotal moment and who this moment affects its subject. Dear Life also includes a series of four memories from the author life; structured as short stories, they are mini-memoirs, colored by memory and creativity, yet illuminating the way each of her stories are.
Many of the stories in Dear Life are set in the post WWII era of Canada, and the memory of the way and the Depression infuse them. One story in particular, "Leaving Maverley," highlights the power of Munro's storytelling, where with a simple sentence; a reflection of what has gone on before, Munro is able to bring the reader to tears.
Dear Life, like every new Alice Munro collection, is like returning for what will be a wonderful visit with a cherished, wise and quietly wicked good friend. Does it feel that way even if you are discovering Munro for the first time? I suspect it does, although for this reader, that firsthand feeling is now many books ago. This renewed visit with Munro is possibly my most cherished of all.
In "Dear Life," Alice Munro deliberately leaves crucial backstory sketchy or fills it in at incongruent points in the narrative. She embraces a fragmentary quality. She marks her plots with abrupt departure, eerie premonitions and personalities twisted by religious ideals. But her style does not produce a jarring or disjointed collection; rather, it captures the qualities of memory and consciousness and reveals startling character types with stark if not surreal insight.
In one story, a soldier leaps off the back of a passenger train just before it delivers him to a long-anticipated reunion with his fiancée. In another, a love affair between a wealthy eccentric and a married architect builds to a shattering revelation. In another still, a young policeman, forced to care for his ailing wife, becomes quietly obsessed with a religious teenager who disappears in a blizzard. These near-Gothic story lines feature violence, illness or ruined reputations and show how a seemingly inconsequential detail in life can either torment or liberate.
Stories often come to harrowing conclusions that feel both inevitable and cathartic. Munro consistently restores unquiet order and shows that life goes on. Sort of.
October 10, 2013: The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Canadian author Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story"!