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Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage [Kindle Edition]

Alice Munro
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 20.00
Kindle Price: CDN$ 13.99 includes free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
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Product Description

From Amazon

Readers know what they are going to get when they pick up an unfamiliar Alice Munro collection, and yet almost every page carries a bounty of unexpected action, feeling, language, and detail. Her stories are always unique, blazing an invigorating originality out of her seemingly commonplace subjects. Each collection develops her oeuvre in increments, subtly expanding her range.

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage is, of course, no exception. It is a fairly conservative collection of nine stories, none of which move far beyond Munro's favored settings: the tiny towns and burgeoning cities of southern Ontario and British Columbia. There are glimpses of youth here--in the title story, an epistolary prank by two teenage girls leads to a one-sided cross country elopement and, seemingly, a happy marriage, and in "Nettles," disrupted childhood affection fleetingly returns through a chance meeting--but most of these pieces are stories of aging women and men, confronting the twin travails of death and late love. As is always the case with Munro, their plots are too elegantly elaborate to summarize, and their unsentimental power is a given; baroque praise would be futile. Read these stories--it is the only way to really understand the miracles that Munro so regularly performs. --Jack Illingworth

From Publishers Weekly

A writer of Munro's ilk hardly needs a hook like the intriguing title of her 10th collection to pull readers into her orbit. Serving as a teasing introduction to these nine brilliantly executed tales, the range of mentioned relationships merely suggests a few of the nuances of human behavior that Munro evokes with the skill of a psychological magician. Johanna Parry, the protagonist of the title story, stands alone among her fictional sisters in achieving her goal by force of will. A rough, uneducated country girl, blatantly plain ("her teeth were crowded into the front of her mouth as if they were ready for an argument"), she seems doomed to heartbreak because of a teenager's trick, but the bracingly ironic denouement turns the reader's dire expectations into glee. The women in the other stories generally cannot control their fate. Having finally been reunited with the soul mate of her youth, the narrator of "Nettles" discovers that apparently benevolent fate can be cruel. In a similar moment of perception that signals the end of hope, Lorna in "Post and Beam" realizes that she is condemned to a life of submission to her overbearing, supercilious husband; ironically, her frowsy country cousin envies Lorna's luck in escaping their common origin. In nearly every story, there's a contrast between the behavior and expectations of country people and those who have made it to Toronto or Vancouver. Regardless of situation, however, the basics of survival are endured in stoic sorrow. Only the institutionalized wife of a philanderer in "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" manages to outwit her husband, and she has to lose her sanity to do it. All of the stories share Munro's characteristic style, looping gracefully from the present to the past, interpolating vignettes that seem extraneous and bringing the strands together in a deceptively gentle windup whose impact takes the breath away. Munro has few peers in her understanding of the bargains women make with life and the measureless price they pay. (Nov.)Forecast: Munro's collections are true modern classics, as the 75,000 first printing of her latest attests. Expect vigorous sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3300 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart (May 25 2011)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZZH4HS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #92,912 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nine stories, most displaying the depth of a novel March 14 2002
Alice Munro is the eminent Canadian award winning author of international fame. It is remarkable to find that Alice Munro is the only living author with a full-time professional career spent in writing short fiction. Her standards and her talent are quite breathtaking.
She pours into each of her short stories the feeling of various Canadian regions and their characters, while offering appurtenance to the lives of her readers around the world. This is definitely not provincial writing, but worldly.
In addition, she delivers the depth of a novel into many of her short works. Her new collection contains seven stories of roughly the same length,each around thirty pages,with two novellas of around 50 pages each serving as bookends. They are a treat.
First off, Marriage, takes place in a small town when trains still joined communities and people wrote letters. It starts with a woman, Johanna, who wants to ship furniture to Saskatchewan. For why? Everyone is curious. Half the town knows the stationmaster personally, and guesswork pours over coffee cups. By end of the story we learn Johanna could have benefited from the advice a Toronto judge recently gave a neophyte lawyer, Don't ever assume anything.
Floating Bridge is next. An Ontario woman named Jinny examines the reasons for her petty anger, out of which she comes to terms with her cancer. In a story called Comfort, religious-right creationists edge their way into a school, and begin to make life uncomfortable for a science instructor teaching evolution.
What is Remembered, set in Vancouver and Victoria concerns the chance meeting between a bush pilot-doctor and a woman who has just attended the funeral of her husband's friend who may have committed suicide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed it Dec 11 2001
By A Customer
Alice Munro's short stories don't always impress me -- some seem too sedate, others too offbeat. However, this collection was very enjoyable. The lead story, which shares its title with the book, is wonderfully ironic and very well written, with characters that are drawn quickly and even sketchily, and yet they have such depth that if I were a critic, I would consider this Munro's masterpiece. All the stories in this collection refer to acts of love, but they are realistic. A woman has an affair that lasts a few hours but in her memories is maintained for a lifetime. Old childhood friends meet again as adults with the outcome far more and far less than the woman expected (the man, as usual, expected nothing). Women learn about themselves not just through romantic relationships but through the loving or non-loving family relationships they find. These are good stories, moving at the calm pace of reminiscences. Very well done. I was sorry when I finished the last story. I wanted more.
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3.0 out of 5 stars CREATIVE READING BUT LACKS SUBSTANCE. Nov. 27 2001
To the book's credit, the stories contained in this book are once again original, as is the custom with Alice Munro. That is what earned the book the three stars it received. On the downside, the stories were somewhat dull and the characters weak. With one or two exceptions, most characters came across as aging individuals, far older than their years. Love is beautiful at any age but from a psychological point of view, the characters' actions and words do not appear to fall in line with what we are told of the personalities of the individuals. Some may find the book inspiring, and the majaority of stories had a great deal of potential that simply fell short when it came to character development. The stories are interesting to a certain degree but it is not likely a book that will "set the world on fire" and long be remembered.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Munro in Full Bloom Dec 19 2001
By A Customer
Though some may call this a collection of short stories, when I finished reading each selection, I felt as though I had read a novel in beautiful miniature. Munro's characters are fully drawn; they grow and breathe as you read, and her plots are like quilts-pieced together in compositions that please as a whole and in parts. Love and its fickle, evanescent ways provide Munro's themes. A young woman watches her older sister handle her demanding husband along with other men; an aging man reflects on his love life while worrying about his wife's flirtations in a nursing home. In another writer's hands, these vignettes would fall short of the requirements for literature, but in Munro's experienced hands, these become seeds for enduring, indeed at times breathtaking, art.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gently Poignant Dec 13 2001
By A Customer
Alice Munro writes with a skillful hand. How enjoyable! How absolutely enjoyable! I found the several stories that comprise her book to be quite inspiring. And, important in today's world, they do nibble around the edges of teaching character. I only wish there were more. Perhaps there will be more in future books? While you're waiting for the next one, I recommend you get a full treatment of hateship, friendship, morals, and character by reading the hundreds of TRUE stories in "West Point" by Norman Thomas Remick. No nibbling around the edges there. But, by all means, make sure you read Alice Munro's "Hateship, Friendship, ...". It will be wonderfully and gently poignant to many readers.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
My wife did not like this book.
Published 11 months ago by Iain G. Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars It was great to get this book
It was great to get this book. "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage" fills an important gep in a collection. Read more
Published 16 months ago by janet
2.0 out of 5 stars the usual
No surprises. Same old, same old from Munro. But I could only read one of the short stories (book club choice); not a short story fan.
Published 19 months ago by meg Canadian fan
3.0 out of 5 stars Is no-one happy!
Of course the English language was beautiful - wonderful way with words - but surely since Alice Munro seems to have such a happy life, she must know some normal - happy people -... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Joan Lever
2.0 out of 5 stars Alice, show me some passion!
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage, Alice Munro's latest collection of nine short stories is a languid, slow journey through the rather unremarkable lives of... Read more
Published on April 24 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystalline view of human nature
Why would I impulsively urge teenagers to resist [other books]and read Alice Munro? Because, I suspect, they'd be lucky to be set anything that good in post-modern high... Read more
Published on March 27 2002 by Stephen Saunders
3.0 out of 5 stars An Antidote for Insomnia
Word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence ... a great wordsmith. I just kept waiting for something to happen. Read more
Published on Feb. 16 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Disliked the Book
I purchased this book because it sounded interesting. I'd like to hear why anyone liked it. In fact, after I read each story I had to go to the book cover: "Oh, that was... Read more
Published on Jan. 21 2002 by Naoma Foreman
5.0 out of 5 stars On the run fun.
What I love about short stories is that they are short. The writer, if good at his/her craft, has to get to it, now. No beating around the proverbial bush. Read more
Published on Jan. 1 2002
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