on November 23, 2008
This book is almost identical to an earlier release back in 1997 but with a fewer stories. What they've done here is selected the 17 best stories for this edition. There is an introduction by Margaret Atwood who talks about her personal experiences as a writer reading Munro's works which is a nice bonus.
If you've never read Munro, this book is basically the essential Munro reader. Nobody writes the short story as good as Munro. The stories are deep, oftentimes disturbing look into the lives and moods of rural Canada. Munro focuses mostly on children and women and as a child of the Great Depression many of the stories are set in that time period.
Overall, I'd have to say this new edition of Alice Munro short stories is the definitive guide to Munro. I don't think you need to know Canada to appreciate the stories, but knowing the history and geography does help. You may not think she is Canada's Chekov, but Munro is certainly a true Canadian icon.
on June 20, 2014
Being a Nobel prize winner, I had great expectations for this book by Alice Munro. What a disappointment! After several months I did finish it but would NOT recommend it to anyone. Some of the stories I really got into but then they either left me hanging or very confused. Sorry, I guess it just isn't my 'kind of book'.