Another book review: "Runaway"

Posted by Bel. The time is 8:01am here in Wellington, NZ.

I've found it's quite good to get out a novel and some short stories simultaneously, because then when you feel like you need a bit of a break from your book, you can dip into something else, without having to pick up the narrative thread again and get all confused. At least, that's how I work.

This is definitely the best collection of short stories I have read so far. I became so enthralled in one story ('Trespasses') that I realised that I was trying to carry with reading it in my lap as I worked on a spreadsheet in the office. Shocking!! But quite an indication that it was a good read.

I presume Alice Munro is Canadian, as all of the stories are set there. (Is anyone else appaulled at the lack of research I do? Ehhh, fuck it.) This was quite a refreshing change, considering how many books on 'The List' are American. It seemed that the landscapes were an integral part of the storytelling, setting the scene in more than just a physical way.

I enjoyed the psychological intracicies that were so deftly drawn in these stories - the way parents were shown as flawed and immature, how someone's fate could tip due to a moment's crushing hesitancy, the disparity of a relationship viewed from outside looking in.

Highly recommended, particularly to those who aren't that keen on short stories. The writing is so good that I am sure you will be won over!

5 thoughts on “Another book review: "Runaway"”

  1. Wiki tells me that she is indeed Canadian. It also tells me:

    Alice Ann Munro (née Laidlaw; born 10 July 1931) is a Canadian short-story writer, winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work, and three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction. Generally regarded to be one of the world's foremost writers of fiction, her stories focus on the human condition and relationships through the lens of daily life. While most of Munro’s fiction is set in Southwestern Ontario and the Canadian Pacific Northwest, her reputation as a short-story writer is international. Her "accessible, moving stories" explore human complexities in a seemingly effortless style. Munro's writing has established her as "one of our greatest contemporary writers of fiction," or, as Cynthia Ozick put it, "our Chekhov."

  2. Uhhh hi Bel - I am creepishly going through your book reviews. I luuurrvvee Alice Munro. You should read Lives of Girls and Women.