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Friend of My Youth

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,616 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature**

A woman haunted by dreams of her dead mother. An adulterous couple stepping over the line where the initial excitement ends and the pain begins. A widow visiting a Scottish village in search of her husband's past - and instead discovering unsettling truths about a total stranger. The ten stories in this collection not only astonis
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 5th 1991 by Vintage (first published October 1990)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jennifer (aka EM)
Coming back to Alice Munro - she speaks to me in an entirely new way, now. Stories of adult daughters and mothers and sickness and grief; infidelities and eccentricities; stories of aging - the "sardonic droop of defeat" (Differently, p. 218). Stories of women's friendships. Stories of how life happens to people, and what they become when it does. All perfectly realized, quiet and wise, perfectly told and told completely. Captured into a form over which Munro exerts complete control, making it a ...more
Oct 17, 2014 Ahmed rated it really liked it
فن القصة القصيرة من الفنون الأدبية التى أشعر تجاهها بالذنب , فن عظيم يُبذل فيه جهد كبير ولكن لا يجد قبوله الذى يليق به عند جمهور الأدب.
المهم : هذا عمل لأديبة وُصفت فيما وُصفت ب تشيكوف العصر وأنها أحدثت ثورة فى بناء القصة القصيرة . أديبة حازت نوبل للآداب لعام 2013 .
لطالما كان أجمل الأدب أبسطه ونحن هنا أمام أدب بسيط . وصف مبسط للمشاعر الإنسانية مع عمق ظاهر يجعلك تُدرك جميع الجوانب المُرادة .
تقديم شامل للشخصيات وعرض ظريف لجوانبها .
الترجمة جيدة تدل على لغة العمل العظيمة .
مجموعة تتكون من 10 قصص قصيرة
Oct 01, 2011 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Munro never disappoints. These are all wonderful stories. Though, plot-wise, my life is nothing like the stories here, I am left wondering after each story how Munro knows my inner life so well. Her grasp of human nature, her evocation of the world of her characters, all of it is astounding. The more I read of Munro, the more I am convinced of her genius.
May 22, 2015 Olga rated it it was amazing
There is a trap in the writing called “realist,” which is why I usually avoid it, but Munro is too clever to fall into it, though her mimicry is excellent. Her characters are always veiled in someone else's stories, memories, or speculations. Relationships are steered by chance, circumstance, convenience, selfishness - without losing all the painfully sentimental aspirations we tie to them. Stories brush against people and events that seem impossible to fully contain or understand. “Plots” defy ...more
Small town southern Ontario settings, ordinary people going about nothing more spectacular than living, loving, working, dying; but Alice Munro turns the seemingly mundane into glowing, jewel-like tales that reveal the ‘shameless, marvellous, shattering absurdity’ of life. Each story leaves you faintly breathless, full of wonder at how she can so smoothly pull back the curtain, reveal the essence, the core of being. What I particularly loved in this, her seventh collection, first published in 19 ...more
Sep 06, 2012 Logan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Kinda boring. Well-written, but each tale of domesticity and humdrum-ity fell flat for me after the first two stories. Just too much husbands and wives and domestic ho-hum. I understand there's plenty under the surface there, but I GOT BORED, YO. I actually stopped reading with 100 pages left. Onward!
’Amistad de juventud’ es un colección de diez relatos que bien pueden considerarse pequeñas novelas. Por las páginas de estas diez historias, transitan mujeres que rememoran su pasado y a las que vamos conociendo a través de sus sueños y deseos, así como de las decisiones que las han perfilado en lo que son en la actualidad. Una mujer que sueña con su madre muerta; una maestra que se ha de hospedar por un tiempo en casa de unos cameronianos; la aventura de una mujer casada; el viaje en barco que ...more
May 25, 2012 Nicola rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This lady stuns me in so many ways. She offers lessons in subtlety. Yes, brilliance can be quiet. Munro takes the past and modernizes it, rereads it with a more savvy and uncertain lens, with paradox. Themes of female sexuality, of desire, of deception (self and other), of (dis)connection, of still-present pasts, permeate this collection. No one escapes his/her history or historical contexts; individuals’ lives do not play out in a vacuum; generations are different, but it’s still complicated an ...more
Ebtihal Abuali
Oct 31, 2014 Ebtihal Abuali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: north-america
أحببت أسلوبها، افكار قصصها، شخصياتها (كل القصص تدور حول نساء في فترات مختلفة من العمر وفي علاقات عاطفية مختلفة، الأخت الزوجة العشيقة الام) وترسم علاقات المرأة مع المرأة. تغوص في التفاصيل لملامح المكان والشخصية لكن تقريبا في كل قصة تترك مساحة فارغة لتمتلأ بخيال القاريء.

اقتباس: "يقوض الرجل حياتك لفترة غير محدودة، ثم في يوم ما لاشيء، مجرد فراغ حيث كان، فراغ لا يعول عليه."
snackywombat (v.m.)
Feb 01, 2008 snackywombat (v.m.) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: writers
Reading this was a long time in coming. The story "Meneseteung" that I read five years ago in the Best American Stories of the 20th Century was actually the first Alice Munro that I had come across and then over the years countless people--mainly writers--have mentioned her as a favorite. This stands to reason: Munro is a writer's writer. She spins tales; she writes real stories. Yet they have a modernism and sophistication that transcends time, place, trends, gender... everything. Her style rem ...more
Mar 30, 2014 Patty rated it liked it
This book has been in my bookcase, unread, for over two decades and Ms. Munro's recent Nobel Prize win prompted me to finally open it. I found a collection of surprisingly earthy, sexual and sometimes disturbing —but believable—tales of the everyday lives of farm and small town residents in Ontario. Munro was pushing 60 when she wrote these stories but these are not the tea-cozy tales of an impending retiree. For the most part her language is incisive, astringent and rarely superfluous. Virtuall ...more
Megan Baxter
May 19, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it really liked it
Alice Munro's short stories are always a delight to read, and Friend of My Youth is no exception. In almost every collection of hers I have read, there is a line or two of description that makes me start out of my chair and realize, yes, that perfectly describes something I have been feeling.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smor
Feb 08, 2016 Blake rated it it was amazing
I remember first reading Alice Munro a number of years ago and, quite apart from the long searching task of merits being enlarged and made single and countable, being just overwhelmed by the nearness of the reading experience in a way I hadn’t been before. Different collections, though, can do different things. Friend of My Youth, because of its careful lengths and its doubled permission to allow the mundane its earned enlargement, reproduces, or rather produces, that first-second nearness and a ...more
2.5 stars.

After really liking Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (my first brush with Alice Munro) I was curious to read more. That collection stories made me think it would be good to revisit in the future.

This collection was pretty disappointing.

by the last three stories I was rolling my eyes at the last sentence of each one. These felt As if the author was working through a checklist. a writer, a woman, and infidelity (real- or fantasized), a divorce, canada, glory days, a (f
Emily January
Aug 10, 2011 Emily January rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alice Munro is second to none!
"Not my cup of tea" was perhaps the only opinion I had of this book. It started out so promising with the first two stories that I hoped it would continue in the same spirit. After that however the stories grew more monotonous and repetitive for me. I think it's more a matter of the audience. Being a child of immigrants who wasn't born in Canada either and grew up with a Euro-centric upbringing, I had a hard time with these stories because they began to bleed into each other and cause me to doze ...more
The experiences of Munro's characters in this collection are pretty well removed from my own. Most are women in their 50s or so, looking back on young marriages in the 50s, affairs and divorces in the 60s or 70s, visiting old friends or acquaintances after or during deaths of parents.

That said, what Munro does without fail in every story of hers I've read is capture the universal feeling of fear and excitement as your life changes and transforms, and the scarier feeling of realizing that there'
Sep 14, 2014 Anastasia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0-2014
Nonostante l'ottima partenza, poi è stato sempre più un altalenante alti e bassi in cui in realtà le cime erano veramente rade.
In tutti i racconti prevale il ricordo dei tempi andati, che di solito coinvolge proprio una persona in particolare che diede un certo lustro ad un certo periodo della loro vita, anche solo per pochi giorni, come in Goodness and Mercy. Come già fatto notare da altri, il tradimento, l'isolamento e il senso di colpa sono i motivi più ricorrenti: l'atmosfera quasi assurda
Andy Miller
Nov 24, 2013 Andy Miller rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy reading Alice Munro collections from different times of her life, there is a difference in perspective and subject. This collection was published in 1990.

The title story, Friend of My Youth, is an example. While Munro's later stories often focus on reminscences of a narrator in her later years, this narrative is based on a story from a the narrator's mother about a year the mother spent teaching n a rural community and boarding with a Cameronian (a Mennonite type of religion that forbade
Victor Carson
Nov 21, 2012 Victor Carson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I found this collection of short stories while looking for Alice Munro's new collection, which was just released this month. The stories in Friend of My Youth were copyrighted in 1990. I have read many of the author's stories but I continue to be mesmerized by her ability to reveal her characters so well that you feel sure that each of the stories really happened. A critic might say that the stories lack artistic unity and fail to leave the reader with an overall impression or a central idea. It ...more
Mariano Hortal
"Amistad de Juventud" de Alice Munro. La escritora canadiense es una de las escritoras actuales más importantes sobre todo por su narrativa breve de la que es un fiel exponente.
Este libro se trata, pues, de una serie de relatos cortos, pequeñas novelas, en las que utiliza normalmente un narrador omnisciente para narrar pequeñas joyitas. En estas historias tenemos hombres que no están mal caracterizados, pero lo verdaderamente increíble es ver la forma en que dibuja, perfila e incluso hace escult
Jan 20, 2014 Martha☀ rated it it was ok
Whoa! What's going on here? I guess I have been out of school too long because I had forgotten about the ridiculousness of short stories. Each little story, no longer than a chapter, starts developing nicely and then ends mid-sentence, with no resolution and often no conflict, plot or any other literary convention. The themes include death, infidelity and the general malaise of some depressing middle-aged folks. Each 'story' I read in this book left me stunned, gaping at the page break, wonderin ...more
Ah, Alice! Kiitos jälleen kerran. Nuoruudenystävä on kokoelma neljännesvuosisadan takaa, mutta vasta nyt suomennettu. Hienoja tarinoita, joissa pääroolissa ovat menneisyyden ihmiset, erheet ja petokset.
Corinne Wasilewski
Alice Munro -- master of the short story, winner of the Nobel -- why did these stories leave me stone cold? Could it be that I'm not much into the politics of sex and how they play out between lovers, husbands and wives, and best friends? No. That's a theme with universal appeal. And the writing is seamless -- I have no issue there. The problem is, once you peel off the paper and ribbon, there's no soul underneath. These stories are written with a dispassionate eye that mostly skims the surface. ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Katie rated it it was amazing
How is it possible I have been able to overlook Alice Munro for so long? Looking back, each story was equally strong and memorable which is hard to come by in in a collection of short stories. I have been meaning to read more collections, and part of me feels as if it was a mistake to begin with Munro because anything else may feel weak by comparison. Which Munro should I read next??
Ahmed Al-Emadi
مجموعة قصص قصيرة تملك كاتبتها قدرة كبيرة على تصوير التفاصيل. لست خبيراً في شأن القصص القصيرة لكن جميعها هنا، و إن كانت لا تفتقد للتشويق، بنهايات مفتوحة! أو قد أقول بلا نهاية واضحة.
Maga Etchebarne
Mar 27, 2016 Maga Etchebarne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
dios salve a esta reina
Feb 03, 2016 Joyce rated it it was ok
Somewhat convoluted stories.
Jan 13, 2016 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As is typical for Alice, she does not give much away in these stories; she leaves it to her reader to find emotion and empathy. But with this collection, Alice is a bit more generous with narrative and circumstance. Her characters are amplified and their stories are rich and full. Still, you can't help but wonder, what propels these people to make the decisions they do? I think in most cases no decision is really made; making a decision requires having options. The women in these stories grow up ...more
Jan 18, 2016 Neslihan rated it it was ok
boring stories on canadian boredom...
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Lectores Chapines: LIbro de Mayo: Amistad de juventud 2 12 May 30, 2014 01:54AM  
Literautas: Amistad de Juventud (marzo - mayo 2014) 1 32 Mar 14, 2014 03:19AM  
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Alice Ann Munro, née Laidlaw, is a Canadian short-story writer who is widely considered one of the world's premier fiction writers. Munro is a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction. Her stories focus on human relationships looked at through the lens of daily life. She has thus been referred to as "the Canadian Chekhov."

She is the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Liter
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“People are curious. A few people are. ... They will put things together, knowing all along that they may be mistaken. You see them going around with notebooks, scraping the dirt off gravestones, reading microfilm, just in the hope of seeing this trickle in time, making a connection, rescuing one thing from the rubbish.” 50 likes
“Her silent singing wrapped around the story she was telling herself, which she extended further every night on the deck. (Averill often told herself stories-- the activity seemed to her as unavoidable as dreaming.) Her singing was a barrier set between the world in her head and the world outside, between her body and the onslaught of the stars.” 1 likes
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