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The Progress of Love
Alice Munro
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The Progress of Love

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,779 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews

Alice Munro, who received the National Book Critics Circle Award for her latest collection of stories, The Love of a Good Woman, is widely acknowledged as a modern master of the short story. In this earlier collection, she demonstrates all of those strengths that have won her so many literary accolades.

A divorced woman returns to
Published October 5th 2011 by McClelland & Stewart (first published 1986)
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Come with me, my love...

I’m an observer by nature. I guess you can say I like to watch. Birds. Bugs. Animals. Humans. The weather. I can sit in front of my bay window for hours watching a spider spin a web, a thunderstorm rolling in, a swarm of bees sipping nectar from my rhododendrons…

Alice Munro must be an observer by nature too, because her stories reveal her fascination with everyday life and everyday people. This particular collection focuses on rela
K.D. Absolutely
Feb 12, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Shelves: 501, anthology
My first book by Alice Munro (born 1931) and oh my, she kicks ass!

What is it with female Canadian writers? I normally think twice before picking up any book by a female writer. This is not a sexist remark but most of them I tried hard to like them but they fell short of my expectations. Virginia Woolf will always be my favorite along with Dame Iris Murdoch. Then, I also enjoyed Surfacing by Margaret Atwood and Unless by Carol Shields. They are the first two female Canadian writers who both joine
I sometimes like to think of Alice Munro as a painter. In drawing her just so, I can consider that she must furnish the place she has made for her daily hours of work with these finely delineated and peculiarly detailed portraits of people who have never existed whole, but whom we have all met in part: people whose clothes and expressions we have worn, whose lives we have lived in, and into whose poses our own movement pours content.

Still, portraits are not her characteristic medium. Other than
Feb 24, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-contos, n-canada
Onze contos narrados com a profundidade de um romance, ao nível do conhecimento das personagens, onde é dada primazia ao seu interior, desvalorizando o exterior.
Historias reveladoras do intimo e anseios mais profundos da alma humana.
Na sua maior parte são as mulheres as protagonistas principais e as "vítimas" do Progresso do Amor; do encantamento no seu início, do desespero no seu fim e do seu poder transformador.
"Liberta-me. Liberta-me. Devolve-me o juízo. Por favor, depressa. Por favor."
Feb 10, 2014 Valentina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Questa raccolta di racconti brevi va letta con attenzione per i dettagli, perché sono proprio questi i veri protagonisti.
Il primo impatto,devo ammetterlo,non è stato dei migliori: i racconti sembravano lasciare l'azione in sospeso,senza conclusione. Poi mi sono resa che i racconti di Alice Munro non sono "drammatici" nel senso etimologico del termine; i protagonisti sono grovigli di emozioni, sentimenti che si avvicendano nelle vite dei personaggi.
Alice Munro rappresenta quello che si cela dietr
Jun 28, 2012 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada, racconti
Preso per mano e portato in mezzo a vite ordinarie di gente qualsiasi, ma scoprendo angoli nascosti e intimi, e così illuminando molto di me, delle mie scelte e esperienze di vita, d'amore. Rapito dall’eleganza e dall’attenzione che Munro sparge.

Si tratta di racconti, e io e i racconti andiamo molto d’accordo: con questi della Munro, la prossimità diventa addirittura saldatura.
Non racconta gente speciale Alice Munro, non mette al centro delle sue narrazioni personaggi con sens
Aug 05, 2011 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Of the three collections I've read by Munro, I'd say this is arguably the weakest (the other two being Runaway and Open Secrets), but by any other standard, these are still utterly breathtaking stories. I suppose my two critiques would be that (a) this feels like cohesive as a collection in that each story seems only tangentially to tie back to a grander thematic thread; and (b) that there are two or three somewhat unmemorable stories. "Eskimo" and "Circle of Prayer" come to mind. Or rather, don ...more
Oct 24, 2014 Ana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voltei aos magníficos contos de Alice Munro.
Li estes onze e souberam-me a pouco.
“Mesmo que vivamos atormentados por problemas, que sejamos doentes e pobres e feios, temos uma alma para carregar vida fora como um tesouro numa salva.” (O Progresso do Amor)
Rui Teixeira Monteiro
Uma antologia de pequenas histórias, propícias para qualquer momento. Uma leitura cromática que não impinge uma temática exclusiva ao leitor, nem exige dele essa mesma exclusividade.
Um livro fruto de múltiplas experiências de Vida com os enigmas do amor, pano de fundo de cada história.
Persephone Abbott
Nov 02, 2012 Persephone Abbott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reviewer remarked that it took more time to read these short stories than it did generally to read a novel. I can understand this statement because the stories are quite compact, really a very delightful trait, and do require some attention to the details to fully enter into the narrative. I deeply admire the choices of names and places that immediately made me believe the setting of the stories. The use of timelines is excellently manipulated yet graceful. The stories are of love; of simply w ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Heidi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novellit, kanada
Hirmuinen tunnustus: en ymmärrä Munroa. Olin lukenut häntä aeimmin esimerkiksi novelli-kurssilla, jossa muut kehuivat Munron maasta taivaaseen ja valitsivat hänen novellinsa kurssin parhaaksi (minä en). Luinkin tätä kokoelmaa kuin suurennuslasilla. Halusin todella löytää ne lukuisat kerrokset ja merkitykset, joita tiesin näiden yksinkertaisten novellien olevan täynnä. Vaan nepä pirulaiset eivät näyttäydy minulle! Lainasin jopa saman kirjan englanniksi nähdäkseni, josko löytäisin nuo upeat kerrok ...more
Picked this book because of the tag saying " Winner of the Nobel prize in Literature 2013" thought I would be blown away. Sadly reading the first five stories I am disappointed. Found it a bit mundane. The stories in my opinion have the same sort of characters. For example a trucker who sort of abandons his family and goes to the Arctic to work in oil rigs. I encountered this character in two short stories so far. And the wife who brings up two boys all by her own.

Reading this book now has beco
Nov 21, 2013 M. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I guess Alice Munro is a good writer. I'll probably read something else by her but in a more distant future.
I struggled with this book. Everything seemed to be right, yet every time I was picking it up, I was wincing. I was wading through it, I was procrastinating, I was looking for excuses to drop it. I wanted it to end.
I found it depressive although I have read far sadder books but their tone of sadness was understandable whereas this one was not. It was not that kind of suffering that leads t
Feb 05, 2015 Marley rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I'm sorry but I thought it was OK. Clearly based upon other reviews and awards I am in the minority. But these stories are just sketches of situations that don't really "say" anything. I never know quite what the message is or what I'm supposed to take away from it. This is "abstract" is beautifully written but I just need more.
Ruta Buciunaite
Oct 10, 2015 Ruta Buciunaite rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first stumbled upon Alice Munro's quotes in Alex Colville's exhibition and was immediately urged to read her work - it had the same air of small-town Canada as Colville's paintings.
This book reminds me of so many things.
It reminds me of Raymond Carver, except he's more american and very bitter, and Munro's writing is feminine and more refined, and there's a strong sense of hope, of everything being OK somehow.
It also recalls a wonderful movie "I am Love" - the quiet determination, the secre
Mar 28, 2010 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very subjective reactions here. This book gave me a new appreciation for Munro. I'm now going to go and reread all the books of hers I've already finished, and get through the ones I haven't read yet. Wonderful stories! I love the glancing incidental bits and how they contribute to the overall structure of each story, or of the collection as a whole. They're so gracefully constructed that I'd have to sit around much longer to ponder the construction in order to explain just what I like about the ...more
Julieann Wielga
Sep 26, 2011 Julieann Wielga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alice Munro is stellar. I read these stories selfishly. I read them as what it means to be a woman passing through from childhood, to motherhood, to the stages beyond. When I talk with my friends about Munro, many have said that her stories are marked by instances of the bizarre, almost invoking Raymond Carver or Flannery O'Connor. But for me those moments of the terrible is not what precipitated from the story,instead what crystalized for me was the passages from one part of lives to the next. ...more
Jun 20, 2015 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of good craft
Shelves: short-stories
I don't know how she does it. But she does, time after time. Alice Munro is so damn good at making up these beautiful understated worlds. When you look under the surface, nothing about them is ordinary at all. Hundreds of beautiful stories in her arsenal, and she's still going. She's my hero, pretty much.

But enough of that. I love this collection above many of her collections because there's something subtle linking these stories. They're mostly about middle-aged women, whose plans have been sha
Sep 22, 2015 Chrism485 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Her writing is so lovely.
Apr 17, 2016 Jay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
By her own admission, Alice Munro is hard-hearted.
No kidding. She 19s written seven books of her own short stories and one novel. She 19s like a regular contributor to the both O Henry ward and Best American Short Stories anthologies. ( I read that one year Richard Ford chose her twice in his best of selections 26) Writing is a hard gig. It takes a hard person to get it done.
In one sense, I believe hard-hearted means defiant. Here, in Progress of Love, Alice goes against the rules, expectations

"The Progress of Love" by Alice Munro
ok some a bit long! ;p

The Progress of love Aunt Beryl, mother burns money
Lichen Stella happy divorcee in North West
Monsieur les Deux Chapeaux brothers Colin and Ross(not so bright)
Miles City, Montana Rest stop kid goes in deep end of pool but swims so ok
Fits Peg finds dead neighbors (why dead) cool calm others all freak (it was worse than she tells husband - yucky)
The Moon in the Orange Street Skating Rink Sam and Edgar school, Callie at boarding house Callie
Jul 20, 2014 rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Completely subjective rating. The second half of this collection, after the excellent "Jesse and Meribeth," failed to resonate with me. I will never be one to argue with Alice Munro's mastery of the short story, but occasionally I get bored of somber elegance. This was just one of those times.

My favorite story in the collection is probably "Lichen" (and the most interestingly bizarre thing in the collection is the reason that particular story is named as it is).
Thing Two
To call these short stories is to miss the point. These stories require the reader to concentrate, to pay attention to the who's and what's and to be patient. The stories are often confusing - entering in the middle - and take a bit to decipher, but if you're patient, you'll be rewarded.

I love Alice Munro. This many not be my favorite collection, but if it was the first I'd ever read of hers, I'd come away knowing this: I love Alice Munro.
Ewa Szymańska
Feb 29, 2016 Ewa Szymańska rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
She's a brilliant storyteller.
Alice Munro is exquisite. My favorite stories were the title story, Lichen, and White Dump. But a very good collection overall. It took quite a while for me to read, because each story had so much emotional heft that I couldn't plow into the next one right away.
Mar 03, 2009 Lara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This collection made it apparent to me why Alice Munro is one of the most acclaimed short story writers out there. Every story had a clear arc and reverberating themes. Standouts were the title story, "The Moon in the Orange Street Skating Rink" and "White Dump."
Dec 28, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this and, within the week, went to the bookstore to buy six more of Munro's works. The Progress of Love is my first, my favourite; I can't give it the criticism it probably deserves. But here are my observations about Munro that have held true since this auspicious start:

1) The mark of a great author is her or his ability to build their world around you, without your having noticed. This is particularly remarkable in a short story--which, of course, The Progress of Love is entirely compos
Natalia Lena
Aug 31, 2014 Natalia Lena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Za sprawą Odcieni miłości spotkałam się po raz trzeci z twórczością Alice Munro. Tym razem do moich rąk trafiło jedenaście opowiadań napisanych w latach 1985 – 1986. Nie różnią się one zbytnio od pozostałych, składających się na dorobek pisarki, który do tej pory poznałam. Ponownie mamy wgląd w życie codzienne zwykłych ludzi. Ich dylematy, historie, trudne związki i zmaganie się z losem stają się podstawą do rozmyślań na temat miłości, która w relacjach międzyludzkich nigdy nie ma jednej twarzy. ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Bbrown rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An upscale steakhouse chain, like Morton's or Capital Grille, will consistently serve you a perfectly cooked steak. That's why you shell out the money to go to a place like that, after all. And consistently cooking a steak perfectly is no mean feat- there are many places, even more expensive and ostensibly better restaurants, that fail to do that. At the end of the day, though, even when it's perfectly cooked, what you're getting is a by-the-numbers steak dinner, that doesn't take any risks or t ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Proof of my ignorance: after the Nobels were announced, I purchased this ebook to have lying around on my tablet, for those moments when I have a bit of time to kill but not enough to dig into a novel. I read the first story ("The Progress of Love") in one sitting and loved it, but for several months afterward, the collection sort of languished on my e-bookshelf. Turns out that this is NOT a collection of short stories that works well to read in fits and starts, at least not for me (I'm a slow r ...more
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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
More about Alice Munro...

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“This is the way you look at the poorest details of the world resurfaced, after you've been driving for a long time -- you feel their singleness and precise location and the forlorn coincidence of you being there to see them.” 13 likes
“He seemed happy. She thought that she seldom concerned herself about Laurence’s being happy. She wanted him to be in a good mood, so that everything would go smoothly, but that was not the same thing.” 6 likes
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