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The Progress of Love

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  1,406 ratings  ·  92 reviews
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE®IN LITERATURE 2013

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
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published December 12th 2000 by Vintage (first published 1986)
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Governor General's Award Winners
10th out of 32 books — 26 voters
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Best Short Story Collections
112th out of 615 books — 502 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jenn(ifer)

Come with me, my love... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbMeAO...

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
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K.D. Absolutely
Feb 12, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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Blake
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
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orsodimondo
I CONIUGI ARNOLFINI
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
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Teresa
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."
Cristina
Sai quando entri in una stanza linda e profumata, perfetta, rassicurante, poi ti casca una cosa che rotola sotto il letto e scopri che c'è un sacco di polvere che ristagna, e sei allergica agli acari...tutto si tramuta in altro...

Questa donna è un genio!
Jamie
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
Ana
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)
Valentina
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
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Persephone Abbott
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
Heidi
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
Alison
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
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
M.
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
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Vicki
Dec 27, 2007 Vicki rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of good craft
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
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Maryanne

"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
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rachel
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.
Lara
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."
Natalia Lena
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
Bbrown
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
Sandra
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
David
It was strange how my appreciation of this collection changed as I moved through it. Dull and domestic, was my initial reaction to the title story, and the second ‘Lichen’ seemed no better. I found it difficult to relate to the experiences that were being explored here. ‘Miles City, Montana’ was better, I felt that I’d got it, these stories are about women, women and family, women who are ill-used either by accident or by design, new world women who art sometimes beset by old world prejudices. ...more
Libby
Take the multigenerational ambition of Garcia Márquez, add Tostoy's keen understanding of death and human nature, sprinkle in Chekhov's exquisite particulars, pare it down to a few thousand perfectly-chosen words, and set it in small-town Canada, and you'll have an Alice Munro short story. This quietly impressive collection is as technically flawless as it is exquisitely characterized, and Munro allows ideas and questions to resonate across time and story space. It's an awesome thing to behold. ...more
Marcelle
excerpt - "As for me, I was happy because of the shedding. I loved taking off. In my own house, I seemed to be often looking for a place to hide - sometimes from the chidren but more often from the jobs to be done and the phone ringing and the sociability of the neighborhood. I wanted to hide so that I could get busy at my real work, which was a sort of wooing of distant parts of myself. I lived in a state of siege always losing just what I wanted to hold on to. But on trips there was difficulty ...more
Jean-paul Audouy
Ends with this quote from "The Poetic Edda" 'Seinat er at segia; svá er nu rádit' (It is too late to talk of this now: it has all been decided).
Precise intense stories on how to try to escape fate (but most often fail). All taking place in various part of Ontario from the countryside near Ottawa to the shore of Lake Huron, from the first decades of the twentieth century to more recent times when a same sex couple is evoked (A Queer Streak). If you still have the illusion that eternal love exists
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Antoinette
I am not a lover of short stories. Read this book for my classics group. Have to admire how each story feels fresh and new but I always feel like I am missing something when I read Alice Munro's stories.The two stories I really enjoyed were "A Queer Streak" and "White Dump". I am sure I will read more of her books though just to see if short stories grow on me.
Sarahvicbarberis
I read this because my ex-lover loved her so much and rading it was a way to stay close to her. Now I understand that I have to thank my ex-lover for allowing me to know an amazing writer that I want to know more and more.
Amalia Cocco
Esta ha sido mi primera incursión en la obra de Alice Munro y he salido encantadísima. Los temas que trata, sus personajes y la forma tan ligera, sincera y directa que tiene de escribir me han conquistado.
Marc L
Nice collection of short stories, rather early work by Munro. Of course not everything was of the same level, but Munro is a master in the description of human emotions, especially with people that experience changes in their live.

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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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“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.” 4 likes
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