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My Best Stories

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  659 ratings  ·  112 reviews
My Best Stories is a dazzling selection of stories—seventeen favourites chosen by the author from across her distinguished career. The stories are arranged in the order in which they were written, allowing even the most devoted Munro admirer to discover how her work developed. "Royal Beatings" shows us right away how far we are from the romantic world of happy endings. ...more
Paperback, 576 pages
Published October 6th 2009 (first published 2006)
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In this collection of seventeen short stories, Alice Munro, the incomparable Canadian author, has woven her usual magic. Each narrative can be read in no more than an hour, yet each story lingers in the reader’s mind for days afterward. The last story in the collection, “The Bear Came Over the Mountain,” was the basis for the recent critically acclaimed Julie Christie movie, “Away From Her.”

Many, perhaps most, of the stories revolve around a woman somewhat at the margins of her society, a woman
Se oggi riesco ad apprezzare maggiormente il genere racconto è grazie soprattutto alla scrittura elegante e raffinata della Munro.
Questa raccolta che raccoglie 17 racconti scelti personalmente dall'autrice sono un excursus del meglio della sua produzione. Le tematiche riscontrate sono quelle che i lettori della Munro hanno imparato con il tempo ad apprezzare. Le tematiche spaziano dall'essere se stessi alla sessualità sino alla religione. Le donne della Munro sono donne che cercano il loro equi
The copy before me is from the library, such a pristine copy too, sad, since anything by Munro from any library should be tattered and dog-eared from the wear and tear of readers...

But maybe the past patrons did the same thing I plan to do: I read five stories out of this collection and I decided, firmly and with conviction, to set this copy aside and purchase my own copy. This is a collection of stories to be savored for a lifetime.

I could not believe the quality of the writing.

The title stor
Julian Meynell
I finally read Munro consumed by guilt at not having read the only Canadian author to ever win a Nobel Prize for literature. This is a collection of short stories covering her whole career. I was a bit leery of Munro because I thought that it would be all icy glances over the dishes. The stories are actually pretty much that kind of thing, but they are quite good.

She writes well, although not really well. The third person pieces are more effective because she always writes in the same voice and
Penguin Canada
Alice! Is there anyone better? She was my introduction to short stories, and to Canadian literature. Her writing makes me pause on nearly every page and wonder how she can capture a relationship or an emotion as brilliantly as she does...and then I quickly devour the next page and am astounded all over again. Time, after time, after time…and oh, I’ve read these stories many times. I think this is my most-crinkle-paged book on the shelf, and maybe my most gifted book too (in fact, I handed it ove ...more
Anna [Floanne]
Questa è un'antologia di racconti tratti da varie opere della Munro e da lei scelti come i più rappresentativi del suo stile, che non più tardi di due anni fa, le ha permesso di essere insignita del meritatissimo Nobel per la Letteratura. Dare un giudizio unico e globale del libro in sé mi riusciva difficile, poiché è la prima volta che mi accosto a questa scrittrice e alla moltitudine di tematiche da lei indagate. Come spesso accade, alcuni brani mi hanno colpito maggiormente rispetto ad altri ...more
Ben Winch
I'm ashamed to say I didn't get to read all of these stories before I had to return them to the library (short stories, especially of 20 pages and up, being in a way harder to 'make time' for than novels because they should/must be read in one sitting), but from what I read they were excellent, especially 'The Moons of Jupiter'. That story has everything! Small-scale yet cosmic - by the end it just opens out like the roof peeling back from the observatory and leaves you gazing out at the 'shorel ...more
I picked this up after having developed a passing familiarity with this author’s work in various anthologies and her contributions to the New Yorker magazine, so perhaps I already had an idea of what to expect; but there’s always something different about reading a writer of short stories in a collection rather than in isolation. Perhaps encountering them with no prior knowledge elsewhere is preferable in some ways for the thrill of that initial encounter, but it’s in a collection like this that ...more
I've read most of My Best Stories from the collections they originally appeared in, but this was a welcome re-acquaintance; a reunion with the nearly forgotten. Here's a longish passage from "Miles City, Montana" that demonstrates why Alice Munro is the master, my guru:


But she swam. She held her breath and came up swimming.

What a chain of lucky links.

That was all we spoke about - luck. But I was compelled to picture the opposite. At this moment, we could have been filling out forms.
"It did not occur to me then that one day I would be so greed for Jubilee. Voracious and misguided as Uncle Craig out at Jenkin's Bend, writing his history, I would want to write things down.
I would try to make lists. A list of all the stores and businesses going up and down the main street and who owned them, a list of family names, names on the tombstones in the cemetery and any inscriptions underneath…
The hope of accuracy we bring to such tasks is crazy, heartbreaking.
And no list could ev

Margaret Atwood told me to read this book, in the introduction to this book, but it certainly didn't prepare me to like this book as much as I do.

Alice Munro is the perfect women's author. There are people in my real life that I understand better because of the people she creates, dissects and explains in the not-real world of her stories.

Wander through my day thinking about things I read the night before, the best possible endorsement.
I don't think Munro's style will ever be duplicated. It's difficult for me to undetstand how a writer of fiction, and short fiction at that, can pay such attention to fine details on which lives turn.

As I read this collection, I kept thinking of her as an archaeologist of invented lives. She dusts off the parts of the fossil, the remnant of life, carefully, and in particular order, with the care of one who wishes to preserve and study it.

I attempted a few generalizations as I read- she moves fr
I've always been a little skeptical of some people's passionate adoration of all things Munro, because I thought they might like the idea of her better than the actual stories. But after committing to this big ol' anthology of some of her best, I have to admit that I was wrong. She gets it so right sometimes that she made me feel a little exposed. Some of my favorites--The Beggar Maid, Vandals, Runaway.
This type of literature is the opposite of my taste - I found Munro's writing too conservative and ordinary.
Alice Munro's writing is like an itchy, yet oddly comforting wool sweater.

That's the best way I've come to describe Munro's work to readers unfamiliar with her short stories.

While she has become a household name for many in the last few months thanks to her surprise Nobel Prize win, I find many readers pick up Munro's writing for the first time with the perception it will be quaint stories of rural life. It's not.

Sure, Munro's writing has a flavour of her rural upbringing in her choice of setti
Alice Munro is simply the best contemporary short story writer. Each story is compelling and the characters fascinating. Plus many are set in 20th Century Ontario - a nice change from American settings.
Thomas Bousquet
Alice Munro prose is dedicated to painting a limited albeit rich and layered corner of human existence.

In this selection, all stories takes place in some remote part of Canada (or converge there), the vast majority feature female pov characters, most of whom feel their life limited by their own perceived weaknesses of character, unattainable expectation or social preconception.

The social strata and era changes quite often but character's internal turmoil remain familiar, with some specific trait
Leggere A Colori
Le tematiche trattate nei racconti di "Lasciarsi andare" sono molteplici, anche se l’attenzione sembra focalizzarsi sui problemi adolescenziali, il rapporto con la famiglia, il matrimonio, il divorzio, la vecchiaia e la solitudine. Il narratore è quasi sempre onnisciente, e le protagoniste sono soprattutto donne, giovani quando lei era più giovane, poi di mezza età o anziane, essendo la Munro classe 1931. Sono racconti che indagano le relazioni umane, viste attraverso la lente della vita quotidi ...more
Davide Bonvicini
Una raccolta dal valore altalenante. La bontà della narrazione non è mai in discussione, così come l'originalità nelle descrizioni di situazioni solo apparentemente normali. In alcuni racconti sono presenti stacchi temporali che mettono in grossa difficoltà il lettore, rendendo ardua la lettura. Con una notevole eccezione (l'ultimo racconto incluso) la caratterizzazione dei personaggi maschili è insufficiente: sono pallidi stereotipati, funzionali solo allo svolgersi della vicenda. Discorso oppo ...more
Page Terror
Page Terror Reviews:

Short stories are not my forte. I typically avoid writing them as much as I do reading them. To be fair though, writing a short is a difficult endeavor, arguably more so than composing a novel due to tighter constraints. There is no room for flaws. A novel may forgive, a short story does not and often times they land on the reader’s figurative ear as dry or obnoxiously abstract. To write a ‘good’ short story, one that has momentum as well as emotiona
Shannon Coates
Incomparably beautiful
Eternally elegant
In this collected stories, one learns not to trust one’s observation and analysis of self and others. Nothing is what it seems to be nor should be, while self and others morphs over time and condition. And no amount of religion, family value, or social success can fill the pool of muddy waters hiding and revealing the hints of our psychological damage and detritus. We are forever coping the moment when the milk of human kindness receded into something snarly and snarky. This irreducibility of hu ...more
Josh Ang
To read an Alice Munro short story is to allow yourself to be totally transported to an elevated awareness of human nature and go "I know how that feels". The amazing thing about Munro is her ability to put into words (that are both precise and concise) emotions and demeanours that we are familiar with, but which we have not been able to articulate (at least for this reader).

Because of its compact nature, I find myself thrown headlong into a Munro story from the very first sentence and there's
Это очень хороший и очень сложный сборник рассказов.
Рассказов, каких, наверное, сейчас никто не пишет.

Ну, например, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage.

Плотно сбитая, некрасивая, решительная женщина идет на станцию, договаривается об отправке какой-то мебели в городок, название которого служащий произносит с трудом, покупает себе билет в сидячий вагон до туда же (совсем с ума сошла). Идет в респектабельный магазин готового платья. В витринах все, как у Бетти Дрейпер в первом сез
I really did not enjoy this collection of short stories much. They're not at all poorly written, and I can definitely see why so many people admire Alice Munro's work. But maaaaaaaan, this got old for me, and almost immediately.

First of all, I will say that I am generally not a fan of short stories. I always tend to connect more to characters than to plot lines or ideas, and since there's just not a lot of time for character development in this form, I'm very rarely able to fully immerse myself
After reading 180 pages/7 out of 17 stories, I just plain gave up! Each story had started out good and kept me reading them, but each time I got near or to the end, they were either weird (didn't make sense) or just plain bad. So needless to say, I decided to give up and read something more enjoyable. Sorry Keri (from book club)! I tried, but couldn't do it. So onto finishing, "You Had Me At Woof", and then onto the next book for April, Tolstoy!
What a book. Munro's short stories are powerful: that perfect balance of resonant emotional truth and a stoic, dry succinctness. She's got a knack for letting you really inhabit a distinct emotional tableau just long enough to get attached to the characters and be slaughtered by what then happens in the story. Many of the stories featured in this book required a few minutes of closed-eyed, slow-breathing reflection in order to turn the page to the next story. She's Canadian, and I can't really f ...more
Gosh this was rather a meaty collection to get through! And the stories can't be rushed or there would really be no point in reading them at all... But I did like pretty much all of them, even if I had to do quite a bit of googling to check that I'd "got the point" of quite a few :3

I do really like that despite the generally depressing tone of Munro's stories, they don't *all* have miserable endings - it's actually more true to life that way I think! Not everything ends in dire disaster (just mo
Stephanie Welzig
All hail Aunt Alice. I know everyone says this, but her short stories really are like mini-novels. This is the first Munro anthology I ever bought. Lots of great stories, I especially love The Beggar Maid and Vandals. I love to reread her stories before bed, and I pick up new details every time.

This collection of short fiction includes her works from the 1970s to present day. All of the stories have been published before in other volumes. This collection also has an introduction written by another Canadian author, Margaret Atwood

As the title states these are Alice Munro's best short fiction. The Canadian author recently won the Pulitizer for her writing and hopefully this will increase her readership and gain more fans. I have been reading Munro since I was in my early teens an
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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...
Dear Life: Stories Runaway Too Much Happiness Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories Lives of Girls and Women

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“People open shops in order to sell things, they hope to become busy so that they will have to enlarge the shop, then to sell more things, and grow rich, and eventually not have to come into the shop at all. Isn't that true? But are there other people who open a shop with the hope of being sheltered there, among such things as they most value - the yarn or the teacups or the books - and with the idea only of making a comfortable assertion? They will become a part of the block, a part of the street, part of everybody's map of the town, and eventually of everybody's memories. They will sit and drink coffee in the middle of the morning, they will get out the familiar bits of tinsel at Christmas, they will wash the windows in spring before spreading out the new stock. Shops, to these people, are what a cabin in the woods might be to somebody else - a refuge and a justification.” 4 likes
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