Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories” as Want to Read:
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  15,126 ratings  ·  1,453 reviews
In the her tenth collection (the title story of which is the basis for the new film Hateship Loveship), Alice Munro achieves new heights, creating narratives that loop and swerve like memory, and conjuring up characters as thorny and contradictory as people we know ourselves.

A tough-minded housekeeper jettisons the habits of a lifetime because of a teenager’s practical jok
Paperback, 323 pages
Published October 8th 2002 by Vintage (first published 2001)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Popular Answered Questions
Rex Hsieh Adult content, yes, insofar as human relationships are concerned. There is no explicit content. However, I writhe at the notion that a work of…moreAdult content, yes, insofar as human relationships are concerned. There is no explicit content. However, I writhe at the notion that a work of literature is "suitable" for a person, partly because the word implies "agreeable". A work of literature is, in no way, agreeable. My preferences for reading poetry of Hart Crane, Wallace Stevens, Percy Bysshe Shelley... are unlikely to be "suitable" for others.

I will say, though, that this collection of short stories is the best I have read from her ouevre (and I have read nine, in total, including her brilliant "Dear Life" and "Runaway"). Munro had not only crafted exception characters, but elaborated them with intricate human relationships, points of view, simplicity (in prose), and a sort of James-like realism. There are plenty of literary merits here, and I think many 15-year-olds would read this just for the fun - of reading and connecting with the stories' aesthetic beauties.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,126 ratings  ·  1,453 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: o-canada, book-club
My reaction to almost every movie I watch is to announce loudly to the room after finishing it, “WELL, I'LL NEVER GET THOSE TWO HOURS OF MY LIFE BACK.”

I get peevish and resentful after sitting through bad movies, and I usually need to read a new book or watch Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy emerging from the lake in his wet, white shirt before I can shake other bad movie images from my mind.

So, imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon Hateship, Loveship with Kristen Wiig, and I not only liked it, I kin
Glenn Sumi
A lifetime of reading Alice Munro

I feel like I’ve grown up with Alice Munro. I studied some of her short stories as a student (high school and college); I took a senior seminar in her work at university – long before she won the Nobel Prize for Literature; I’ve seen her read several times (my favourite was when she read the masterpiece “Differently” in its entirety.) And I continue to read and reread her work. Some of her stories are so familiar I can recite whole passages by heart.

(Nerd confess
Feb 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories

When this diminutive little lady from small-town Ontario, Canada won the Nobel Prize for Literature she remarked:

"I want my stories to move people.

I don't care if they're women, men or children...

I want my stories to be something about life that makes people say - not 'oh, isn't that the truth' - but to feel some kind of reward from the writing.

And that doesn't mean it has to be a happy ending or anything, but just that everyt
I sometimes get into conversations with people who have a hard time connecting with the short-story format; they say that they hardly have time to muster an emotional involvement in the characters and events, before the story is over. To those readers I might recommend Alice Munro. True, I have only experienced one of her collections, but the stories in Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage are nothing if not emotionally affecting—or "crushingly tragic," I suppose, if you want to g ...more
This collection of stories by Alice Munro is typical of much of her work. The stories are populated by people leading what looks on the surface like humdrum lives. But just underneath the surface, strange feelings boil, ready to erupt when events occur which make this possible. Munro has a lot of knowledge about the various types of relationships between men and women, how they can be built, twisted, broken and remade. These are not happy stories--in fact, some of them are disturbing. But the na ...more
Leo Robertson
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading Munro is daunting at first: you can't read her stories like other people's. I thought I could get through at my usual 75%- concentration, skimming past the details of the cousin's wedding and blah blah other accessory nonsense. But with Munro, nothing can be taken as accessory! You'll read for three pages, realise you haven't been paying attention and that Munro won't throw you a pronoun other than "she", and you're like, 'Who is she? Ahhh, I'll keep reading for a few more pages and pick ...more
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Dolors by: Those who trust
Shelves: read-in-2018
The first Munro that doesn't have a melancholic atmosphere but rather a humorous touch that seems to say "hey, just flow with it, you never know where the tide will take you, so follow your impulses and it might be alright".
Johanna is a maid who incidentlly crosses paths with Ken, the son in law, now recently widowed, of Johanna's employer. She is plain, uninteresting and rather timid, so she is taken by surprise when a heated letter declaring passionate love from Ken reaches her. What she can't
Jun 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage is my fifth book by Alice Munro and also the least pleasing. Munro writes exceptionally fine prose and if I were to rate this collection of short stories on prose alone, I would give this five stars. I continue to marvel at Munro’s facility to express the intractable, the sublimal, and the unutterable with startling clarity.

The nine stories depict a host of flawed individuals who make no apology for their flawed lives. They are difficult to re
Matthew Quann
Four- or five-stars for the skill and power of the writing, three-stars for my overall enjoyment of the collection. Alice packs plots other authors would spend novels unraveling in short stories built with astonishing linguistic economy. I've seen it noted elsewhere, but Munro demands her readers' attention and you can easily become lost in her time-hopping, name-dropping narratives if you aren't keeping up with her. Some of these stories span whole lives, others whole relationships. Her stories ...more
Jul 14, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If this book had been a novel, I would have put it down after the first 50 pages. However, because it is a collection of short stories, I convinced myself that maybe the next story would be more interesting; if I didn't keep reading, I might not be giving Munro a fair chance.

Alas, I reached the end of the book and felt nothing but relief--relief that it was over. Munro is a lovely writer, with a good command of language, but her choice of subject matter, story development, and characters was uni

Dec 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
My ambivalence about Alice Munro is reflected well in the fact that I've been reading this book (which contains no more than nine stories, averaging 30-40 pages each) off and on for something like six years, and only just this late afternoon finished it. On the one hand, her stories seem like such weak tea to me - so little happens, the characters are never more than gently amusing, it's all so dull, mundane, Ontarian. When I take one up in a reading mood that's hungry for escape and speedy exci ...more
Helene Jeppesen
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful compilation of amazing and honest short stories that all deal with life. I was taken away with the very first story, and I was amazed throughout the book with how Alice Munro is able to write about things and situations in life that we don't normally think that much about in our own lives.
What I love the most about this compilation is how it is so honest. It's okay to fall in love with other people, but it's your choice whether you want to act on it or not. It's okay to grow
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
It took me a little while to get used to the style of the stories in this collection - this being my first experience of Alice Munro's writing - but once I "got it" I found the stories to be brilliant, in a kind of subdued, quiet, melancholy way. I think the last story (The Bear Came Over the Mountain) was my favourite, although I particularly liked Queenie and the titular story as well.
When I read Alice Munro I'm always left with that special private surprise of finding thoughts and epiphanies I've never been able to put into words. And because of these moments, I feel like she's writing just for me.

Munro has the power to make me forget I'm reading a collection of short stories. Each one is organic and vast in a way that I can never predict. There's always a delicate fear that time will quickly alter the path of each character, but when it does there is satisfaction, no matte
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These stories!! The intimacy and the overwhelming, heartbreaking tenderness to these stories seem exactly catered to me as a reader. There is so much love and beauty and generosity in these stories that this collection absolutely blew me away.

Unlike other reviewers, the first and titular story was not my favorite. I quite enjoyed it - it's masterfully accomplished and the shifts from perspective to perspective were stunning. But during other stories I found myself holding my breath, marveling a
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Stela by: Maybe S©aP but I'm not sure

“Forsooken” but not forsaken

In a time of either careless abandon or generous inclusion of any literary technique ever thought of, Alice Munro still manages to surprise the reader, not only with her deceptive narrative perspective or her sly manipulation of the timeline, but also with the unexpected development of well-known themes, the powerful recreation of places and people and the plethora of significations.

I read so many volumes of short stories, including one of hers, but I can hardly rec
Larry Bassett
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Today it was announced that Alice Munro has been awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature. I have had this book of hers on my shelf for a while. I guess it is time to read it. Yes, it is true, I have been saying that even before today. But now I have the book off the shelf!

Hateship Friendship Courtship Loveship Marriage

The first story gives the book its title and is a hoot! Every plain woman should have a fairy godmother, even if it is two adolescent girls. And, yes, some nursing and managem
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
My favourite Munro. I love it and am a bit ambivalent at the same time. The stories are so close to real life, so undisguised, and about such difficult subjects, that reading them is a bit like going to the therapist. It's a really intense experience. She reaches somewhere in my psyche and exposes truths and issues I am unwilling to explore on my own. She shows scenarios that may happen, and if they happened, they would be painful. To use an analogy: reading Munro for me is a bit like passing by ...more
Mar 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2011
Loved loved "Family Furnishings." It made me think all night about what's lost when desire, passion, and truth are repressed, which is always something I personally need a kick in the pants about. (Though, don't most people?) Even better getting that kick from a good book.

For me, the collection as a whole is good, very good, but maybe not so far as great. It seemed like it might be something I'd call great in the beginning, when Munro's precision in describing the peculiarities of lust and lonel
At some point in my life, I stopped liking short stories. Reading them, no matter how well crafted, raised feelings of impatience in me. In respect to the authors of this genre, I decided to avoid it for years. But... Alice Munro was breathed at me as the quintessential short story writer, in 2003, by a few avid readers I didn't know well and I decided that it was time to break my fast and immerse myself respectfully in Munro's art.

Conclusion: Munro does write beautifully. I, however, continue
I guess after a while there isn't really anything you can say about Munro's work. I thought this is by far and away the best I've read so far, but although 22 of my friends on GR have read it, they haven't written a word between them on it.

Pretty much how I feel too. Same, same, same, but better! I'm guessing, from the random order I've read these in, that she had a period of really good preceded and succeeded by something less than that. One thing that strikes me as odd about my relationship to
Sep 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people old enough to understand it
These short stories seem much simplier than they are; they come from a special ability to note (and glory in) small details that echo throughout one's life. I checked this book out because "The Bear Went Over the Mountain," the last story in the collection, is the basis of a movie with Julie Christie that is just out. But I started with the first story and haven't gotten to the Bear yet. I would love to be able to write such clear, complicated and subtle prose fiction as Munroe does. In a way, s ...more
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-classics, 2010
This collection of short stories was my introduction to Alice Munro's world and writing. It is not light reading material, not ideal if you seek some fluffy escapism, but each novella will stay long with you and make you think. Her short stories are like snapshots of the lives of her characters, this was something that I personally don't like: I prefer a story to have a beginning, a middle and an ending, it bothered me that I didn't get a glipmse of what would happen to the characters after the ...more
Oct 28, 2010 rated it it was ok
I know Alice Munro is one of the most celebrated contemporary authors around. I'd read a short story or two and had been meaning to read this collection for a while. I hated it.

To a one, the women unpleasant, narrow, either narcissistic and selfish or ignorant and pliant, and oppressed, my god, so oppressed by the absolute pricks in their lives that I wanted to run around the block screaming just to prove to myself it wasn't me trapped in that miserable existence. And the men, idiot jerks all of
Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
I've been reading Munro for years and still can't figure out how she does it -- or even how to begin describing exactly what she does in her stories. The narration is often deceptively simple, and the best of them seem to have the sweep of long novels. They can also appear as deceptively quiet stories -- chronicling the mundane existence of daily life -- but ones shattered by common but startling moments that make you sit up straight in your chair. She's been described as "Chekhovian" (a grossly ...more
Munro <3
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
3.5 stars

The title story in this volume is fantastic. The slow unfolding and peeling back the layers of the story, the host of well-realized and believable characters bumping up against one another, the historical Canadian setting, and the surprise ending: I loved it all, and am not at all surprised that a movie was based on this 50-page story. It’s better than many a novel.

And there are a couple other stories here that I liked. “Comfort” is about the death of a husband, a severe biology teacher
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Did I miss something?

Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi

Giller Prize, Governor General’s Award, Man Booker International Prize, Nobel Prize for Literature. Alice Munro is highly acclaimed and frequently awarded.

But this was really difficult to read. It wasn’t the language but the construct. These short stories have to be read slowly and deliberately. However, I did not have the patience to go through her stories with a fine toothed comb. There were imperceptible shifts in the nar
Nov 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After four months of reading this wonderful collection off and on, I have finally finished this amazing collection from the master of the form. Like her collections "Too Much Happiness" and "The Love of a Good Woman", Ms. Munro never ceases to amaze and surprise me of how daring her stories are set amidst the simplistic backdrops she often fleshes them out in. In this collection, characters yearning for love, recognition, and acceptance make up the fabric of "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Lov ...more
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Munro is the luminous energy of quiet prose. Hers are the depths and dangers of domesticity. She knows that life is a short story, never a novel. And that honesty likes the company of silence rather than scandal. I recall Kundera - the unbearable lightness of being.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • Like Life
  • A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You
  • Among the Missing
  • Light Lifting
  • The Collected Stories
  • The Collected Stories of Carol Shields
  • Natasha and Other Stories
  • Small Change
  • Selected Stories
  • The Collected Stories
  • The Withdrawal Method
  • Honored Guest
  • Island: The Complete Stories
  • The Collected Stories
  • Half in Love: Stories
  • I Am No One You Know
  • Across the Bridge
See similar books…
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
“A fight like this was stunning, revealing not just how much he was on the lookout for enemies, but how she too was unable to abandon argument which escalated into rage. Neither of them would back off, they held bitterly to principles.

Can't you tolerate people being different, why is this so important?
If this isn't important, nothing is.

The air seemed to grow thick with loathing. All over a matter that could never be resolved. They went to bed speechless, parted speechless the next morning, and during the day were overtaken by fear - hers that he would never come home, his that when he did she would not be there. Their luck held, however. They came together in the late afternoon pale with contrition, shaking with love, like people who had narrowly escaped an earthquake and had been walking around in naked desolation.”
“And now such a warm commotion, such busy love.” 24 likes
More quotes…