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Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  16,496 ratings  ·  1,594 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 September 25th 2001)
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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 literat…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)
thelitgirl Yes it does, amongst other gems. It's the last story in the collection

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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 eve
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
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
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I find myself shamefully admitting that I have made a huge effort to finish this book, it is not the first time I read Alice Munro, but in this work I found myself in serious difficulty to appreciate anything....
I have no idea if this was due to the Italian translation, in my opinion not perfect, but the writing seemed to me tedious and syntactically too pompous and unnecessarily complex.
There was not even one of the characters that somehow captured my soul, it’s a bit like I read a warranty man
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I read Munro, I wonder what took me so long to get back to her. But it’s good to have space with her. Her stories are overwhelming, leaving you thinking long past you’ve read their last pages. A story I thought would be my least favorite (“What Is Remembered”), I read a second time because my mind was completely changed by its end.

Her characters linger in the mind and the themes—family furniture; suicide; marriages of the 1950s and 60s, and their expectations; ‘extraneous’ people as
Peter Boyle
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Alice Munro, where have you been all my life?! The level of observation and psychological insight on show in this collection, the ability to explore and portray complex human emotions in just a few sentences - these are the reasons I read fiction. I feel giddy about the many Munro books I have yet to read.

There are nine stories in this one, set mostly in western Canada. The protagonists are mainly women and over the course of only a few pages, we learn so much about their lives. The love and los
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
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

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
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
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
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
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
Nobel Laureate Alice Munro is certainly an elegant, gifted, subtle writer, a specialist in short stories, and this collection is quite strong in many ways. Only one of these stories really knocked me out, though; at times, her elegance and restraint leave me a little at arms’ length from being totally immersed in the lives of the characters she’s created. Still, there’s never a false note, and while some stories feel more slight than others, they are always compelling and exhibit a welcome clari ...more
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
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
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. ...more
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
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
Mar 19, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, own
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
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
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
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
To revisit Alice Munro's stories is always a pleasure in so many ways: her understated prose; her insights into the nuances of relationships; and the way she amplifies the reader's understanding of life beyond the scope of the stories themselves. There is no-one else like her. Her stories are longer than the usual examples of the genre and allow characters to develop. The stories explore women's lives in particular. Munro is never preachy but she lets us know how social change (especially femini ...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
Sep 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian
I liked; I did not love. But two stories really stand out.

The title story is based on a practical joke by two young girls on a spinster. Sequentially changinging points of view take us to every person involved. The opposite of Deus ex machina occurs. The girls, toying with love and another's heart, set impossible forces in motion. But the gods stay out of the way this time. Instead, the intended victim takes control and wills what she never appeared to dream. I loved the inventiveness of struct
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
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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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“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
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