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Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You: 13 Stories
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Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You: 13 Stories

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  2,269 Ratings  ·  160 Reviews
In the thirteen stories in her remarkable second collection, Alice Munro demonstrates the precise observation, straightforward prose style, and masterful technique that led no less a critic than John Updike to compare her to Chekhov. The sisters, mothers and daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends in these stories shimmer with hope and love, anger and reconciliation, a ...more
Paperback, 246 pages
Published October 12th 2004 by Vintage (first published 1974)
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When I try to look at life through the prism of Alice Munro's wisdom and perspective, I see the good in the understandably bad and vice versa; I find the mundane, magnificent. She deconstructs the ordinary with a sedate deference, a tranquility that is as sage-like as it is incredible. She tells me that the ache of grief can be dulled by the guilt resulting from an impulsive mistake, that there's a triumph in taming the throes of an impotent, unreciprocated love, that there are occurrences which ...more
Glenn Sumi
There are some gems in here – the sinister title story, the terrifically funny "Material," the great anti-romance "How I Met My Husband," the lyrical "The Found Boat," the poignant "The Ottawa Valley" – but this feels like a transition book in Munro's early career, caught between the brilliant Lives Of Girls And Women (1971) and Who Do You Think You Are? (1978).

A few literary experiments here haven't aged well. But "Material" is one of her strongest stories – a great look at how artists transfor
James R
Nov 11, 2013 rated it liked it
When Alice Munro received the Noble Prize, I was curious to read a collection of her stories. I had no previous exposure to her. I chose this collection rather randomly and didn't even notice the 1974 original publication date. Other reviewers have expressed that this is not their favorite collection. Others have commented on the limited scope of plot and character. There certainly is a theme and a consistency among the stories. I'm thinking, perhaps, I should try a more recent collection (and a ...more
Quân Khuê
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tập truyện với không khí tỉnh lẻ, về những con người và những chuyện nhỏ nhặt, vụn vặt, về những cuộc đời có vẻ như lặng lẽ, không có gì đáng nói. Thế nhưng Alice Munro luôn nhìn ra một cái gì đó bên dưới những cuộc đời tưởng như lặng lẽ ấy: có thể là sự ganh tị, là sự phản bội, hay ngờ vực; hoặc cũng có thể chỉ là những hoài niệm về tuổi trẻ. Alice Munro cho thấy rằng với truyện ngắn người viết không cần thiết phải có quá nhiều chất liệu - hầu hết truyện trong tập đều không có gì thực sự xảy ra ...more
Ebtihal Abuali
وجدت القصص السبع الاولى أكثر جاذبية واثارة للاهتمام من الخمس الاخيرة. قصصي المفضلة (كيف التقيت زوجي/ المشي على الماء/ قل لي نعم أو لا /مغامرة القارب) . الطريقة التي تكتب بها مونرو تزرعك في قلب القصة، تحرص على تعريفك بالشخصيات بماضيها وحاضرها وتطلعاتها وتعريفك بالمكان وباختصار خلق نوع من الالفة لا تشعر معها انك تقرا مجرد قصة قصيرة تنتهي في صفحات قليلة. انها تحملك بالكثير من العواطف والأفكار مع كل قصة.
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Biệt tài của bà là nhìn thấy được những thứ ẩn sâu dưới cái lớp vẻ ngoài tưởng chừng bình thường, êm ả; đó có thể là nỗi bất an, sự xấu tính, thậm chí là tình yêu mà nhân vật cố tình giấu đi. Đọc Munro để thấy rằng, đôi lúc viện hàn lâm Thụy Điển có sự lựa chọn cũng đúng đắn (hoặc không) ;)
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Occorre una mente sgombra di pensieri per apprezzare e godere di questi racconti, viceversa il rischio è di sentirsi molto appesantiti. Alcuni passaggi li ho trovati particolarmente oscuri ed ermetici, così da lasciare una sensazione di non capito.
May 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The hub has got it into his head that I like Alice Munro. Well, he’s right about that, but it doesn’t mean he can keep on giving me Munro’s books ad infinitum. In the first place, theres a finite supply, and in the second place, I’ve already read most of them. When this turned up for me on xmas, I was sure I’d read it. But either my memory is worse than I think it is, or I had not. I wish I could say what it is that a love about Munro’s writing. She ignores the advice that a short story should c ...more
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rd2017
Alice Munro è una certezza, non c'è niente da fare. Se tra una lettura e l'altra si ha voglia di ritornare ad un buon libro con la Munro si va sul sicuro. Questa raccolta di racconti è in realtà piuttosto datata, se non sbaglio si tratta della sua seconda pubblicazione, arrivata a noi solo adesso. Io l'ho trovata ben più interessante di tante sue opere più recenti, ogni racconto mi ha colpita per qualche suo aspetto, uno perché commovente, uno perché di una tristezza infinita, uno perché tenero ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
I find it hard to write reviews of books that were just sort of middling. This was one. Of the several Munro collections I've read, they were all 4- or 5-stars. Not so here.

She starts off strong with 3 stories I liked very much. They were about passions of youth that continued into adulthood, but weren't reciprocated. She often has a theme in her collections and I hoped for this. Alas, my hopes were dashed. I will say there is a lustiness about most of these, though, so there was that. From the
Colleen O'Neill Conlan
Apr 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
I love Munro's writing. She reminds me of all the complexities of a woman's relationships. As daughters, sisters, wives, lovers, friends. God, she writes sisterly characters exceptionally well. I'm especially drawn to stories of elderly sisters, often living together after one or the other is widowed. There is love, but there is all this history and conflict between them, as in the title story. Memorial is another sister story, about one sister arriving at the other's home for her teenage son's ...more
مبارك الهاجري
أليس مونرو الحائزة مؤخراً على جائزة نوبل عن القصة في أمر ربما يعتبر استثنائي لهذا الفن الذي ينتصر أخيراً. أتذكر تلك الدهشة التي أصبتُ بها حينما قرأت خبر فوزها قبل ثلاث سنوات تقريباً. لا شك أني حينها لم أعرف هذه الأليس؛ لكنني كنت مندهشاً بإعجاب لصوت القصة وهو يعتلي بقية الفنون في الجائزة الأدبية الأهم على الإطلاق. كنت أعتبر لجنة التحكيم دائماً ما تكون سلبية بهذا الشأن ولكنها في هذه المرة تعترف بجدية القصة هي الأخرى بإزاء الرواية.
أعتقد أنهم لم يجنحوا كثيراً عن الفن الروائي، فمونرو تقدم الفن القصصي
نديم الهادي
وكأن مفاتيح فن القصة القصيرة كلها آلت لهذه السيدة . عند مونرو تجد كل الأساليب الفنية الممكنة، والتي لم تكن قبلها ممكنة ايضا، في خدمة رؤيتها الأخلاقية الرفيعة. في كل قصة موضوع جديد وتبصر مذهل في النفس البشرية. اعتقد ان مونرو كانت تعيش وتفكر وتشعر من خلال كتابة القصص. مع كل مجموعة جديدة اقرأها لمونرو ازداد اعجابا بهذه الكاتبة .
Elaina Vitale
Nov 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: suckers
Can Alice Munro even write a bad story?
una cosa che sospettavo da un po'

racconti brevi e intensi, carichi di una tristezza di quelle subliminali, una tristezza che viene dall'esperienza e dalla rassegnazione, leggermente senza tempo, il momento sospeso che raccontano è sempre dall'ottica parziale di chi lo vive e ne ricorda le emozioni...
Sep 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Munro fans; women; humans.
There's an odd mixture of sadness and pleasure to be gained from reading Munro. Time and again, I finish her stories, and all I can think is "She *gets* it," which isn't really a sufficient way of encapsulating her artistry as a story-teller. I enjoyed this entertaining review by Jonathan Franzen, and agree with everything he has to say:

"Something I've Been Meaning To Tell You" is Munro's second collection, and was published in 1974. Compared with her lat
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In Dance of the Happy Shades, Alice Munro found herself on several occasions visitor to a richly dilemmatic territory of storytelling that her mature work has since lived in. But, about as she was with those narratives that moved organically and to unbound endings, she stayed as often in places that were visibly finite and grounded by their styles in the time they were written. Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You looks like a conversation between these two different approaches, or between tw ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
It's obvious in several cases that these stories were written in the seventies. This feels odd because it seems to me that in most Munro stories I have a sense that locating the events in a particular time, while certainly possible, is often irrelevant.

There were also several interesting forays into first person narration: "Material," "How I Met My Husband," "Forgiveness in Families." Indeed, these were three of my favorites of the collection. Perhaps the best was the title story; there is the
Jun 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Munro's second collection of stories (originally published in 1974) is a fine book, and the stories have all of Munro's essential signature elements -- a minimal plot, vivid and surprising (yet entirely apt) depictions of rural Canada, and deep character development obtained with a pasimonious expenditure of words. Ultimately, though, they pale in comparison to her later, more finished, works like those found in "Friend of My Youth" or "Runaway".
Joan Colby
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This early collection of 13 stories by Alice Munro shows her at the top of her form. The stories seem artless, almost directionless, and then seize us by the hand and take us into a hall of illumination. A master of this form, she deserved the Nobel which was awarded to her last year. Oddly, in this book, I didn’t think the title story was the strongest. My favorites are “Material”, “How I Met My Husband” and “Marrakesh”. That said, Munro was incapable of writing a bad story.
Books Ring Mah Bell
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: need-to-purchase
Alice Munro is one of the best things to come out of Canada. Her writing more than makes up for Alanis Morissette.

And Celine Dion.
Igpy Kin
Carefully crafted but on the whole dull.
May 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of short stories and the inner workings of women
Recommended to Kerri by: Sarah
This collection of short stories got off to a slow start, and finished off the same way for me. But the middle was biting and raw, and those stories really hit at the core of some of the more uncomfortable feelings of being human (or female, specifically)?

I remember now that I tried to start this book long ago, and put it aside before finishing the first story-- I just couldn't get into it. That first story had me stuck again. It's the type of thing where you read five pages and realized you ha
Erika Nerdypants
I thought I had read everything Alice Munroe has written, when I came across this collection in a used book store (where I generally like to purchase my books).
While I loved some of the stories, in particular, "How I met my husband", and "Tell me yes or no", there were a few I had to force myself through, which has never happened to me with this author before. Having said that, it is still a highly worthwhile read. Her characters are richly developed, and evoked a sense of curiosity and wonder.
Jeanine Lipp
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was recommened to me by a friend because of my obsession with the art of the short story. I'm impressed with the economical means of relaying a snippet of life in full living color. Alice Munro is a master. While several of my friends feel a need to indentify with protagonists in order to "get" a short story, I do not. I love playing the part of voyeur, taking a small peek through the blinds that mask our real selves. From infidelity to parental angst, from harsh self judgement to acce ...more
Tatyana Naumova
Постоянная беда со сборниками рассказов Манро - часть из них отточены и хороши, но оставшиеся куски сборника вызывают утомленное пресыщение: так бывает, когда за столом очень много всего, ты ешь, а потом уже не хочется, но неловко и хозяева обидятся, и ты ешь, но тяжело и довольно безрадостно. Возможно, это объясняется стремлением автора создать картину мира, где есть взлеты и падения, а возможно, просто ходит и ходит вокруг рассказов и их важности, важности общих воспоминаний и знаний, которые ...more
I'm not a huge fan of realism as a genre, but Alice Munro is such a good writer that I always enjoy her work. She is outstanding at shaping her short stories in such a way that they proceed logically, yet not predictably, from introduction to conclusion. The only slight criticism I have is that the range of the stories in this book is small: they are about similar women in similar situations. One or two stories with different settings or protagonists would provide the mixture with a little more ...more
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wowowowo. Alice Munro can capture a family, can capture motherhood, adolescence, jealously/grief/forgiveness in a mere couple of pages. Forgiveness in Families from this collection is perhaps my favourite. With each story, readers are gripped by her opening lines; in some, like How I met my Husband, it is the denouement that leaves us reeling. I can't believe I used to ignore her on bookshelves. There are so many stories in this collection I will continue to peruse.
George Ilsley
Ha! Took me ages to get through this, mostly because this edition has such small print. Oddly, having started a more recent volume of Munro stories prompted me to go back and pick up this earlier volume. Somehow I started alternating stories from the two volumes. What is wrong with me? No one knows.
Naile Berna
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Five Stars! I can not read Munro enough... I am just amazed how much of live a person can experience, and have the talent and skill to put it into words in such a fashion...

I tried writing down the names of the stories I loved the most, and gave up. I loved very single one of these stories.

Munro is such a good companion, a mentor, a mother, a friend. My favorite author of this day.
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  • We So Seldom Look on Love
  • The Collected Stories of Carol Shields
  • The Selected Stories
  • Island: The Complete Stories
  • Dust to Dust
  • The Fire-Dwellers
  • As for Me and My House
  • The Collected Stories
  • A Fanatic Heart
  • Traplines
  • How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?
  • Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • Because They Wanted To
  • The Beggar's Garden
  • The Collected Stories
  • Swamp Angel
  • The Collected Stories
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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“The unhappiest moment I could never tell you. All our fights blend into each other and are in fact re-enactments of the same fight, in which we punish each other--I with words, Hugh with silence--for being each other. We never needed any more than that.” 28 likes
“Hugo felt the world was hostile to his writing, he felt not only all its human inhabitants but its noises and diversions and ordinary clutter were linked against him, maliciously, purposefully, diabolically thwarting and maiming him and keeping him from his work. And I, whose business it was to throw myself between him and the world, was failing to do so, by choice perhaps as much as ineptitude for the job. I did not believe in him. I had not understood how it would be necessary to believe in him. I believed that he was clever and talented, whatever that might mean, but I was not sure he would turn out to be a writer. He did not have the authority I thought a writer should have. He was too nervous, too touchy with everybody, too much of a showoff. I believed that writers were calm, sad people, knowing too much. I believed that there was a difference about them, some hard and shining, rare intimidating quality they had from the beginning, and Hugo didn’t have it. I thought that someday he would recognize this. Meanwhile, he lived in a world whose rewards and punishments were as strange, as hidden from me, as if he had been a lunatic.” 5 likes
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