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The Moons of Jupiter

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,670 ratings  ·  344 reviews
**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature**

The characters who populate an Alice Munro story live and breathe. Passions hopelessly conceived, affections betrayed, marriages made and broken: the joys, fears, loves and awakenings of women echo throughout these twelve unforgettable stories, laying bare the unexceptional and yet inescapable pain of human contact.
Paperback, 233 pages
Published 2004 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Glenn Sumi
Updated May 2016

Alice Munro, around the time that The Moons Of Jupiter was published

The Moons Of Jupiter is Munro's fifth book, and I think it marked a turning point in her writing.

A few stories ("Mrs. Cross And Mrs. Kidd," "Visitors") feel anachronistic, well-written and polished tales that could have been part of her first collection, Dance Of The Happy Shades. Others, like "Bardon Bus" and "Hard-Luck Stories," are cool, playful experiments – they're like literary puzzles – that don't quit
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
The quiet desperation of a separated middle-aged woman tending to her father at the hospital before a life-threatening operation is subtly disguised as she ruminates about her own relationship with her two daughters.
The micro cosmos of everyday life with all its trifling happenings is put in contrast with the immensity of outer space when she attends a show at the planetarium waiting for the results of her father's pre-surgery tests, but weirdly enough, it's the far away planets that bring fathe
Neal Adolph
Let the record show, as it does, that I started reading this collection back in the beginning of February 2015. Let it also show that I barely managed to finish it in time to tuck it into my 2015 reading list. This is how I read Alice Munro, because I suspect that this is the only way my brain and heart can heal itself after most of her stories.

I recall when Munro won her Nobel Prize that many people wondered why she deserved it. There is nothing exceptional about her writing, except that it is
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Alice Munro is such an artist.
I simply loved Too Much Happiness and definitely wanted to read more of her work. This is one of her earlier collections published in 1982 and though I didn’t find it as good, there are still plenty of little jewels I thoroughly enjoyed.

What Munro does so well is everyday interactions, these beautiful everyday moments we tend to ignore because we think they have no meaning, but they say so much about who we are.
There are also more defining moments in this collectio
Aug 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Munro's stories are a delight to read, and this collection is no exception. For me, she is one of the hardest writers to read as a writer. I mean, her technique is so seamless that it can be very hard to pick it apart to learn from. For example, when she shifts in "Chaddeleys and Flemmings"between the narrator's perspective as a child and the narrator's perspective as an adult it is almost unnoticeable. The shift is there, and for good reason, but Munro's technique sits in the background working ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I constrain myself to sit and describe a collection of stories from Alice Munro I find myself unusually timid; they have the abundance and detail of longer fiction, so every book is like a family of novels or a garden of ornamented individuals. Their roots may have a reach that is tenuous or significant, they may be fragile seedlings or hardy adults or have died in the winter; regardless, they all have in common the parent soil. If the ground has been previously trodden then Munro is the fi ...more
Jay Sandover
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
Such perfect stories. I envy her talent for writing a short story. An amazing book. I hope to arrange my shelf with this book alongside The Rings of Saturn, The Transit of Venus, Red Mars, Triton (a moon of Neptune), Dispatches from Pluto, Captain Underpants (you can guess why), a biography of Freddie Mercury, and The Good Earth.
Dao Strom
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Okay well, the fact is I have read everything by Alice Munro, some more than once, and I love most of it. But this book is one of my favorites for some reason... It feels like a transitional book among her stories - stories of the woman leaving her family, the lone-ness of striking out on her own, portraits of relationships in those key decisive moments of continuing but knowing the ending is near. I love the two-part story that opens this book "Chaddeleys and Flemings" and how she disparately c ...more
Lori Stevenson
Oct 13, 2010 rated it did not like it
Quite possibly the most boring and pointless book ever.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to Fictionland, a world containing many worlds. At this point, being my favourite attraction and twelfth go in Munro’s Hall of Interiors, there’s not much to say that I haven’t already about being inside this confronting, unsettling, dizzying, exhilarating, breathtaking, humbling place that’s more sharply illuminating than any other place I can go. I always feel after reading Munro that I just got that little bit closer to realizing the ideal attitude to the essential mystery of our live ...more
Davyd Davison
After Munro was announced as the Nobel Prize laureate, I excitedly went about obtaining a number of her books. I got her newest book and a collection of her best stories, but someone somewhere online suggested that this, The Moons of Jupiter, was her personal favorite. So, on that suggestion, I started with this book.

The opening stories were surprisingly brilliant, and Munro's ability to share momentous insights within a sentence or two continually impressed me. To read Munro is to see her chara
Jun 12, 2011 rated it liked it
The first few stories in this collection were incredible: moving and vivid, just as I expect from this master of short stories. However, most of the other stories were forgettable.

The title story, Moons of Jupiter, was about an author coming to grips with her father’s heart valve transplant, 2 grown children who have gone their own, secretive ways, and her own interests in writing and fashion. This was Alice Munro at her typical and her best, taking the reader inside the life of someone who is
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
These stories pulled at my heart, they weren't exactly sad, instead, they were quiet and without resolution. I wanted more happiness for the characters. Munro is quoted "That's something I think is growing on me as I get older: Happy endings."Me too.
I haven't read her last group of stories, but I have them on my TBR pile and I will be searching them for a happy ending. The language here is beautiful and often surprising. Munro is undeniably a master at her craft. I did find that I needed to leav
Mar 19, 2013 rated it liked it
I know Alice Munro is quite celebrated, but this collection of short stories struck me rather as the above-average college essays of an English major more than anything else.

First of all, although the short stories in this collection almost invariably build up to something befittingly atmospheric and pregnant, they nearly all give an anticlimactic sort of feel after that. It feels like a novel just about to plunge into the heart of its tale and then being slashed off.

Also, although the character
Colleen O'Neill Conlan
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Another great collection by Alice Munro. I read this as part of my mission to read all of her books, in the order they were published. What I love about her stories is that there are no huge dramas, no great epiphanies. She is expert at examining women's relationships, women's motives, women's psychology. Now that I have read five of her books, I notice that the women in the stories are getting older, and they are moving further from the woods and small towns of her earlier books. I see her writ ...more
Batool Sayed Bader
Nov 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
Hmm, I'm not sure how I feel about this book. Alice Munro can write well, I can't argue about that. But that's the only good thing I can say.
I found the stories boring and very unenjoyable. The plot was rushed in most of them (I know they're short stories but still) and I honestly didn't get the point. It felt like the stories were not going anywhere. Everything started and ended at the same level, no element of surprise in between and no exciting ending.
Maybe the fact that it took me months t
Feb 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
22 February 2015
I have just reread this collection of stories. When I read this 3 years ago, it stood out as my favorite to date. I am not certain that I can any longer claim a favorite Alice collection because each one as I read it is my favorite. Surely her writing improves, and she writes with greater confidence. This collection is indeed superb -- it is hard to find complaint with any of these stories. The characters are so real, and flawed, and complex. The majority of these stories were wr
It just struck me that Munro gets to the heart of what I personally think family and relationships end up being about.

That didn't sound too impressive... but this is my favourite theme, the all-consuming topic of my life for the past few years, in particular. Adulthood to me is the realisation that family in particular is not to be taken for granted, and that age can be a gently wonderful and terrible beast.

Munro tackles these so well, story after story... which is why she is one of my favourite
Judith Shadford
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love Alice Munro. Her writing is so finely crafted, simple, in a way, that it falls away from the constructions of characters...lives, really, that makes them seem like personal memories. She leaves me, not just with a description of an afternoon, but with the smells of the porch, the sounds of birds, the shattering of consciousness after the accident that didn't happen. When I get covetousness over her skill, I realize that what happens in her stories is the way her mind works, it isn't learn ...more
Nov 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Many times, I will dip into a short story collection, read a few, and set it aside. I read straight through this one. Munro is brilliant at capturing the fleeting emotion; the thoughts percolating under everyday life; the growth, quirks, and fall of relationships...I am tempted to quote some brilliant lines from the stories, but they are so much better within the stories themselves as you are pulled into the world of whatever characters she is following. A Nobel Prize well-deserved. (Brett Easto ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it liked it
(This review will have almost nothing to do with The Moons of Jupiter, and instead be about my own personal reading habits. If you would like to know more about The Moons of Jupiter, please read another review.)

I am always reading two books. There is the city book, for when I am commuting to work, and there is the bath book for when I am brushing my teeth and bathing.
The city book is the nicer one, not from any superficiality, just that I can keep it in better condition while I am going back an
Lucas Miller
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I recently went through the archived likes on my tumblr page. Over 2,000 posts that have been sitting online mostly undisturbed for five years or so. About half way through the list (2014, maybe) I saw a quote, "They were all in their early thirties. An age at which it is sometimes hard to admit that what you are living is your life."

This is the first collection of stories by Alice Munro I have read. I checked out a hard cover edition from the library of the school I work at and read roughly on
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This collection was very thought-provoking.

While short stories are generally not a format I enjoy reading, Alice Munro is a master of the short story. Not only was she able to pull me in with almost every story, but I was also often left thinking about philosophical life questions after I had finished one. Her metafictional prose turned ordinary lives into extraordinary stories.

My favorite stories were the opening and the closing: "Chaddeleys and Flemings" and "the Moons of Jupiter." They revo
Jeff Thomas
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
It's interesting, how I know NOTHING about canadian, midwestern, agricultural people, but all of these characters are immediately relatable. Munro did a great job of making her characters both universal, and immersed in their unique locales.
Heather B.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Its been awhile since I read an Alice Munro story. These are all great. Like little jewels, each one.
William Leight
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Munro is, of course, a realist writer, but that’s a pretty broad category. What mainly defines Munro’s realism, at least in this volume, is an unsentimental attitude that rises to a kind of anti-sentimentalism. Munro isn’t just writing stories without romantic nonsense (not, it should be noted, the same as stories without romance) and pat plots, she is actively crusading against them. Sometimes, this is part of the story: for instance, at one point, one of her characters describes a romantic sce ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
There was a time I didn't enjoy short stories, but now I'm quite a fan of them, especially Munro's. Her writing is masterful and many of her characters stay with me a long time. I'm torn between a 4 and a 4.5 rating on this collection.
Tammy V
Nov 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Approach Alice Munro’s stories slowly, circle them, reread them. Go in with some helpful guidance on what to expect, so you don’t get lost and miss what might be an intriguing storytelling method, because Munro definitely has her own style.

Munro, in the book “Moons of Jupiter” displays a need to introduce multitudes of characters on the first page, often in the first paragraph of her stories. Sort them out or you will find yourself in a maze – write them on a pad next to you to refer to as you r
Aug 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written short stories.
Nov 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trying to summarize why I don't go in much for short stories - it feels like the effort in approaching a new piece of fiction to become familiar with a set of characters and milieu needs to be repaid by a sustained story of a certain length - sheer laziness on my part, in other words! Munro came recommended from several sources, so I decided to get over that - plus the first two stories here concern the same family and several others contain echoes of one another - the emotionally distant anthro ...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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