Munro, Alice "Runaway" - 2004
A brilliant collection of very interesting short stories that grip you from the first page. However, and it is a big however, I am not a big fan of short stories and this has shown me again why not. I love long novels, books that slowly move into the story, that give you enough background information so that you can get to know the characters and live with them for a while. Short stories just don't do that. I had to go back to the titles when I finished the book to see what they were about. I hadn't forgotten about Juliet but that was mainly because three stories focused on her ("Chance", "Soon" and "Silence")
But I couldn't remember Carla from "Runaway" as I hadn't really felt much about her, felt for her at all, I still have no idea why she had run away. "Passion", again, I couldn't find a connection with the characters, not enough time to get to know them "Trespasses" was so weird, even during the story I didn't find a connection, almost like in "Runaway" and "Powers" seemed a haphazard short story of many short stories. Not my thing.
"Tricks" was probably my favourite, simply because it had a great twist at the end, because I could relate to the heroine, Robin, could truly feel the pain and longing with her. As to the rest, the same as with many short stories, they will forever remain acquaintances, never become friends.
I would love to read a novel by Alice Munro, one that has at least 500 pages. I'm sure it would be a great one! And I already said that about her novel "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage" that all her stories would have enough background to write a large one.
Titles of the short stories:
From the back cover: "The matchless Munro makes art out of everyday lives in this dazzling new collection. Here are men and women of wildly different times and circumstances, their lives made vividly palpable by the nuance and empathy of Munro's writing. Runaway is about the power and betrayals of love, about lost children, lost chances. There is pain and desolation beneath the surface, like a needle in the heart, which makes these stories more powerful and compelling than anything she has written."
Alice Munro received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013 for being the "master of the contemporary short story".
Alice Munro received the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 for her lifetime body of work.