Runaway

Runaway

eBook - 2011
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"Runaway" is the first story in this stunning collection, sure to be a runaway success. All of the eight stories here are new, published in book form for the first time. Two of the eight have never appeared anywhere, so this will be a special feast for the millions of Munro fans around the world.

Miraculously, these stories seem to have been written by a young writer at the peak of her powers. Alice Munro's central characters range from 14-year-old Lauren in "Trespass," through the young couple in "Runaway," whose helpful older neighbour intervenes to help the wife escape, all the way to a 70-year-old woman meeting a friend of her youth on a Vancouver street and sitting with him to recall their tangled lives fifty years earlier, through a web of cheerful lies.

Three of the stories, "Chance," "Soon," and "Silence," are linked, showing us how the young teacher Juliet meets her fisherman lover on a train (and, by terrible chance, visits his B.C. home on the day after his wife's funeral); how, years later, she brings baby Penelope back east to show her parents and learns sad secrets about their marriage; and how, twenty years on, she visits the estranged Penelope in her cult-like B.C. community. The result is more powerful than most novels, a quality in Alice Munro's stories that has been noted by many reviewers.

The final story, "Powers," spans 50 years and runs from Goderich to Vancouver and involves a cast of four characters, each of whom steps forward to dominate the scene, not least Tessa, the plain girl whose psychic powers take her on the vaudeville circuit. But it is Alice Munro's own powers that dominate this collection and that will amaze reviewers and readers. How can she keep getting better? How can any one person know so much about the heads and hearts of so many different people? And how can she weave them together in stories that delight academics and ordinary readers alike, making each new Alice Munro book a runaway bestseller?


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2011
ISBN: 9781551993973
155199397X
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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u
uncommonreader
Apr 30, 2017

These eight wonderful stories include three stories (Chance, Soon, Silence) on which Almodovar based his film, "Julieta".

s
sgcf
Mar 26, 2017

The eight stories of Runaway are filled with literal runnings away from life situations as well as mind escapes. Munro creates authentic women, grounded in life that simmers below the surface, in real women’s circumstances. She hooks us with the barest of details and reels us in through chance meetings or mix-ups, always through a variation on sorrow, to a tender solace. Munro's stories likely appeal to the mature reader who has experienced some of life’s pain and passion.

e
erinsnest
Aug 26, 2015

Aug 2015....read this one for the Chinook Arch Library System summer reading challenge. I needed a book that has won the Scotia Giller prize and this fit the bill. This is the first Alice Munro book that I have read, but it won't be the last!

r
rodraglin
Mar 24, 2015

Is Alice Munro, winner of three Governor General Awards, the Giller Prize, and numerous other Canadian and international literary awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature, beyond criticism?

I just finished Runaway, a collection of eight of her short stories. Actually, there are only five since a long one is broken into three segments. Why was this done? I have no idea.

The stories presented in this anthology are, without doubt, very compelling and the writing was flawless as you would imagine. The characterization is subtle but incredibly telling – you almost immediately know someone like the character, and more than often, you hate them.

However, I have trouble with the way Munro ends the majority of these stories.

Endings to short stories usually fall into one these four categories: denouement, realization, epiphany or the story ends itself.

In my mind the most satisfactory ending is when the story comes to its natural conclusion and the ending, though not necessarily anticipated, seems inevitable. Only two of the collection presented in Runaway ends this way.

The others all seem too coincidental, too serendipitous, too vague.

Two stories are ended by chance meetings many years after the main events of the plot have taken place and the characters, more or less, explain to the reader what actually happened.

I would have expected more from the literary icon.

In another, an insignificant and totally accidental event is the catalyst for a dramatic turn of events I just couldn’t imagine the characters undertaking. Yes, I went back and searched for the clues. Maybe a more astute reader would have found them, but I didn’t.

I understand literary short story endings can be more complex, that it’s not necessarily about tying up loose ends, but more about story’s the emotional and psychological impact, but given all that, another ending makes no sense whatsoever, emotionally or psychologically.

Should I be worried that my citizenship is about to be revoked, or worse, that some unseen force is about to smote me?

p
PPL
Sep 16, 2014

Seriously depressing view of life. Could not finish this book.

mytwin Dec 02, 2013

I own several of Alice's books and since her Nobel win,I have stared to re-read them.Always funny weird or funny ha-ha! (is that a S.W.Ontario expression?)
At any rate I thoroughly enjoy her short stories.

debwalker Oct 10, 2013

October 10, 2013: The 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded to Canadian author Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story"!

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