Three stories concern the same woman - in the first, she escapes from teaching at a girls' school into a wild love affair; in the second, she returns with her child to the home of her parents, whose marriage she finally begins to examine; and in the last, her vanished child turns up caught in the grip of a religious cult.
In these and other stories, Alice Munro's understanding of the people about whom she writes makes their lives as real as our own.
©2004 Alice Munro; (P)2008 BBC Audiobooks America
Unfortunately the audio quality on this recording varies. Sometimes it's fine but other times it's poor. I found it hard to hear clearly and consistently in a car. If you listen to audiobooks while driving, this probably isn't the best choice.
"Runaway" is a collection of short stories written by Alice Monroe- sharing a common theme.
Some of the stories in this collection are better than others, some are more matriculant and ripe than others, but i found it difficult to stay indifferent to Monroe's ability to authentically portray human weakness.
She displayes (with talent) feminine circumstances which were typical to in the mid 20th century but are still relevant today.
I liked the author's novel, The View from Castle Rock, and I was very pleasantly surprised by this new collection of stories. Several of the stories are really short novels, like Ian McEwan's Atonement, and are well developed without filler. Ms. Munro shows a great talent for characterization in these stories and a great understanding of those characters, both female and male. A great treat!
This collection of short stories, more like short novels, is fascinating and gripping. I really could not stop listening. The stories are simply told, elegantly plotted, and have surprising twists that hold your attention.
This is a beautiful book. Munro is an incredible observer of people. Kind, honest and with a subtle sense of humor. The reader was excellent and allowed the stories themselves to take first place.
I know that I am part of a very small minority, but I am not an Alice Munro fan. Her stories aren't bad, but to me, they are just incredibly boring. I will give her credit for writing realistic contemporary dialogue, and I guess it's a talent to be able to write a long story about ordinary people in fairly ordinary situations. And there are brief moments of insight into human nature. But that's about all I have to say. I've now read several of her collections, and I've felt the same way about each. It's never a good sign when you are about halfway through a story and just want it to end . . . For the last 100 pages, I kept thinking about what I will read next. (Hint: It won't be by Alice Munro.) The reader is OK; she has that quiet monotone that is typical of readers of "important" literature that supposedly speaks for itself--the Poetry Reading Voice.
I honestly think it may have been the narrator who destroyed this read for me. Even though she has a pleasant voice, a pleasant voice does not a narrator make! The story drolled on and on and on and got absolutely nowhere! I tried to get into it several times and finally realized, I had just wasted my money. The writing is superficial, predictable and just plain boring. Maybe it would have been better if a different narrator had verbalized one of the three stories, anything to break up the monotony. I had hoped after the first story, the second might be better and it was actually worse. Again though, I think it was the narrator. I was so annoyed with her tone that did not change, I would forward to another audible book until I felt I could go back and try again. I Hope the next book will be better and/or a more talented narrator is used.
Alice Munro's short stories are among the best compositions in the English language. They are thoughtful, simple, and reflect the yearning of her characters on a way that doesn't quite leave you right away. So what's the problem? The audiobook. And not the narrator. The chapter divisions of the audiobook are not properly divided into the stories, so it is difficult to navigate so you can't go back and re-listen to a story you loved in a simple way. In addition, the audiobook does not have a good way of indicating that a new story has begun. It announced the title, but I found that I had to reference the story list on Amazon to figure out if a new story had begun or if this was just the continuation of the current story. Otherwise, I greatly enjoyed the writing and the narrator's performance was good.
These are wonderful stories, and I did enjoy listening to them.
The only problem for me was that the narrator used the same 'voice' in all the stories, so that there were few vocal characterization differences among characters in each story. This made the protagonists seem like carbon copies of each other. Also there is no pause, not even a bit of one, from story to story, and because the 'voice' is the same you're not sure that the past story has ended and the next one has begun.
A really annoying problem with the audiobook is technical. The 'chapters' are not set up by story, but randomly, so when returning to your listening, it is very hard to find your place.
I am in awe of Alice Munro's exquisite way with words. The reader can be difficult to understand at times, but the stories are so poignant and thought-provoking that I will absolutely need to buy this book in hardcover to go on the shelf, and be enjoyed again.
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