Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Snapshot Book Review: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: StoriesHateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories by Alice Munro

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

If this book had been a novel, I would have put it down after the first 50 pages. However, because it is a collection of short stories, I convinced myself that maybe the next story would be more interesting; if I didn't keep reading, I might not be giving Munro a fair chance.

Alas, I reached the end of the book and felt nothing but relief--relief that it was over. Munro is a lovely writer, with a good command of language, but her choice of subject matter, story development, and characters was uninspiring. With a title like "Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage," I expected at least a little bit of drama or intrigue. Or, if Munro left out suspense, then I expected at least a few stories to make me feel something: anger or sadness or indignation. Instead, what I felt--if anything--was melancholy. But really, I mostly felt bored and restless to "get on with it."

This summary by one Amazon reviewer gives my impression of the book to a T: "To be fair, I admit [Munro] is a good writer, technically speaking. It's just that she doesn't write about anything interesting. . . . Quick story rundown: a married lady has cancer, urinates in someone's driveway, then kisses their son. The end. Yay, that was neat."

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