Runaway

Runaway

by Alice Munro

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Runaway 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of Munro's that I have read and I bought it because of all the good reviews. I was very pleased with it and hope to read more of Munro's work. The stories here truly put you in someone else's shoes and touch your heart. Highly recommended!
Fungirl421 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not Munro's best but still very good. I must say I love short reads when I'm not quite in the mood to commit to a new novel. These short stories will fill you up without all the extra words. They are potent little gems.
cinesnail88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Munro delivers another incredible collection of short stories. Particularly interesting were the connected stories - those that share characters in some way or another. The title story was also intriguing. As always, Munro knows how to write about people and their intricate relationships in the most fascinating way possible.
rmckeown on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alice Munro won the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her fiction. I have occasionally come across one of her stories in an anthology or The New Yorker, but I have never actually read an entire volume of her work. I understand why she deserves this prize.These stories have a smoothness to them: no rough edges, nothing unusual, simply people living ordinary lives. Of these eight stories, five stand alone, but the most absorbing and the most interesting are three involving a character named Juliet. This set lies so close to the border of a novel, I wish with all my heart it comes out finished and complete. The ends are tied up too quickly, because I did not want the series to end.This is not to say that I did not enjoy all of them ¿ I absolutely did! But I found myself deep into Juliet, because Munro¿s prose is that clever, that clear and bright. Here is a passage from the first in the series, ¿Chance¿¿Juliet cleaned up the stroller, and Penelope, and herself, and set off on a walk into town. She had the excuse that she needed a certain brand of mild disinfectant soap with which to wash the diapers¿if she used ordinary soap the baby would get a rash. But she had other reasons, irresistible though embarrassing.¿This was the way she had walked to school for years of her life. Even when she was going to college, and came home on a visit, she was still the same¿a girl going to school. Would she never be done going to school? Somebody asked Sam [her father] that at a time when she had just won the Intercollegiate Latin Translation Prize, and he had said, ¿¿Fraid not.¿ (101).Munro shows us the overarching theme of these stories in the title. Each story has a character trying to escape, but most often -- even when they do get away ¿ ties that bind hold them to the past. As Thomas Wolfe said, ¿You can¿t go home again.¿ And you can¿t get away from home either. Five stars-Jim, 7/5/09
jlelliott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alice Munroe is widely lauded as one of the most brilliant modern short story writers. As a lover of short stories, I was expecting to really enjoy this collection. Certainly the stories are well-written and enjoyable to read. They are peopled largely with women, many of whom seem to exhibit a host of stereotypical feminine flaws (far too subservient or braggingly independent, ready to throw their lives away for randomly met men, etc). It isn¿t necessarily that the characters are not realistic; they seem real, but in such a way that I think I would despise or pity them if I met them out in the world. A few of the stories also employ thematic elements which struck a false note, at least with me (the main offenders - the mistaken identity of murdered adopted baby, a deaf-mute twin brother, sudden defection of a beloved child to a cult camp). That said, I did enjoy reading the stories, especially the title story (Runaway) and Passion. Worth reading, but I think I will reserve judgment concerning Monroe¿s status at the pinnacle of the craft.
justjill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These stories about seemingly ordinary women in ordinary circumstances are nothing short of amazing. The kind of book you keep thinking about after you've finished it.
kitamurdock on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first Alice Munro book I've read. I'll definitely read the others. She's a great writer, skilled at capturing emotions and relationships. I gave four instead of five stars just because, after reading all of the rave reviews, I expected the stories to impact me more. Still, great writing and I'd recommend it.
KinnicChick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've never reviewed a collection of stories before. I've also never read a collection by Alice Munro. This will not be the last I read, however. I loved every story in Runaway. So much, that when I try to choose one story as a favorite, I cannot. Ms. Munro has boiled each tale down to it's essence. She wastes not a word. Within each story is an entire lifetime, a whole world. About love and surprise and never anything expected or predictable. Because, after all, when the course of love runs smooth and predictable, would you want to read about it? There are eight stories contained in the collection. I found each of them to be entertaining and beautiful. I especially love how heroic her female characters are, and how each story reads like a mini-novel in its completeness. I highly recommend this book.
lauralkeet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this collection of short fiction, Alice Munro writes of love, betrayal, and missed opportunities. Runaway is comprised of eight stories, all with female protagonists. Three of the stories are connected, focused on one woman's relationships at three points in her life, several years apart. In fact, unlike most short fiction I've read, nearly all of these stories take place over a very long period of time. And yet they are taut and focused. Munro has the short story down to an art form: she develops characters, explores themes, and serves up well-crafted plots, all in about 40 pages. I especially liked these two stories: * Silence: Juliet, the main character in two previous stories, is now a middle-aged woman. She has lost touch with her adult daughter Penelope, and feels betrayed by her silence. In this story Munro also fills in details from the two previous stories, serving as a kind of dénouement for the trilogy. * Tricks: When the story opens, Robin is a young nurse living in a rural area, with caregiver responsibilities for an older sister. Every summer she travels to a nearby town to see a Shakespeare play. One year she met a man, Daniel, who had immigrated to Canada from Montenegro. They agreed to meet again the following year, but things did not go as planned. The story then "fast forwards" to many years later, when both Robin and the reader learn what really happened.Any of these stories would be much easier to write as a novel, where the author has seemingly unlimited words and pages at their disposal. Munro's ability to create such tension and emotion in short form sets her apart.
Allisinner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't been a big reader of short stoies in the past but Ms. Munroe has seriously made me re-evaluate my reading preferences. I couldn't put the book down, each of the 8 stories captures my attention. The stories center on 6 central women, with some stories just capturing a brief couple of days and others spanning decades. The stories are so rich and engrossing you feel like you have novels about these women. I look forward to picking up more of Munroe's work and recommending them to friends.
suedonym on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely lyrical, with poignantly drawn characters that engage, surprise and linger. Each story is a book condensed within the short story format. As a rule, I don't do five stars, which to me would be literary perfection, but I seriously thought about it with this one.
agnesmack on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Runaway is a collection of short stories written by Alice Munroe. I first discovered her last year when I was actively working to read more women authors. I picked up Women & Fiction, a collection of short stories, one of which was written by Ms. Munroe. Despite not typically being interested in short stories, I was taken with her story and thus sought out this volume.I couldn¿t have been more impressed. I have a few issues with short stories, generally. First of all, it is very difficult to gain my attention in a span of 5-50 pages. I am much more impressed by and interested in character development than plot development. I¿ve found that very few short story writers have the chops to interest me in their characters with so few pages.Now, there are some exceptions and some short story writers who have impressed me. Still, I¿ve always been left wishing they would have made a novel out of it. Short stories always feel unfinished to me and I always feel like I¿m just getting a glimpse into the story, when I want the whole shebang.With this collection, Munroe has proven to me that there is indeed at least one short story writer out there who can complete perfect stories in a such a short time frame. While I did love her characters and stories, I did not come to the end and wish they would continue. I came to the end of each of them and felt . . . satisfied.I can¿t recommend Ms. Munroe enough.
piefuchs on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The closer a book comes to perfection, the more difficult it is for me to comment on...Alice Munro has perfected the short story and in this collection every story is outstanding. Munro writes in a way that perfectly reminds you of the monotony of everyday life. A truly wonderous read.
miriamparker on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The thing about these stories is that they work really well all together. It's the kind of short story book you can read all together, kind of more like a novel because they are interrelated and she does such interesting things with time. There's one that has a crazy soothsayer woman out in the cabin in the woods that I haven't been able to stop thinking about. And it's been a few years since I first read these stories for the first time in the New Yorker.
downstreamer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Haunting, simple stories that stay with you. One of the great short story writers of our age.
netoll on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lovely set of short stories, easy to pick up and put down, quick read
Niecierpek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The theme uniting all of these stories is running away. The characters are trying, or want to but can¿t, or are successful in their attempts to break away from the life they are leading. For some, it means just ending their life. This collection wasn¿t so visceral for me and read more like fiction that I could distance myself from. It was excellent again, and written in the language that is just a sheer joy to savour. Some of the stories might be just be a little too ¿Roald Dahlesque¿ in their twists.
CarltonC on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Breathtakingly concise slices of life, with so much emotion pared down into such beautiful prose. Wonderful!I will be reading more.There are connected stories about Juliet, stories connected over a lifetime, and I found the final story in the sequence (Silence) very moving. The individual stories are equally good, spare language but full of life.
DubaiReader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Frustrating.Alice Munro is widely recognised for her short storiy writing, but although these were obviously well written, I felt they lacked in satisfaction. This genre doesn't provide for as much character detail and so I tend to expect some sort of reward at the end of any given story. Many of these failed to provide that, leaving me wondering why I'd read them at all.There is a theme running through, not just of people running away from something, but also of the effects of various changes on the course of the characters' lives - a kind of a 'what if' element.No one seems to be particularly happy, this is not an uplifting collection.My favourites from the collection were the triplet of linked stories, Chance, Soon and Silence, here we were able to get into a bit more depth, though, again, the ending was frustrating.But in terms of a complete and rounded story my vote would go to Passion because I felt that this one actually had an ending.My first attempt to read Ms Munro resulted in my abandoning the book (The Love of a Good Woman), so this was an improvement, but I think I will give away my copy of 'Selected Stories', this author is not for me.
flydodofly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have always disliked short stories, because they are just that - short. most short story writers tend to write them bearing that fact in mind all the time: must pull myself together and be brief, it is a short story I am writing after all. well, munro is so good, she does not let you believe for a second that she is writing a short story. she leaves plenty of space between the lines and she is no rush at all - she has got all the time in the world or the whole world in there, whichever way you like. what can I say, she fooled me, and I loved it.
londonlady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A beautiful collection of short stories from Canadian author Alice Munro. Weaving through the stories of men and women are feelings of isolation, loss, love and change. Munro's stories are simple, powerful and very readable.
RodRaglin More than 1 year ago
Alice Munro Runaway 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, don’t like 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. 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?
Camboron More than 1 year ago
These stories are so unassuming, so. . ., well, I don't want to say ordinary, so let's say quotidian. You don't realize how they are affecting you, until you finish them, and everything that has filled you up leaves you. Through the simplest words and action, she creates something so vivid and relatable. I can see why she's so famous. I loved the stories about Juliet. (CHANCE, SOON, SILENCE). The first story (RUNAWAY) was great as well. I was totally thrown on any motivations of the characters. She gave you just enough to try and figure everything out. Such subtlety is appreciated. Also, PASSION, was wonderful. The plot was a shocker, but the motivations, one's ability to act impulsively, in a dream-like state almost, was captured here. We have all certainly had inexplicable moments such as these. I think my favorite, plotwise, was "Tricks", seeing as I'm simultaneously reading Stephen King's THE DARK HALF. All in all---really wonderful stuff. I read this collection because I was so moved by THE LOVE OF A GOOD WOMAN. I'm adding something else to my list to read right now.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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