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Comment: Ex-library book. The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable.
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The Progress of Love Paperback – December 12, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The characters in these 11 short stories have hearts that are startled or weighed down by the responsibilities of love, or which are gnawed by hidden hate and cruelty. PW wrote that Munro offers "a freshness of vision, a breadth of sympathy and a wide-ranging imagination."
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

A prize-winning Canadian author, Munro has been praised for such works as The Moons of Jupiter ( LJ 5/15/83) and The Beggar Maid ( LJ 10/1/79). Her new collection of 11 stories thoughtfully explores the themes of self-knowledge and love. Families, friends, eccentrics, loversthe characters all bear the marks and burdens of unpredictable individualism and humanity. Girlish friendship and imaginings end in betrayal, estrangement, and self-revelation over the years in "Jesse and Meribeth." A small-town nurse in "Eskimo" unveils layers of female obligation and the complexities of love when trying to befriend a young girl on a plane to Tahiti. "A Queer Streak" has about it the satisfying subtlety, wholeness, and horror of legend. An accomplished collection. Mary Soete, San Diego P.L., Cal.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (December 12, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375724702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375724701
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alice Munro grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published eleven previous books.During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including the W.H. Smith Prize, the National Book Circle Critics Award, the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction, the Lannan Literary Award, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, and the Rea Award for the Short Story. In Canada, she has won the Governor General's Award, the Giller Prize, the Trillium Book Award, and the Libris Award.Alice Munro and her husband divide their time between Clinton, Ontario, and Comox, British Columbia.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Alice Munro is such a fine writer that she can take some
fifty-odd characters over the course of a story collection and
make them seem like various aspects of a complex and
sensitive personality. These stories are careful and elegant,
and writers will note Munro's idiosyncratically beautiful use
of unexpected adjectives. But even without such wonderful
writing, her stories would speak for themselves: her characters
live life directly, simply, and often painfully, and they have
more feeling than they can express. Munro does it for them. This collection includes
"The Moon in the Orange Street Skating Rink," one of the
most moving stories I can imagine. Read it and weep.
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Format: Paperback
Mid-period Munro, when she began in earnest to explore a talent for expansiveness. The title story is as fine as anything she's written. The final pages reap deliciously what the story's juxtaposed timelines and plots have set up. You walk away from the story shaking your head, sighing, aching. Not as fine a collection as The Moons of Jupiter, also out of the same period in her career, but still hard to beat by another writer in the medium. It seems short stories have waited for Munro for too long, and we are too privileged to be readers in her lifetime.
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Format: Paperback
Alice Munro is, by my reckoning, the greatest short story writer of our time. Her collection, The Progress of Love, is ample proof. I recommend her work with trepidation to aspiring short story writers because her writing is intimidatingly exquisite. Charles Baxter or Lorrie Moore could profit from a session in the batting cage with Munro, but for most everybody else, it would be like taking your Tee-Ball Leaguer for a hitting tutorial with Ted Williams.
What's so good about Munro's writing? Foremost is her precision. The center of the short story writer's craft is economy. It's very difficult to find a word that doesn't advance both story and theme in Munro's work. The reader finds himself stopping to ponder passages not because they're opaque but because they are so powerfully rendered and so intricately woven. I've taught "Monsieur Les Deux Chapeaux" for seven years, and Ross's moment on the bridge never fails to transport me and my students. I don't expect to find an end to my thought about this moment or the story itself. It will unquestionably remain a short story by which I measure all others.
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Format: Paperback
This was my first Alice Munro collection and I will read more. I liked the collection but perhaps Alice hasn't spun her magic on me quite like she has on others. In this collection she writes about very typical lives and slightly atypical events. Most of the stories don't really have a beginning and an end but are rather slices of lives. Munro gives strong insight into people's inner lives and thoughts.

Each story is well crafted and Munro's style is very straight forward. Most stories take place in rural Ontario with a little bit of Toronto thrown in.

I titled the review "haunting" because I came away feeling that I'd been spying on the inner thoughts of others in a portion of their every day lives.

I was particularly touched by Monsieur Les Deux Chapeaux which told the the stories of twin brothers. One is a typical man and the other is somewhat mentally challenged. Their relationship is both interesting and touching.

There are other great stories as well. I honestly needed to take a break from the book at one point and return to it after a couple of days.

Munro is an excellent writer but in totality I'm not sure if she's my cup of tea. I'll need to read more.
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Format: Paperback
This book of short stories is by a polished and superb writer. All the innuendoes and narrative flow smoothly and truthfully from her. her language never feels awkward. The New York Times Sunday Book Review considered this one of the best books of 1986. All of the stories deal with family and love - - its progress towards and away from it.

Some stories of note:

"Progress of Love" - - This is about a family reunion and the family history recounted there. There is one especially tormenting scene of a young girl witnessing her mother's attempted suicide in order to get at her philandering husband. This young girl, now a woman, has harbored so much hatred towards her father over the years that she burns the $3000 inheritance he leaves her.

"Monsieur Les Deut Chapeaux" - - Colin and Ross are brothers. Ross is mildly developmentally disabled. Colin has flashbacks wherein he remembers a time when he shot Ross. He truly did not shoot Ross, but Ross played a practical joke on Colin. Because of this, Colin sees his life's work as assuring that Ross is not ever hurt.

"Fits" -- A Woman, delivering some eggs to her neighbors, discovers a suicide/murder. How she reacts to it and how her husband reacts to her reaction make up this story. She is extremely low key and this is juxtaposed with the town's horror at the crime and the gruesomeness of it.

"A Queer Streak" - - This is one of my favorite stories. A young woman gives up her life's ambitions in a martyred attempt to take care of her family. Meanwhile, her sister has written threatening, perverse letters to their father and pretends that they are coming from a potential murderer.

All in all, there are always some gems in Alice Munro's collections.
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