“Runaway” by Alice Munro (Canada) 


Given Alice Munro’s reputation as an outstanding short story writer, readers had high expectations for this collection. However, their reactions were very mixed. Some readers really liked all the stories finding them dark but highly realistic and enjoying the twists and turns in the characters’ lives. They appreciated the details and the little insights into the more mundane aspects of Canadian life. Other readers didn’t much like the stories, finding them at times confusing and depressing. They felt a pervasive element of boredom and didn’t enjoy the fact that most of the stories were set in small towns. One reader described the feeling as the suffocating expectation of conformity. Everyone liked Munro’s style of writing, with her clever use of dialogue to create a build up in tension and to give the reader a glimpse into the hidden sides of the protagonists. The favourite story of all was: “Tricks”.

The collection averaged a 7.8 out of 10.


Alice Munro portrays the entrapment of everyday lives and their missed opportunities in this collection. At its centre are three stories connected into one marvellously rich narrative about Juliet. There are other stories about men and women of very different times and circumstances, whose lives are made vividly palpable by the nuance and empathy of Munro’s writing… Read more

Season 11 – “Short Stories” (Feb – Jun 2010)

“Last Evenings on Earth” by Roberto Bolano (Chile)
“I Think of You” by Ahdaf Soueif (Egypt)
“Fascination” by William Boyd (U.K.)
“Runaway” by Alice Munro (Canada)
“Sightseeing” by Rattawut Lapcharoensap (Thailand) *

Extra book:
“An Elegy for Easterly” by Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe)

* The book club favourite
In italics, Nicola’s Coup de Cœur

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