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Too Much Happiness 
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Post Too Much Happiness
Anyone reading Alice Munro? I have "Too Much Happiness" and I just read the first story and it just isn't captivating or profound. I'm not eager to continue yet I do wonder, what does she has that made her win a lot of literary prizes. It's really hard to get them with short stories. So can you tell me what did you find in her books if you like her books, please? Otherwise I still want to read your opinions!



Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:01 pm
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Post Re: Too Much Happiness
I'm not familiar with her.



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Moonesque
Mon Apr 20, 2020 3:42 pm
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Post Re: Too Much Happiness
Moonesque wrote:
Anyone reading Alice Munro? I have "Too Much Happiness" and I just read the first story and it just isn't captivating or profound. I'm not eager to continue yet I do wonder, what does she has that made her win a lot of literary prizes. It's really hard to get them with short stories. So can you tell me what did you find in her books if you like her books, please? Otherwise I still want to read your opinions!

I'd recommend continuing with some of her shorter stories. Isn't "Too Much Happiness" a longer piece about a woman mathematician? I read it quite a few years back, and all I remember somewhat well is its placid, nostalgic tone and unhurried pace, and that it seemed lacking in what we usually expect in a story arc. It seemed half a profile of this woman and half fiction, getting into her emotions in a sensitive way. Munro toward the end of her career (I believe she has retired) began to write fiction that was partly also memoir. "TMH" has a similar feel to it, for me, although it's not Munro's experience.

I like her stories very much. The plots don't stick with me, because they're not plot-centric. She doesn't do a lot with incidents, going more for the interior lives of her characters, but not to the extent of someone like Virginia Woolf. I wouldn't say that profundity is necessarily what to expect from her, either. Try the story about the goat, "The Runaway." Also, "Passion," "Chance," "Silence." and "The Bear Came Over the Mountain" (made into the film "Away from Her"). I didn't remember those titles off top of my head except the last one. I read the first few sentences online and then started to remember those stories. I haven't read all of hers, but your question makes me want to. I suspect I like her early and middle stories better than her later ones.

Do you have a short fiction writer you especially like?

Edit: I had forgotten that "TMH" was the title of the volume, so I thought you were commenting on that story. The brief summaries of the stories rang a bell. I would say that they are pretty typical of what Munro is about, so perhaps your taste goes in other ways, but I'd still recommend sticking with her for a while, and trying a few in other collections.



Last edited by DWill on Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Moonesque
Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:02 am
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Post Re: Too Much Happiness
I have bought "Too Much Happiness" long time ago and because of the latest worldwide events, I happen to start reading it. The book begins with the story "Dimension". Slow paced and really dramatic. Like we're inside a never ending steam of consciousness, garnished with some letters or outside views... Reminds of Virginia Woolf but in a rather subtle and scattered way. I quite didn't like the idea of using such a dramatic and sensational event in a short story. The underlying psychology and turn of events just isn't connected somehow with the emotions and characters. So I was really hesitant to continue reading her, yet I tried another book of hers, "Dear Life". Again the first story... Better than the previous one but still I found it dull, anyway feels really like reading Virginia in a weird way.

So I'll try some of the stories you mentioned, and see how it goes...

I can think of Katherine Mansfield, Calvino, Maupassant and Poe. Maybe also Borges



Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:12 pm
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