"Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Discovering the obvious can be very embarrassing and quite frustrating when it comes to sharing your "discovery" with your peers. Comments like "have you been sleeping for the past 2 years" when you recount your amazement at the multitude of functions modern technology offers, of something like " you claim to be a bookworm but you've never heard of Alice Munro?" are quite a spoiler towards your need to boast about your newest discovery.

Well, what can I say, I've never heard 0f Ms Munro (a.k.a "Canadian Chekhov"). To my defence I was never a big fun of the short story genre, thus my complete ignorance of its Queen! I prefer my fiction to be longer, like a 7 course dinner plus a Brandy and a cigar at the end. The idea of just going in for a starter is, to put it mildly, completely unappealing. 

Then, Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage came my way, ("came" is an understatement, it was forced upon me by my dear book club co-members) and that's how I discovered what for many years has been obvious to millions of readers around the world. Alice Munro IS positively, undeniably, most definitely an astonishingly talented author. Because it takes tones and tones of talent coupled with technique and imagination to be able to master so much is such a limited space. 

The plots are thick and unpredictable, but the turns are very smooth. The characters strong and engaging. No ink is wasted for frivolous descriptions. Each word has a well thought purpose and the reader is given the opportunity (or the challenge) to discover it for themselves. 

I will be rethinking my attitude towards short stories and I pledge to read more of her collections starting with Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You and Too Much Happiness. I cannot promise about my attitude towards dinner duration tough!