Saturday, October 24, 2009
I read/heard somewhere someone raving on about Alice Munro's short stories and recommending her 2004 collection, 'Runaway'. I ordered it from the Book Depository and it arrived a month or two back. I read the first story, also called 'Runaway', and wasn't exactly blown away. I put the book down for a couple of weeks, but then the 'New York Times Book Review Best Book of the Year' gold sticker on the front kept calling my name. I figured if they thought it was THAT good then, perhaps, I should give it another go, so I did. The next three stories are fantastic. They're all linked through the central character and present different slices of her life. I am starting to see why Ms Munro is so highly esteemed. The world she has created in three 'chapters' is deep, layered and totally believable. I do, however, find the writing style to be a little disconcerting. The narrator seems to know too much, and sometimes I hear the author's voice coming through, which bumps me right out of the story. That being said though, the characters pull you back in. You want to know more. There are four more stories, not linked, from what I can tell, to those I've just read. If they're as good, I'll be very happy indeed.