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Too Much Happiness: Stories by Alice Munro

Too Much Happiness: Stories (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Alice Munro

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1,442735,225 (3.84)160
Title:Too Much Happiness: Stories
Authors:Alice Munro
Info:Knopf (2009), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:2009-2010 Additions

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Too Much Happiness by Alice Munro (2009)


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English (57)  Spanish (7)  Finnish (3)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  English (72)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
Has Alice Munro written a bad book? I haven't read it yet, if she has. The stories here are all wonderful. The only one that didn't work for me was the closer and title story about Sophia Kovalevski. Was a bit of a departure from her usual sparse style, and the story demanded a bit more detail. The best for me were: Some Women, Fiction, and Wood. Child's Play and Dimensions were also good, if a little more obvious. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Aug 5, 2016 |
A collection of Munro's stories where we are able to meet people who seem real and through her words, have a glimpse into their hearts and minds.
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jun 30, 2016 |
I started this book shortly after my husband died, because something about the misfortune implied by the phrase "too much happiness" struck a chord with me as I struggled with the feeling that perhaps I had been too happy, really, for it to be a sustainable happiness. I couldn't help feeling, for a time, that maybe I had inadvertently and indirectly brought about this crushing loss, because it is the natural order of the universe to balance itself, and maybe the proximate cause of my pain had been, well, an excess of happiness.

That may have been too personal a statement for a book review, but now, having finished this book, I am experiencing a faint echo of that feeling I just described. It took me more than a year to slowly finish this book, putting it away whenever the emotion was too much. In the meantime, of course, Ms. Munro was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. But having read that Ms. Munro is not well enough to attend the Nobel ceremony in her honour, I can't help but feel that the universe is being forced to take her away from us to settle a cosmic imbalance of genius that has existed for too long. She's just too talented.

Fittingly, the last story in this collection is based on a true one, of Europe's first female mathematics professor, who in somewhat Alcottian style finds love and freedom but shortly thereafter dies of pneumonia. Hers is the title story; another instance of too much happiness resolved, apparently, by death.

Perhaps that's a more maudlin reading than Munro intended. Still, there's no denying that her stories drip with sentimental genius. Read her, if you haven't yet, and steel yourself for the rush of pleasure that must nevertheless be balanced by the disappointment of reaching the end. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
Short stories, listened on audio. Interconnection of characters. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
The Germans must have a term for it. Doppel­gedanken, perhaps: the sensation, when reading, that your own mind is giving birth to the words as they appear on the page. Such is the ego that in these rare instances you wonder, “How could the author have known what I was thinking?” Of course, what has happened isn’t this at all, though it’s no less astonishing. Rather, you’ve been drawn so deftly into another world that you’re breathing with someone else’s rhythms, seeing someone else’s visions as your own.

One of the pleasures of reading Alice Munro derives from her ability to impart this sensation. It’s the sort of gift that requires enormous modesty on the part of the writer, who must shun pyrotechnics for something less flashy: an empathy so pitch-­perfect as to be nearly undetectable. But it’s most arresting in the hands of a writer who isn’t too modest — one possessed of a fearless, at times, fearsome, ambition.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Leah Hager Coen (Nov 27, 2009)
Alice Munro knows women. Yes, she’s a genius with words no matter what the subject, evoking lives rich with secret horrors, but it’s her skill at articulating the nuances of the female experience that makes one gasp with the shock of recognition. This collection, set mostly in classic Munro territory—out-of-the-way places around Ontario—boasts as many of these illuminating moments as her other books.
added by Shortride | editThe Atlantic (Nov 1, 2009)
Munro said in her acceptance speech for the Man Booker International Prize, which she was awarded earlier this year, cementing the wide acclaim she now commands, that she is interested not in happy endings but in “meaning… resonance, some strange beauty on the shimmer of the sea”. This remarkable collection certainly captures that – and more of a sense of happiness than might at first seem possible.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alice Munroprimary authorall editionscalculated
Boyce, PleukeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Udina, DolorsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zerning, HeidiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0307269760, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2009: "She hated to hear the word 'escape' used about fiction. She might have argued, not just playfully, that it was real life that was the escape. But this was too important to argue about." Taken from a story called "Free Radicals," this line may be the best way to think about the lives unfolding in Alice Munro's Too Much Happiness. Real life assaults her central characters rather brutally--in the forms of murder and madness, death, divorce, and all manner of deceptions--but they respond with a poise and clarity of thought that's disarming--sometimes, even nonchalant--when you consider their circumstances. Her women move through life, wearing their scars but not so much wearied by them, profoundly intelligent, but also inordinately tender and thoughtful. There's more fact than fiction to these stories, rich in quiet, precise details that make for a beautiful, bewildering read. --Anne Bartholomew

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:34 -0400)

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Nine new short works include the stories of a grieving mother who is aided by a surprising source, a woman's response to a humiliating seduction, and a nineteenth-century Russian âemigrâe's winter journey to the Riviera.

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