Short Stories

I first read Alice Munro’s work  when I cleverly talked my way into a 300 level university english class back in the day.  I hadn’t taken english at any level in post-secondary school but I was quite certain that a 100 level class was far below my level of english expertise and was really an insult to my very intelligent english mind.  (ha!)

Apparently in my youth I was a) extremely arrogant

b)  quite bold as to request such a thing


c)  somewhat deluded

I’m going with C.   However, I went to the first class, the prof let me in and I was off!

We read a lot of canadian literature in this class and Alice Munro was just one of the authors I remember enjoying so when I saw a collection of her short stories at Costco I decided to pick it up.

I’ve read 3 now and am halfway through the 4th and I’ve learned something about myself.  Not because the stories themselves have enlightened me but because of their length.  I think I dislike short stories!

I remember watching CSI ( I think that’s what it was) once and completely loving the intricately woven plot of danger and excitement and proclaimed at the end, “I have to watch that next week!  I can’t wait to see what happens to her!”  It was then that someone wiser than I (that would be my hubby)  shattered my world and told me that said girl wouldn’t be on next week.  Each week its a new dilemma with new people and new investigations.  How horrible, I thought.  I need to know more.  Where does she go?  What happens to her daughter?

I’m finding myself feeling the same way about this collection of short stories.  While it’s a nice little peek into the characters worlds it leaves me wanting more.  Which, I guess, is a sign of good writing but I find myself coming to the end and feel so unsatisfied.  Annoyed, even.

I will continue.  There’s only been one book in my life that I started and didn’t finish.  So I must carry on.  But I don’t think I’ll be purchasing such a collection again any time soon.

What about you?  Do you enjoy short stories?  Or do you end up annoyed like me?


3 thoughts on “Short Stories

  1. i am most emphatically NOT a fan of the short story. and for many of your same reasons. they don’t delve in the way i’d like, for obvious reasons.


  2. I never really thought about it before but I think I am a fan of short stories. I love a good short story to read before bed that will end and not leave me wanting to read “just one more chapter” and before I know it its way too late! Barbara Kingsolver’s collections are definitely among my favorite as well as Jennifer Weiner’s short stories, Anne Lamott’s, Madeleine L’Engle, hmmm I know there is more….


  3. First off, Jenn, meet jen. I’m so happy one of you capitalizes your name and adds an “n” while the other goes with lower case. I have so many friends named Jen, it’s slightly ridiculous!

    I think what I may have to do with the short stories is save them for summer. It seems like more appropriate reading for a day at the beach when all I get is 15 minute intervals. For this season of lots of inside days and reading by a cozy fireplace I think I need a good ol’ novel.

    That said, any recommendations from you two?


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