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Download Dear Life: Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Dear Life: Stories Audiobook, by Alice Munro Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,779 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alice Munro Narrator: Kimberly Farr, Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9780307939371
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Alice Munro’s peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but always spacious and timeless stories is once again everywhere apparent in this brilliant new collection. In story after story, she illumines the moment a life is forever altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken, or by a simple twist of fate that turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into a new way of being or thinking. A poet, finding herself in alien territory at her first literary party, is rescued by a seasoned newspaper columnist, and is soon hurtling across the continent, young child in tow, toward a hoped-for but completely unplanned meeting. A young soldier, returning to his fiancée from the Second World War, steps off the train before his stop and onto the farm of another woman, beginning a life on the move. A wealthy young woman having an affair with the married lawyer hired by her father to handle his estate comes up with a surprising way to deal with the blackmailer who finds them out.

While most of these stories take place in Munro’s home territory, the small Canadian towns around Lake Huron, the characters sometimes venture to the cities, and the book ends with four pieces set in the area where she grew up, and in the time of her own childhood: stories “autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact.” A girl who can’t sleep imagines night after wakeful night that she kills her beloved younger sister. A mother snatches up her child and runs for dear life when a crazy woman comes into her yard.

Suffused with Munro’s clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these tales about departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, and outgoings and homecomings both imagined and real, paint a radiant, indelible portrait of how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With her penetrating new collection, Alice Munro demonstrates once again why she deserves her reputation as a master of short fiction.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “For the first time, Munro writes about her childhood, in the collection’s final four pieces…These feature the precision of her fiction with the added interest of revealing the development of Munro’s eye and her distance from her surroundings, both key, one suspects in making her the writer she is.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “It’s no surprise that every story in the latest collection by Canada’s Munro is rewarding and that the best are stunning. They leave the reader wondering how the writer manages to invoke the deepest, most difficult truths of human existence in the most plainspoken language…The author knows what matters, and the stories pay attention to it.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Unreserved praise for the continued wonderment provided by arguably the best short-story writer in English today…On whatever level of reader familiarity Munro is working, in every story she finds new ways to make the lives of ordinary people compelling.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for November 2012
  • Selected for the December 2012 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2012 Washington Post Notable Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 NPR Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • Kirkus Reviews Top 25 Book, Best Fiction 2012
  • A 2012 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2012 Trillium Book Award
  • New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books, 2012
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2013 Nobel Prizein Literature

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica | 2/16/2014

    " Great stories. I forgot how much I enjoy short stories and Alice is a master. I had never read Munro before and was pleasantly surprised. The endings to her stories are always left with an unfulfilled promise that only a reader can complete. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 2/10/2014

    " What else can I say besides that I thank the quiet Lord above for guiding my hand in its random selection of Runaway off the shelf at a local Barnes & Noble. Since that fateful day, I've been hooked on Alice Munro's stories, books, and raw, empathy-driven style. Let me elaborate on this futile admiration: If I threw a tea party and could invite any three people in the whole wide world and they, in turn, must attend, Alice Munro would be among them. Dolly Parton and Tina Fey would be the other two. Dolly because she's a legend with as big of heart as her ever-increasing chest region, Tina because she is hilarious, and Alice Munro because she's ALICE F'ING MUNRO. With all this being said, let me get down to the real business of this business and say Dear Life does not disappoint. It carries the same weight of slow-wielding drama and emotional precision as one would expect from classic Munro form. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Trina | 2/8/2014

    " As usual these Alice Munro stories are small masterpieces of understatement. I sincerely hope this really isn't her last book as I've heard she claims. I marvel at the ways in which, in a short piece of fiction, Munro's characters draw me into the drama, which if I summarized what happened in the story, could be done in 2 sentences. The details, the shades of emotion, along with just enough action, make each of these a careful and expert study in the huge range of human nature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 1/30/2014

    " Deceptively simple, great short stories! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura Anthony | 1/26/2014

    " I admit it. I am a huge Munro fan and would probably be favorably disposed towards anything she wrote, but Munro is now in her 80's and still has it going on. I do not look forward to a time when I can't look forward to a new collection of short stories by Munro. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leenaalam | 1/22/2014

    " A great read; four stars instead of five because I felt that many of the characters held you at arms' length... though that was probably the goal. Comparable to Olive Kitteridge, which was perhaps less accomplished, but more compelling. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Theresa | 1/20/2014

    " Maybe the timing wasn't right for me and this book. I felt unmoved, even bored. I think it's something I'll come back to one day though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Toni | 1/18/2014

    " Alice Munro writes the perfect short story, every time. But having read damn near close to every last word the woman has ever written, I think I may finally have hit my fatigue point here -- halfway through, a certain sameness to the stories started to wear just the faintest bit thin. But perhaps that had something to do with the fact that she'd already published (and I'd already read) a bunch of them in the New Yorker. And I still absolutely maintain that if you haven't yet read Alice Munro, immediate remedial steps are in order. Start anywhere, everything she's written is perfect. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/16/2014

    " 5+ stars, wonderful collection of short stories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 1/14/2014

    " Every time, I read a book by Alice Munro it is a treat, and even though I have read so many of her stories, I am still surprised by some of the topics and endings she creates. This is a great,introspective read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niki | 12/19/2013

    " Oh Alice Munro! You are wonderful. While this wasn't my favourite collection of hers, it's still really very good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Diane Eichler | 11/29/2013

    " had to abandon this one... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Douglas | 7/24/2013

    " I loved this book, as I knew I would. What's not to love about an Alice Munro collection of short stories? I particularly treasured the last four stories -- the autobiographical works -- because they allowed me a peek at the life of a writer I have admired for so long. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Khris Sellin | 6/16/2013

    " Beautiful stories about how one snap decision or one quick encounter can change your whole life. Never shiny happy tales but always entertaining. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Gluckman | 5/29/2013

    " A terrific collection of mesmerizing short stories that go beyond mere time and space, all while centering in and around Munro's home city of Toronto. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/15/2013

    " Munro brings the characters in her stories to life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cecilia | 5/10/2013

    " Really liked it.. some storeies I loved - some stories left you wanting more...writing was great! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Spaulding | 5/6/2013

    " Great book of short stories, I especially like the last four memoir/autobiographical ones "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda Carver | 2/26/2013

    " Nothing really remarkable. A nice, relaxing book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 12/8/2012

    " I would actually give this book 3.5 stars. It was an interesting read. "

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About the Author
Author Alice Munro

Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, grew up in Wingham, Ontario, and attended the University of Western Ontario. She has published eleven collections of stories and two volumes of selected stories, as well as a novel. During her distinguished career she has been the recipient of many awards and prizes, including three of Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Awards and two of its Giller Prizes, the Rea Award for the Short Story, the Lannan Literary Award, England’s W. H. Smith Book Award, the United States’ National Book Critics Circle Award, the Edward MacDowell Medal in literature, and the Man Booker International Prize. Her stories have appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, and other publications, and her collections have been translated into thirteen languages. She lives in Clinton, Ontario, near Lake Huron.

About the Narrators

Kimberly Farr is an actress and eight-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award for narration. She has appeared on Broadway and at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout Theatre, Playwright’s Horizons, and the American Place. She created the role of “Eve” in Arthur Miller’s first and only musical, Up from Paradise, which was directed by the author. She appeared with Vanessa Redgrave in the Broadway production of The Lady from the Sea and has acted in regional theaters across the country, including a performance in the original production of The 1940’s Radio Hour at Washington, DC’s Arena Stage.

Arthur Morey has won three AudioFile Magazine “Best Of” Awards: in 2011 for Biography and History, in for History and Historical Fiction, and in 2009 for Nonfiction and Culture. His work has also garnered multiple AudioFile Earphones awards, and he has been nominated for an Audie Award. He graduated from Harvard and did graduate work at the University of Chicago. He has won awards for his fiction and drama, worked as an editor with several book publishers, and taught literature and writing at Northwestern University. As a narrator, he has received nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and been a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award.