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Infinite Joe

I like challenging books that make you think, and leave you happy that you did. Typically, I find character driven literary fiction the most satisfying, although I in no way think of myself as a serious literary critic.

Currently reading

Unaccustomed Earth
Jhumpa Lahiri
Progress: 282/333 pages


Runaway - Alice Munro I decided to read this book based on a recommendation in Jonathan Franzen's book Farther Away. Not only will I be reading other recommendations by Franzen, I'll be reading more of Alice Munro as well.

I find Munro's writing style pleasing. Concise and to the point, while still being descriptive, not only with regards to the story, but more importantly, the characters. With hardly a wasted word, Munro packs a lot of feeling into a short story, requiring you to care about her characters in such a limited amount of time, whether you sympathize with their situations, or are frustrated with the choices they have made.

"Trespasses" and "Passion" were solid stories and will stick in my mind for a while, as will "Runaway" (although slightly less so). However, my favorite was the three story arc ("Chance", "Soon", and "Silence") involving Juliet and Penelope. I need to (and will never) know what Penelope was thinking, and I think this is what makes the story so scary and real.

Even my least favorite story "Tricks" (due to the plot reveal, you'll see what I mean) drew me in and had me empathizing with the main character, instead of just rolling my eyes. To be able to take a hackneyed, soap-opera-ish plot, and not make it seem so......well, soapy, takes talent, and Munro certainly has plenty of that.

I enjoyed this book, and look forward to reading more of Munro.