Alice Munro, one of the most acclaimed short story writers of our time, is a subtle master who never uses pyrotechnics to dazzle, but who dazzles nonetheless with her clarity and her complete control of language and mood, setting and character. And, luckily for audio aficionados, her clear, unadorned prose is a pleasure to listen to. The View from Castle Rock, faultlessly read by Kimberly Farr, is her most recent collection. Born and brought up in southwest Ontario, Munro delved deeply into her father's family history, going back to their Scottish origins in the late 17th century, and weaving some of their actual letters and a journal into the opening stories. The later section becomes more personal, as she spins her own childhood and coming-of-age into narratives that make the ordinary seem extraordinary. Copyright 2007 BookPage Reviews.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2007 January #5
The beauty of Munro's writing is greatly enhanced by audio. Farr is a fine reader in every respect but oneâ€"her precise pronunciation of each syllable of every word is often distracting and impedes the flow of Munro's conversational prose, so integral a part of her literary achievement. Otherwise, Farr is an intelligent and expressive reader admirably able to handle a variety of characters and accents. Munro's characters and settings have always come out of her rural Canadian upbringing, but this time she fuses autobiography with fiction. The form arises from a conscious search for roots, for family history derived from journals, letters, town records, cemeteries, distant relatives and close neighbors in Scotland, Canada and the U.S. Each selected story is unabridged, and most of the exclusions are the more biographical ones, though the book is not so long that any needed to be cut. As always, Munro's remarkable insights and exquisite storyteller's voice come through, echoing our need to discover and connect to our own dead people, and therefore to life. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 25). (Dec.)[Page 66]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.