Friday, March 29

Book Review: Dance of the Happy Shades

Title: Dance of the Happy Shades

Author: Alice Munro

Pages: 199

Summary: In the stories that make up Dance of the Happy Shades, the deceptive calm of small-town life is brought memorably to the page, revealing the countryside of Southwestern Ontario to be home to as many small sufferings and unanticipated emotions as any place. This is the book that earned Alice Munro a devoted readership and established her as one of Canada's most beloved writers. Winner of the Governor General's Award for Fiction, Dance of the Happy Shades is Alice Munro's first short story collection.


Walker Brothers Cowboy
The Shinning Houses
Thanks for the Ride
The Office
An Ounce of Cure
The Time of Death
Days of the Butterfly
Boys and Girls
Red Dress-1946
Sunday Afternoon
A Trip to the Coast
A Peace of Utrecht
Dance of the Happy Shade

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Another great collection from the author, it's not her best, but considering this was her first collection of short stories, I was very impressed with the quality of writing, characterization and plot development throughout the collect - especially compared to her other collections - it is one that same level of quality.

My favourite short stories from the collection where; The Office, Time of Death and Boys and Girls. Time of Death in particular was a very memorable read, and somewhat haunting. I enjoyed how Munro set the story up and brought it to life. The Office is also another story, which stuck out for me - and for such a short story it was done very well. With strong characterization and plot, the story is probably the one that sticks with me the most (it may be my second favourite, but it's the one I remember the most). All of the stories in the collection are well done, Walker Brothers Cowboy for example, while it wasn't my favourite, it was a story I enjoyed reading and during my short time with it, I wanted to see how it would play out. Which is an aspect of the author's writing I appreciate, her ability to make me want to read more, in such a short period of time. Munro is also able bring life to all of her short stories and the characters in them - this collection of course is no exception.

Another great read, by one of my favourite Canadian authors, and one that is well worth reading.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was another great collection by the author, not my favourite but extremely well done - especially considering this was her first collection of short stories published by her, it is well worth checking out.

What to read next: Canadian short story collections

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, Mount TBR Challenge


  1. I just bought her latest collection, and though I haven't had the tie to read it yet, I have been getting daily recaps of the stories over at Buried In Print. She seems to be a very prolific author, and one that I haven't tried yet. I am excited to get started!

  2. She is a very prolific author. I've also been following Buried in Prints recaps of the latest collection. It will be interesting to read it and compare it to her first. I hope you enjoy the collection when you read it.