Too Much Happiness

Too Much Happiness

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Brilliantly paced, lit with sparks of danger and underlying menace, these are dazzling, provocative stories about Svengali men and the radical women who outmanoeuvre them, about destructive marriages and curdled friendships, about mothers and sons, about moments that change or haunt a life. Alice Munro takes on complex, even harrowing emotions and events, and renders them into stories that surprise, amaze, and shed light on the unpredictable ways we accommodate what happens in our lives.

Munro's unsettling stories turn lives into art, and expand our world and our understanding of the strange workings of the human heart.

Publisher: Toronto : Penguin, 2012.
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780143171720
Branch Call Number: MUN
Characteristics: xv, 267 pages ;,20 cm.


From Library Staff

Like Etta and Otto and Russell and James, this book shares the genre of literary fiction and the subject Canada. Unlike Emma Hooper's single story this collection offers nine new short fiction stories by Alice Munroe. Capturing the intimate lives of complex characters and difficult events. She s... Read More »

Also available in large print and audiobook CD.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 26, 2017

Too Much Happiness is the title of one story in this collection, and certainly not an over-arcing theme. Many of the stories are intense or downright grim. Intense, because Munro is a master of creating the whole world of each story in 30 pages, and reeling in the reader with her meticulous detail and ingenious plotting where the hook is rarely ever what the story is *about*. Along the way we’re treated to penetrating and shrewd gems about, oh, so many aspects of ordinary life. With short story collections I usually read only one a day to let it roll around in me, but couldn’t help myself – sometimes gobbled two in a day.

Jan 10, 2015

I didn't like all the stories -- I suppose you expect that in a "collection" -- but, as a math girl, I loved the story about Sonya Kovalevsky. She should have done the research tho to find out that Poincare was mostly known as "Henri."

Jul 16, 2013

Very good stories, some are a bit too "accidental" but all the same excellent.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 22, 2013

The latest collection from Munro investigates loneliness, regret, loss,
and death in her typically elegant style. Her characters are ordinary people trying to piece together a life or accept a broken one. Fans of the prize-winning Munro will take pleasure in this book and those unfamiliar with her work will find a treasure.

Mar 03, 2013

** stars. Again I am not a fan of unrelated short story collections. Often a better title for this book might be Too Much Despair.

Oct 31, 2011

I tried to do this by phone because I didn't have my computer with me. The time allowed to input the bar code was too short. I had to do it on computer because I had not memorized my bar code.

ksoles May 19, 2011

Yes, I know Alice Munro is one of the most successful story-tellers in Canada and, yes, I know she is extremely talented and profound. Even so, her writing has never really appealed to me; I have always found it tedious, unrelatable and melodramatic. But with all the buzz and praise surrounding Munro's newest collection, Too Much Happiness, I figured I'd give it a try like a good Canadian.

In the story "Face" , Munro writes: "In your life there are a few places, or maybe only the one place, where something happened, and then there are all the other places." The idea of place forms a central theme of this collection as characters connect their surroundings to life-changing and often terribly dark events such as a freak accident, a home invasion and an extreme case of childhood cruelty.

Out of the ten stories, I really enjoyed four. "Dimensions," "Fiction," "Wenlock Edge" and "Free Radicals" all engaged my attention and featured strong, creative women triumphing in difficult (and often creepy) circumstances. The other stories were more or less consistent with my general evaluation of Munro's work: dry and irrelevant. Unfortunately, I felt that the worst mistake of the book was the disjointed and extraneous title story, "Too Much Happiness," which is based on the real life of Russian mathematician Sophia Kovalevsky.

Ultimately, the collection did confirm my appreciation of Munro though she definitely doesn't sit among my favourites. I guess I'm just not Canadian enough...

Apr 12, 2011

I had a difficult time remembering if I read these? Pretty brainless forgettable read.

Apr 09, 2011

Overall this book was terrible. only 2 stories worth looking at, "free radicals" and "childs play".
At the end of some stories, I had to ask myself ...."and so what?" as they weren't very good.
Overall the book gave the impression of a middle aged writer conveying how she missed out on some things in life and coupled that thought with some stories she heard about regular people.

Mar 01, 2011

very in depth and compassionate

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Jan 19, 2011

buddhfrog10 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number



Find it at EPL

To Top