People say it's one of the best short story collections ever written. What do you think?
I love that collection, but it leaves me feeling raw and melancholic. Definitely worth dedicating an afternoon to.
I recommend following it up with Cathedral, another short story collection of his that has more...hope, I guess?
I'm a huge fan of Raymond Carver. I definitely suggest reading either What We Talk About When We Talk About Love or Cathedral. Since they're short stories, you could always just try a couple and if you don't like em then don't finish the collection.
Make sure you look for the symbolism, I really like Carver's use of symbolism to connect the details of the story with the story's main theme(s).
The stories are a lot easier to get into if you relate to Carver's general themes as well. Some of these are alcoholism, distrust, affairs, isolation, etc.
I'm going to piggyback off of this post.
OP if, when reading it, you find that what you enjoy most of all is the writing style, definitely hop over to Gordon Lish. He was Carver's editor, and a very big reason why there's such a (imo fantastic) stripped-down prose.
>start reading this and think "huh, it doesn't look like the editor did that much work. I'm not sure why people keep saying he pretty much wrote Carver's books for him
>get to the 8th page
>he is literally writing Carver's book for him
Holy shit lol
i really like 'eleven kinds of loneliness' by yates which i read at a similar time
i mean i guess they're pretty different, but they're weirdly intertwined in my mind as really neat american short stories about the depressive alcoholic middle classes
The reason this sticks with me is because the subject matter of Updike tales often intersect with those of Raymond Carver- a contemporary whose writing is far superior to Updike’s. Yes, carver has his faults. When he writes a bad short story- about one in five- they are really bad: ill-formed, witless, with no narrative arc, and banal ends, not to mention a penchant for having his characters drink their troubles away. Drink also inhabits the good and great stories, many of which inhabit the recent carver anthology I picked up- Where I’m Calling From. In a great Carver tale the characters are self-aware, they have humor, they speak like real people do, and relate to each other in the odd, yet familiar, ways our family and friends do. Yes, they drink too much, more than the average, but that’s a minor quibble, also considering Carver’s tales end with a bang, a memorable image or action that leaves a reader to think long afterwards. Such is not true with Updike. Perhaps it is the Northeastern vs. Northwestern thing? More likely it’s just that Carver was a flat-out far superior fictionist to Updike, at least in the short story form, although Updike’s book leaves me not eager to engage any of his longer fiction, since the short stories are so excruciating.