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Where I’m Calling From

download Å eBook or Kindle ePUB Ä Raymond Carver Raymond Carver Ä 3 summary read Where I’m Calling From It in the imaginations of thousands of readers 'Where I'm Calling From' his last collection encompasses classic stories from 'Cathedral' 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love' and earlier Carver 5 starsIn keeping with my study of the short story I figured it was about time I picked up Raymond Carver Call me a late bloomer The only story I had previously read by him was Cathedral which is excellent This is basically a story about a skeptical somewhat superficial man who is taught by a blind man how to see The 37 stories in this 526 page collection are arranged chronologically The final story called Errand unpublished at the time of Carver s untimely death begins with the single word sentence Chekhov Carver is often compared to Chekhov who also died at a young age Carver has also often been described as a minimalist I understand this description but find it somewhat simplistic Sure he uses simple language in short sentences but when reuired he gives plenty of time and space to establish the raw material he needs to make a character s growth believable Carver s characters are often summed up as ordinary people as any random person we might pass in the street at first glance His genius was to use this superficial first impression then to make great use of sub text to reveal deep characterization Another oft heard idea about Carver is that he employed trickery and would throw the reader a curve ball at the end I would contend that Carver used techniue to lull the reader like the sleeper yo yo move stringing the reader out only to bring closure with a snap with a uick flick the meaning of the story is disclosed In the case of A Small Good Thing I cried As for What s In Alaska when I realized what was really going on in this couple s marriage I abruptly stopped laughing Carver had played me as a reader and I was left in awe at his skill It s worthwhile picking up this book even if you choose not to read every story This is the first time I ve read an entire collection of short stories without interruption But do read as well as the ones above Elephant So Much Water So Close to Home and the title story Where I m Calling From These stories stay with you They are uniuely Carver no one could possibly imitate him because I don t even believe they can be categorized And the final seven stories published after Carver s death show that he was heading in a new direction Even at that point he had established himself as one of the best short story writers out there How far and where he might have gone is anyone s guess

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download Å eBook or Kindle ePUB Ä Raymond Carver Raymond Carver Ä 3 summary read Where I’m Calling From Volumes along with seven new works previosly unpublished in book form Together these 37 stories give us a superb overview of Carver's life work and show us why he was so widely imitated but never eualed Miles Davis once said when asked why he played such minimalist modal melodies when his contemporaries were going for the fevered manic sound of be bop I try to only play the notes that matterThat s Raymond Carver Sparse deceptively simple and capable of tearing your soul out by hitting the right notes consistently and with puritySome of these stories sometimes didn t even strike me as I read them I d put the book down walk away and hours later not be able to shake the images Other times I d read a line and feel ashamed for my abuse of adjectives and hyperbole as a writer right then and there Carver cuts through it all and delivers the literary version of Kind of Blue in the process

download Å eBook or Kindle ePUB Ä Raymond Carver

download Å eBook or Kindle ePUB Ä Raymond Carver Raymond Carver Ä 3 summary read Where I’m Calling From By the time of his early death in 1988 Raymond Carver had established himself as one of the greatest practitioners of the American short story a writer who had not only found his own voice but imprinted I wanted the first book I read in 2018 to be special and this classic selection of stories by Raymond Carver the final book he published during his lifetime he died in 1988 at the incredibly young age of 50 fit the billHere presented in chronological order are 37 stories representing than two decades work Some of them are among the most powerful and influential works of short fiction published in the late 20th century Most are written in a clear unpretentious voice that s suffused with wisdom and hearty good humour but also a particular kind of pathos that Carver captured and knew so wellHis characters are ordinary people often from the Pacific Northwest struggling to get by and faced for the time of the story with a significant complication A couple s child might be in a coma after being struck by a car on his birthday A Small Good Thing a man might draw on his own history of violence to defend his son accused of stealing a bicycle Bicycles Muscles Cigarettes another man might worry about his restless constantly dissatisfied elderly mother Boxes Most of these stories are about marriages breaking up slowly or suddenly The marriage might have broken up already and a man it s usually a man can t deal with it he drops by his ex wife s home after he s trashed it in a jealous rage during the Christmas holidays A Serious Talk he s tasked with finding a babysitterhousekeeper for his two children Fever he s obsessed with a blockage in his ear while living on his own and constantly drinking champagne Careful Several stories feature male protagonists who are out of work while their wives take on jobs They re Not Your Husband Put Yourself In My Shoes Are These Actual Miles Vitamins And oh yeah there are drinkers Lots of drinkers Many conversations take place in a boozy haze of distraction and false cheer One of the saddest stories I ve ever read is called Gazebo about a couple who have holed themselves up in a room at the motel where they work while they drink and hash out their marital problems ignoring the customers at receptionIt contains the following paragraph about the couple s relationship to alcohol Drinking s funny When I look back on it all of our important decisions have been figured out when we were drinking Even when we talked about having to cut back on our drinking we d be sitting at the kitchen table or out at the picnic table with a six pack or whiskey And this one line in the story simply yet profoundly captures their end of the line desperation There was this funny thing of anything could happen now that we realized everything had WowReading these stories in a short period of time made me sensitive to some of Carver s techniues The faux epiphany In my review of Carver s Cathedral I already pointed out his sometimes contrived use of the narrator simply stumbling upon an epiphany I noticed it here too I don t know why but it s then I recall the affectionate name my dad used sometimes when he was talking to my mother Boxes and I d like to say it was at this moment as I stood in the fog watching her drive off that I remembered a black and white photograph of my wife holding her wedding bouuet Blackbird Pie These passages are like the author nudging us to think Oh here s the significance The story within the story Carver is excellent at having characters tell tales within tales And sometimes as in Whoever Was Using This Bed and The Student s Wife the story will become a monologue Incidentally both of these stories feature insomniacs As someone who watches a lot of plays I m sad Carver didn t write for the theatre His dialogue is so good Yes I know the films Birdman and Short Cuts draw on his work The humour I didn t appreciate just how funny Carver could be until I read What Do You Do In San Francisco a story narrated by a postman who tells us about a beatnik couple who move into the neighbourhood on his route The man s nosiness and judgements on the young couple perhaps modelled after the young Carver and his then wifegirlfriend are so amusing I literally laughed out loud while reading them He shows doesn t tell Carver can describe a gesture that in a few words precisely captures what a person s thinking He doesn t have to tell you someone s depressed or sad By showing you what they re doing you know thatSigh Writing all this makes me a little dissatisfied Picking apart Carver s stories like this takes away a bit of their magic There s a mystery at the heart of stories like Fat Cathedral A Small Good Thing Fever Why Don t You Dance and Are These Actual Miles that should stay mysteries They suggest profound things about the human condition our frailties our contradictions our attempts at redemption Much has been written about Carver s final published story Errand a loose retelling of the death of Russian playwright and short story master ChekhovThe setting of course is far removed from Carver s other fiction and I m sure it was inspired by the author s feelings about his own impending death But what you realize is that it s not the grand event itself that captures Carver s interest but the little things happening on the sidelines the small moments that only an artist like this surely Chekhov s eual in his insight into human behaviour could capture honour and make real and memorable

  • Paperback
  • 544
  • Where I’m Calling From
  • Raymond Carver
  • English
  • 01 July 2019
  • 9780679722311