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Where I'm Calling From: New and Selected Stories

4.42  ·  Rating Details ·  17,270 Ratings  ·  809 Reviews
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 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 T
Paperback, First Vintage Contemporaries Edition, 544 pages
Published September 12th 2000 by Vintage Contemporaries (first published 1988)
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Sep 09, 2012 s.penkevich rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to s.penkevich by: Peter
It ought to make us feel ashamed when we talk like we know what we're talking about when we talk about love.

Life has a way of breaking even the strongest of hearts, of dashing families, friendships and lovers against the cold rocks of reality, leaving hopes and dreams to drown beneath the waves of approaching days.Through his short life—the chord of life severed by his own vices—Raymond Carver (May 25, 1938 – August 2, 1988) created a body of work that dives into the wreckage of such lives to
Glenn Russell
Nov 28, 2013 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

The typical profile of an American adult reader of literature is a college-educated professional making a decent salary in a choice environment such as the publishing industry, law office, consulting firm or college or university. But how about the other America, populated by men and women worlds away from ever reading literary works, men and women living in the raw-boned land of work boots, crap jobs, hard liquor, chain smokes, trailer camps, hollering from foul mouths and breakdowns from beat-
Feb 24, 2009 Bonnie rated it it was amazing
5 stars

In 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 The final story, called Errand, unpublished at the time of Carver’s untimely death, begins with the
Apr 30, 2012 Perry rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I'm Callin' From Where?
"And everything you love starts to disappear,
The devil takes your hand and says no fear,
'Have another shot, just one more beer.'
Yeah I've been there,
That's why I'm here."
Kenny Chesney, That's Why I'm Here, 1997

The Hoff, Hammered

Upon starting my own literary renaissance, as part of a mid-life identity crisis, about 9 years ago, I hadn't heard of Raymond Carver. On the New Yorker's monthly fiction podcast, I heard a reading of Carver's short story, "Chef's House." I was mo
Obliquity & ellipses define Carver's minimal prose. It's a threadbare style that doesn't give you much to chew on but somehow it captures the threadbare lives scattered across these stories perfectly. There's sadness & desolation here that would numb you to the point of oblivion, the coiling despair tightening & tightening around you like a python's grip till you are swallowed whole into its blackness. Carver takes the ephemera and flotsam of non-descript, everyday life that no one w ...more
Dec 30, 2014 Junta rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Adults
Recommended to Junta by: Haruki Murakami
Murakami on Carver

I've never read so many stories about divorcees, unhappy marriages or relationships, dysfunctional families and alcoholics. Carver's writing was incredibly real, and this collection will definitely stay in my memory - I'll be picking this up again down the track, and maybe I will connect with it on a deeper level as I catch up to the ages of the characters, whom are generally older than 30.

I'd been interested in reading Carver since Haruki Murakami had consistently praised hi
Jun 03, 2008 Tommy rated it it was amazing
Miles Davis once said, when asked why he played such minimalist, modal melodies when his contemporaries were going for the more fevered, manic sound of be-bop, "I try to only play the notes that matter."

That's Raymond Carver. Sparse, deceptively simple, and capable of tearing your soul out by hitting the right notes, consistently, and with purity.

Some 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 image
Jun 19, 2007 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: men, modern literature fans, people who haven't read any Carver
A band I loved in high school -- Peter Parker, of course -- had a song named "Where I'm Calling From," which was based on the title of this book, so I was implored to pick it up.

I started read it there and then, and while I think some of the brilliance was hard for my young mind to grasp, there was plenty of it that I could appreciate, despite my naivete. "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" is one of my runaway favorites - I tried to do my own short story tribute to it (but failed miser
Aug 17, 2013 rahul rated it it was amazing
The Stories included here are:

Nobody Said Anything
The Student's Wife
They're not your Husband
What do you do in San Fransico?
What's in Alaska?
Put Yourself in My Shoes
Are these actual Miles?
One More Thing
Little Things
Why Don't you Dance?
A Serious Talk
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
The Third Thing That Killed my Father Off
So Much water so close to Home
The Calm
Where I'm Calling From
Chef's House
Ciao Ray,
stasera pensavo a te. Ho preso la tua raccolta di racconti preferiti e ne ho riletti alcuni. Non capisco perché alcuni miei amici, pur apprezzandoti, ritengano che tu sia deprimente. Io trovo forza nelle tue storie, anche disperazione, ma nessuno dei tuoi personaggi si compiange e non fa nulla, anzi. C'è un' accecante passione verso la vita, il fare, il ripromettersi che la prossima volta non commetteranno lo stesso errore, anche se sbagliano ancora e ancora. Ma Dio, siamo uomini, no? C
Nov 14, 2008 Joseph rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Joseph by: A professor I met in Croatia(East Michigan State) with whom I sp
Suffice it to say that Carver is universally recognized as one of the leading lights of Modern American Fiction.Admired by college professors as well as more casual readers, Carver is as enjoyable a read as you will find.Choosing his heroes from everyday life, Carver is that rare writer who is both well respected yet easy to read.
With Carver, it's difficult to choose a favorite.Each story is of the highest quality , a reflection of just how consistent a fine writer Carver is.While this collecti
Jim Fonseca
Feb 16, 2015 Jim Fonseca rated it it was amazing
A collection of short stories from a writer considered by many to be one the master of the modern short story. Many of the stories have a flavor of the author’s youth (let’s say the 1940’s and 50’s since Carver was born in 1938 and died at age 50) even though they were written in the 1970’s and 1980’s. The stories have acquired a patina of quaintness from that era: boys on bikes going fishing in the local creek; door-to-door salesmen; everyone smokes; everyone drinks scotch; the mailman knows ev ...more
Feb 11, 2016 Ju$tin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories

i enjoyed most of the stories. two in particular that i really enjoyed were elephant (best ending) and a small good thing (all around great. tearjerker) read it. highly recommend.

this review would be much better buttttt i lost my notes.
Aug 12, 2009 Manny rated it really liked it
I seem to be one of the few people who managed to read this before seeing the Altman film Short Cuts, which is based on nine of the stories. I also like Short Cuts more than most of my friends. Possibly there's some connection.
Larry Bassett
Oct 09, 2011 Larry Bassett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
When I read a book of short stories, I usually wait eagerly for the title story, the one that the book is named after. And then I wonder how that selection was made. In this case the stories are gathered from several previous collections but only one was chosen to be the title of the book. Often in the review of a book of short stories, like this one, the reviewer will summarize several stories to give you a flavor of the book. Other reviewers have done that with Where I’m Calling From so I will ...more
Quarantadue Larisposta
Elefante, ovvero l'importanza di esserci per gli altri

Carver amava la filosofia della libertà di Jaspers e forse mai, come in questo racconto, è riuscito a dimostrare quanto sia catartico scoprire chi si è nel mondo. In questa puntata di 42 si parla del nostro ruolo nelle relazioni, di scelte e, ovviamente, di filosofia della libertà dalla musica degli Smiths.
Sep 10, 2016 Pantelis rated it it was amazing
Βecause of Carver, I became addicted to american short stories in my early twenties, more than twenty years ago. I am still hooked... Actually, one of his main themes is the struggle against addiction. Another is failure. And the need for love. They are all connected... I am a fan of his minimalistic, elliptical early pieces (his editor urged him to cut, like Pound edited T.S.Eliot) but I also admire his later, "uncut" stories, the lyrical ones. Especially his last one, " Errand", written before ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
May 30, 2010 Elizabeth (Alaska) rated it it was amazing
Why should a collection of short stories published in 1983 be included in Bloom's Western Canon, published in 1994? If the definition of the Western Canon is said to include those works which have most influenced Western culture, then surely this collection would not have had time to do so. Instead, I think it is a collection which reflects a small segment of that culture.

At first I read several stories in one sitting. They seemed so much alike to me that I decided to read one or two a few after
Kat Hagedorn
Mar 09, 2010 Kat Hagedorn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, fiction

There's something about reading short stories that really appeals to me. 1) They go by fast. 2) There's a whole cosmos in 10 pages. 3) Only the best can do them right.

I'd never read a Carver story, but I have seen Short Cuts (based on Carver stories). A couple of those are in this collection, notably "A Good Small Thing" (which you'll remember as the Lyle Lovett piece)-- breath-taking in its depth and breadth of emotion. Most of Carver's stories are about drinking and ex
Mar 11, 2008 Kyle rated it it was amazing
Stories about people who are unhappy, will be unhappy, don't know they're unhappy, or are just getting over being unhappy and are almost always drunk or drinking either way. That's a generalization, but a pretty fair one. If you haven't read Raymond Carver before, you should.

Too much at one time and their tone becomes a dirge, and some stories are so Carveresque that they read like parodies of themselves (i.e. "One More Thing", "Little Things", and "A Serious Talk"), but for the most past they
May 24, 2007 Mary rated it really liked it
I read most of the stories in here about six years ago, but I'm rereading "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love" right now, and then maybe some others. It's because of this article from the New Yorker:

and the version of that story that's also included that is supposedly Carver's preferred draft. The relationship between him and his editor is awfully unsettling to me, and I'd like to decide which version of the story I actually prefer. I just finishe
Erin Carey
Jun 19, 2012 Erin Carey rated it did not like it
I do not normally like short stories, I am a fan of the longer novels that really develop a storyline, characters, plot, and have a true climax and ending. However at the beginning of Carver's collection of short stories I was interested in their variety. By time I had read half of the book, I had realized that this variety was actually just a collection of various ways people are depressed and hate their lives. The whole collection to me was just disturbing, depressing, or pointless. I do not d ...more
Aug 10, 2015 Neil rated it really liked it
Reading Raymond Carver is akin to listening to a friend telling story of past experience on a warm sunny afternoon with the joy and sadness of any good tale.
It is like eavesdropping on someones inner feelings or spying on someones personal life, but always a good read and a pleasure to read.
Adrian Stumpp
Raymond Carver is generally accepted as the master of the contemporary American short story, and while I have a knee-jerk balk at such high praise of Carver's work, no one more deserving of the epithet comes immediately to mind. Don't get me wrong. I love Carver. He's a very good, very talented, subtle, and perceptive writer. On the other hand, I do not believe he's a very good stroyteller. What he pens aren't exactly page-turners. I've read stories that were difficult to describe because so muc ...more
May 05, 2015 R. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
An exhausting collection of troubling tales. The saddest story isn't in this 526-page roundup, but rather is the story surrounding this roundup: it is evident that Carver, at the tale end of his life, was just starting to do his best work -- he'd finally worked a lot of that boozy machismo out of his system and was beginning to finally dive to true depths in his writing.

At the time of publication, at the time of death, Carver had only just reached his 50th birthday, and would no doubt have cont
Feb 09, 2011 William rated it liked it
I first read Raymond Carver in 1993, and enjoyed the few pieces I read. I never forgot his name, and in 2005 purchased this book, a collection of his best work. It has been on the top of my TBR pile ever since.
It is almost impossible to miss the slow and subtle changes in Carver's writing style as he delivers this collection to us. The first 15 stories are rarely more than fifteen pages long, sparsely detailed and not always clear about what the author is trying to say. The best of this first lo
Meghan Pinson
Jan 24, 2012 Meghan Pinson rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I've been reading these stories over the last few years, one or two or three at a time when I feel like it & when it's the best book within reach. I can't read them all at once; it's a big book with a lot of stories, and most of them are about drinking and leaving and love, which sounds depressing but isn't. Ray Carver's level, masculine style reminds me of Hemingway's delivery, but Carver doesn't get in the way like Hemingway did. Even when he writes a beautiful line that approaches sentime ...more
Feb 18, 2015 Peter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-english
I wanted to reread Carver's short stories after having read Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral, Fires and Elephant in the last couple of years. So I decided to get a copy of Where I'm Calling From, a rather large best-of-collection put together shortly before his death in 1988, with 37 of the best stories he ever wrote. I'd say that the only flaw is that the beautiful and moving title story of his first book, 'Will You Please Be Quiet, Please ...more
Ami Kreider
Oct 24, 2016 Ami Kreider rated it it was amazing
If you find yourself relating to Raymond Carver's stories, you probably belong in therapy and/or rehab. The catch: he casts such a wide net in his every-dysfunctional-man tales, that most people could relate to at least one of them. At his best, whether he's writing about alcoholism or crumbling marriages or irreconcilable loneliness or bad parenting or the violence and selfishness within us, Carver delivers like a punch to the gut. I don't know why I reread him so often-the experience is akin t ...more
Feb 05, 2015 Cristina rated it really liked it
Shelves: estadounidense
Retrato de la América real a modo de patchwork hilvanado con retazos de vidas ordinarias, aparentemente carentes de interés que, sin embargo, devienen universales por su cercanía y cotidianidad.

Sobre el estilo del autor, me gusta cómo lo resume él mismo aquí al hablar del odio que siente hacia lo que denomina “trucos” a la hora de leer y escribir: http://literaryjukebox.brainpickings.....

Recomendable la adaptación cinematográfica de Robert Altman, Vidas cruzadas (1993).

*no he leído el libro que
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Book review 1 7 Aug 03, 2014 05:12PM  
Where I'm Calling From 3 28 Jul 29, 2014 09:24PM  
Carver 1 12 Jun 18, 2013 07:04PM  
Where I'm Calling From 3 11 Jun 18, 2013 05:45PM  
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Carver was born into a poverty-stricken family at the tail-end of the Depression. The son of a violent alcoholic, he married at 19, started a series of menial jobs and his own career of 'full-time drinking as a serious pursuit', a career that would eventually kill him. Constantly struggling to support his wife and family, Carver enrolled in a writing programme under author John Gardner in 1958. He ...more
More about Raymond Carver...

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“I loved you so much once. I did. More than anything in the whole wide world. Imagine that. What a laugh that is now. Can you believe it? We were so intimate once upon a time I can't believe it now. The memory of being that intimate with somebody. We were so intimate I could puke. I can't imagine ever being that intimate with somebody else. I haven't been.” 584 likes
“I've crossed some kind of invisible line. I feel as if I've come to a place I never thought I'd have to come to. And I don't know how I got here. It's a strange place. It's a place where a little harmless dreaming and then some sleepy, early-morning talk has led me into considerations of death and annihilation.” 424 likes
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