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Cathedral

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  18,133 Ratings  ·  859 Reviews
Raymond Carver’s third collection of stories, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, including the canonical titular story about blindness and learning to enter the very different world of another. These twelve stories mark a turning point in Carver’s work and “overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life. . . . Carver is a writer of astonishing compas ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published June 18th 1989 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Vivia Boe This short story leaves an impression that stays with you; no need to re-read.
Perfectly constructed and a classic for the ages. A great entryway to…more
This short story leaves an impression that stays with you; no need to re-read.
Perfectly constructed and a classic for the ages. A great entryway to the less uplifting stories for which Raymond Carver is so justly famous. Right up there with the best short stories you have ever read.(less)
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42nd out of 2,128 books — 1,589 voters
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106th out of 1,308 books — 1,442 voters


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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Glenn Russell
Mar 19, 2016 Glenn Russell rated it it was amazing


Black Painting No. 34, 1964 by American Artist, Ad Reinhardt

A dozen Raymond Carver stories collected here as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series. Since others have synopsized and commented on all twelve, I’ll share some short-short cuts from the title story, my reflections on a real Carver doozy, a story I dearly love. Here goes:

Cathedral
The Blind Man: The narrator’s wife is bringing her old friend, a blind man, home for a visit since the blind man made the trip to Connecticut to vis
...more
Glenn Sumi
Raymond Carver is one of the most influential writers of the late 20th century, and this volume, published five years before his tragically early death at 50, has the feel of an American classic.

It includes some of his most famous short stories: “Feathers,” “Chef’s House," “A Small, Good Thing,” “Vitamins,” “Where I’m Calling From” and the mysterious title tale.

I’ve read and studied some of the stories before, but this was my first time reading the book cover to cover. Here are a few observatio
...more
Camille Stein
Dec 30, 2015 Camille Stein rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition


'Cathedral' - Anne Manteleers - graphic designer + illustrator - http://ow.ly/vtAbV






Los sueños son eso de lo que uno se despierta.

...

La maestría de Raymond Carver proviene de la narración rigurosa e impasible de lo cotidiano; y en lo cotidiano se incluyen a partes iguales lo tedioso y lo terrible, lo lógico y lo absurdo.

Sin aspavientos, sin artificios, con cierto cansancio en la exposición de los hechos, Carver confiere tanto valor a lo que cuenta como a lo que no menciona: las referencias espac
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Paul Bryant
Just another genius collection of laconic grimly funny or just grim short stories by Carver, like his other four. My favourites :

“Feathers”. A guy and his wife are invited for dinner at a workmate’s house. Bud and Olla have a peacock and a really ugly baby. (“Even calling it ugly does it credit.”)

“Preservation”. A guy loses his job and his life disintegrates. The fridge breaks down. His wife gets ready to go to an auction to buy a new one. That's all, folks.

“A Small Good Thing”. A boy is hit b
...more
Dustin
Nov 28, 2007 Dustin rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life, sent me on my way to becoming a writer, and quite literally was the reason my girlfriend and I got together. Yeah. Soul mates. Me and Carver.
Cosimo
Jan 26, 2016 Cosimo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simboli inesauribili

“E' solo che, sapete, quando si scrivono racconti, i nostri peggiori nemici siamo solo noi stessi, capite? O siamo lì che mettiamo cose di cui non c'è davvero bisogno, di cui il lettore può fare benissimo a meno – possiamo infatti presumere che il lettore riempia i nostri vuoti da solo – oppure nascondiamo quel che conta sul serio. Insomma, secondo me qui c'è già tutto”. Da Il mestiere di scrivere

Ti racconta cose possibili e reali, Raymond Carver. La sua voce è così intensa,
...more
PGR Nair
Aug 16, 2011 PGR Nair rated it it was amazing
The title Story "cathedral" is one of the best American stories of last century.

The theme is the communication gap that isolates relationships. The narrator drinks too much and seems unable to adequately communicate with his wife. The wife has earlier tried to commit suicide because of loneliness. Both the narrator and his wife are unable to effectively communicate with one another; however, his wife communicates freely and well with the blind man. The narrator is very resistant to getting to kn
...more
J.P.
Sep 28, 2007 J.P. rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: short story writers, short fiction fans
On Christmas Eve, 1989, I sat in my room as snow fell outside. I was 20 years old. That night, I read this book cover-to-cover. I didn't mean to---Carver's voice and characters just grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. It's one of the few books I've ever read in one sitting.

These characters, I found, weren't like 'made-up' people from most other fiction I'd read up to that time. They were my friends, neighbors, coworkers---and to some extent, me.

Upon completing Cathedral, I was certain of t
...more
Lucrezia
Dec 02, 2014 Lucrezia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Per capire che atmosfera si respiri nei dodici racconti di "Cattedrale" basta cercare su Google Edward Hopper, e voilà il gioco è fatto!
Avevo già parlato di atmosfera "Hopperiana" palpabile, in un altro romanzo americano, ma in Carver la cosa balza proprio all' occhio.

Io sono un' amante delle edizioni illustrate, le illustrazioni mi piacciono da impazzire, perchè mi fanno considerare le cose da un' altro punto di vista. Non influenzano la mia versione dei personaggi e degli ambienti ,che già mi
...more
Ilenia Zodiaco
C'è in questa raccolta qualcosa che sfugge a qualsiasi definizione. Qualcosa che vi vestirà di incertezza, che vi farà sentire storpi e del tutto impreparati alla vita, dei "principianti". Eppure, meno soli. In un cerchio di tristezze, al centro un fuoco.
Franco  Santos
May 05, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cada cuento de este libro es una caricia de una mano fría.
Cody
May 06, 2016 Cody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritism
For reasons that become increasingly clear to me as I age, Raymond Carver will always be my short story God. Having just put down Cathedral, I think I can put my finger on it a bit better than usual. So grab a beer, put your feet up—here’s the ashtray. I’m gonna do a little bit of testifying.

As much as I’d like to be Rocketman, Alaric Darconville, or Ishmael, the fact of the matter is that I’m nothing more or less than a character in a Carver story. I’m a person—unexceptional by almost every mea
...more
Momina Masood
Our Favorite Faded Fantasies

Carver winds and unwinds the silken threads which hold us together, our essential vulnerability as human beings, our failures, our disappointments. What I have loved about this set of stories is their tenderness and silence. Men and women are explored in a discreet, subtle writing style that is very effective. It implies and leaves much to the imagination but in a way that is not cerebral at all; rather the things Carver leaves unsaid are those we understand to the bo
...more
Steve
Jul 27, 2007 Steve rated it it was ok
After years of being told that Raymond Carver was the epitome of quality short story writing I finally read one of his books. I'm all in favour of sparse, concise prose that describe the minutiae of everyday life if it offers reveals the extraordinary within the ordinary. With many of the stories in "Cathedral" I kept thinking, "And...?" I did not feel that Carver's subtle observations amounted to any great insight. The only story that lingers in my mind is "A Small, Good Thing" in which a coupl ...more
AC
On finishing this magnficent collection, I am moved -- Carver is a gem. The final story, in particular, strikes home, since I once spent many hours in College with a guy who was blind as a stone, sitting up late hours, also (as in Cathedral), passing the hooch.... and talking about being blind and seeing and colors and sounds.... what a loss, Carver's early death! Oh, what a loss...

I've now read the three collections -- and the feeling of sadness that there's not another one... just sort of smot
...more
Greta tra le righe
A volte credo di dare troppa importanza a quello che leggo. Non fraintendetemi, non sono certa di riuscire a spiegare al meglio quello che vorrei dire: nella mia vita ho pochissimi punti fermi, ma una delle poche certezze, una delle poche cose su cui non ho mai avuto dubbi è proprio l'importanza che per me ha la letteratura, e non credo di voler cambiare questo fatto. Quello che intendo dire è qualcosa che probabilmente non riuscirò a dire, e allora faccio un passo indietro e provo a ricominciar ...more
Gretchen
Aug 30, 2011 Gretchen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
Cathedral is a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver. Each story explores everyday moments in humanity, as well as common issues like relationships and alcoholism. Carver’s writing style is minimalist, so there are no moments of long description of setting or characters. Carver focuses on plot and themes, and each story ends with a slight cliffhanger, leaving it up to the reader to decide what happens.

I read this book for my Contemporary American Literature class, and I loved it. All the
...more
Vanessa
May 31, 2015 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure whether I was going to rate this collection a 3.5 or a 4, but the final title story Cathedral decided it for me. It was a really excellent story: perfectly paced, witty, and touching.

If I'm being honest, I would say this is my least favourite of Raymond Carver's three short story collections. However, there are still some really excellent stories in here, and his writing is just as good here as it was in his previous collections. The stories have a slightly more mature feel to them
...more
Eric Kibler
Dec 31, 2010 Eric Kibler rated it it was amazing
This is the collection where Carver shakes off the label of "minimalist".

His previous editor, Gordon Lish, was known for paring Carver's stories down to the bone. But in this collection, free from Lish's pencil, he is able to be more expansive. The stories still concern average shmoes living clumsy lives, but now Carver gives himself the space for more incident. More emotional nuance. Not only that, but he's funnier, and he was fairly funny to begin with.

I read a volume of his poems recently. Li
...more
Tanuj Solanki
Sep 21, 2012 Tanuj Solanki rated it really liked it
The name 'Carver' is a fit for the writer's name. He does carve his stories well.

'Chef's House' - his first New Yorker publication - had me reading it repeatedly, amazed at the poise and spareness of the prose, while ever acknowledging the danger of the story careening to a place I didn't want it to. This is the thing with Carver's stories. They create some dread and then they take you to the source of that dread.
Silvia Sirea
Mar 04, 2016 Silvia Sirea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ho aspettato qualche giorno prima di scrivere queste parole perché non volevo essere affrettata nei miei giudizi e perché non volevo liberarmi di Carver così facilmente.
Sono contenta che Cattedrale sia stata la mia prima lettura di questo autore perché so che avrò la possibilità di immergermi ancora nel suo mondo.

La letteratura di Carver è una letteratura intrisa di vita prosaica che egli trasforma in diamanti di pura poesia. I protagonisti dei suoi racconti sono donne e uomini semplici che han
...more
sleeps9hours
Nov 12, 2009 sleeps9hours rated it did not like it
Depressing short stories about working-class Americans. He’s a decent writer, but spare, and the subject matter is everyday tragedy. Abrupt endings. Seen as a “realist”, but he lives in a banal and cynical kind of reality. ALL of his characters are awful people with huge flaws and petty prejudices. Recommended by a writer friend, maybe more enjoyable if all you want to do is analyze the writing.

From "Feathers"—about a family with an ugly baby and a peacock for a pet.

p. 23 Olla watched Fran with
...more
Jigar Brahmbhatt
Sep 05, 2011 Jigar Brahmbhatt rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, Brutal, Devastating - these short stories by the preeminent artist of dirty realism manage to chip away the universals other writers deem necessary and lay bare the particulars, the mundane, the absurd in everyday life. Carver must have had a craggy, unsentimental stare, coz he is always bloody right on target.
Ron Nie
Apr 18, 2015 Ron Nie rated it really liked it
I want to get "The Train" and "Where I'm Calling From" tattooed on my forehead.
Ryan Werner
Oct 05, 2015 Ryan Werner rated it it was amazing
After a career of focusing on the bleak exactitude of blue-collar life, Raymond Carver's last collection embraces the hope he and his characters may have always had.

If What We Talk About When We Talk About Love was a collection full of characters in the middle of losing it all, then Cathedral (Vintage, ISBN: 0394712811, 1983) is a collection full of characters trying to get it all back, trying to salvage relationships of all types: marital (“Chef’s House”), paternal (“The Compartment”), and edib
...more
Kelly
Nov 05, 2013 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always feel like I am missing out on something when a book get amazing reviews and I just don't feel it. This book was not bad, but it was not what I was expecting it to be. One or two of the stories stand out for me, mainly because I felt like the characters were really memorable. I just felt like many of the stories just didn't go anywhere.... which, by the way I am okay with, as long as the prose makes up for it. And I am not saying that the prose here was bad, but it was simple and seemed ...more
Huy
Feb 25, 2014 Huy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Những tập truyện của Raymond Caver xuất bản ở Việt Nam đều rất kỳ lạ đối với tôi, tôi không thích chúng quá nhiều, chỉ thích vừa đủ nhưng có cái gì đó hấp dẫn trong cách viết của ông khiến tôi không thể bỏ qua bất kỳ tập truyện nào, háo hức đọc và muốn đọc lại ngay khi kết thúc. Có lẽ tôi đã bị cách viết thản nhiên với cốt truyện giản dị của ông quyến rũ.
مروان البلوشي
Oct 10, 2015 مروان البلوشي rated it it was amazing
ريموند كارفر، هو أحد الكتاب القلائل الذين اقرأ لهم في أي وقت وفي أي مزاج، وفي كل الحالات يستطيع أن يستولي على انتباهي وينتشلني من حالتي بسرعة.

قصصه القصيرة ذات مواضيع بسيطة، ولغته بسيطة، وشخصياته من البسطاء. ولكن بعد الانتهاء من كل قصة تشعر بأنك كقارئ قد اكتشفت شئ جديد لم تعرفه أو تحسه من قبل.

David
Oct 16, 2009 David rated it it was amazing
In the title story, the narrator of this typically short, sparely written tale is expecting an old, blind friend of his wife’s to come to visit them for a few days. She hasn’t seen him in ten years, since she worked for him one summer, and she is very excited about it. The friend has recently lost his wife to cancer. His dead wife had been her replacement the following summer, nine years ago, and the job of both women had been to read and talk to him. He’d obviously made a deep impression, as th ...more
Ema
Sep 22, 2012 Ema rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't say that I loved all the stories in this volume, but I was certainly hooked by more than half of them. Most of the stories seem to have a hidden meaning that I could not grasp, so I continued to read more on the net. I'm glad I did, because I found out a bunch of interesting facts about Raymond Carver's life and his stories, which made me better understand his themes and his writing.

He is regarded as "minimalist", being influenced in this respect by his editor Gordon Lish, who would oft
...more
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Best short story in this collection? 4 5 Mar 22, 2016 03:38PM  
Questions on the Ending of Raymond Carver's Cathedral 2 46 Mar 12, 2014 04:23PM  
  • Rock Springs
  • Stories in an Almost Classical Mode
  • In the Garden of the North American Martyrs
  • The Stories of John Cheever
  • Believers: A novella and stories
  • Emperor of the Air
  • The Collected Stories
  • The Stories (So Far)
  • Airships
  • Sixty Stories
  • Shiloh and Other Stories
  • Taking Care
  • The Stories of Richard Bausch
  • The Pugilist at Rest
  • Paris Stories
  • Persian Nights
  • Distortions
  • Collected Stories and Later Writings
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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
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“Dreams, you know, are what you wake up from.” 158 likes
“You've got to work with your mistakes until they look intended. Understand?” 140 likes
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