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Where I'm Calling from: New and Selected Stories

4.42 of 5 stars 4.42  ·  rating details  ·  15,403 ratings  ·  745 reviews
A major collection of Carver's short stories, including seven new stories written shortly before the author's death in 1988.
Hardcover, 431 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Atlantic Monthly Press (first published 1988)
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Jun 04, 2014 s.penkevich rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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 The final story, called Errand, unpublished at the time of Carver’s untimely death, begins with the
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
Glenn Russell
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- ...more
Nov 03, 2014 Taylor rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
Nov 24, 2015 Junta rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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
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, ritengono 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 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Larry Bassett
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.
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.
Emir Never
I wish I could be friends with Raymond Carver. It sounds crazy, I know, the guy being dead and all. But I can't help it. He wrote the kind of stuff I wish I could write or had written. It's heartbreaking.

Why four stars, I hear you asking. It's because I wish he'd written more, a novel perhaps, more stories, definitely. More. But he's gone.
Kat Hagedorn

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
Elizabeth (Alaska)
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
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
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
Neil Thomson
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.
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
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
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
I have been thinking about what it is about these stories that make me kind of depressed. And what it is, I think, is that they talk so much about having had something good and lost it. Most of these characters have had something good in their lives, maybe a family, maybe something they believed in, like love or the possibility of a good life, and that is usually in the past.
But on the other hand, it is all told so well by Carver, he always knows what buttons to push, the details that he shows e
Some good stuff, but a little hit or miss. Not sure whether I enjoy drunk Carver or sober Carver more.
I'd read Carver before but never in collection; the experience is different. His world, painted scene by scene and life by life, reveals itself too deep to escape. His sparse and rhythmic style takes the form of the world around me, it becomes a lens extending beyond the page into the hours of my waking life, hours that at any moment may slip into oblique tragedy. Carver's greatest gift is to capture the moments when lives change (often for the worst) and the rhythm of his stories in sequence ha ...more
Ray Carver has long been a literary touchstone for me-- because of his poetry, because of 'Short Cuts,' because of stories I'd read in various anthologies-- but this was the first time I sat down to read a whole short story collection of his, and I came away from it amazed by how consistently moving his work is. They are all simple stories at heart, rooted in careful observation of human brokenness, but they're told with grace, humor, and an eye for detail that keeps them buoyant, warm and envel ...more
Mike Polizzi

"You got to understand what it comes down to is I don't know how to act anymore, it would seem. Please" the man said, "let me ask if you can find it in your hearts to forgive me."

I just finished Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories by Raymond Carver. It's an interesting way to read Carver. Take the line above from A Small, Good Thing, which mirrors Dante's (translation via Robin Kirkpatrick) "At one point midway on our path in life,/ I came around and
David Gillespie
Published in 1989, Where I'm Calling From is a collection of short stories from Raymond Carver. This volume is a great introduction to Carver's stories because it represents a selection of his best work from every phase of his career. Raymond Carver was a master of making a slice of life universal. His stories have hardly any plot and character is revealed rather than described. His character's lives are distilled into a few scenes where the reader can grasp a universe of unspoken meanings. The ...more
Nov 10, 2011 Alex is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I don't have much to say about this book besides that it is a struggle to read. It is not a struggle in the sense of being challenging or witty- it's just a very slow walk through very dull collection. Although this author tries to spice his dull 60's life of the 'everyman' up with adultery and and drugs use, I still find myself checking how many more pages I have to suffer through. Usually I'm all for books about the dirty underbelly of a perfect society, but this is dull and mediocre writing. ...more
21 novembre 2011
Ieri SKY+qualcosa ha dedicato la serata alla regia di Altman. Inizio a guardare America Oggi e dopo pochi minuti sono un po’ confusa – so di non aver mai visto il film, ma lo conosco - mi informo e realizzo che è basato sui racconti di Raymond Carver. Dopo essermi detta: quanto ignori, ragazza mia, me ne sono fatta una ragione e ho voluto ben predispormi alla visione, nella volontà di rettificare la mia opinione su Carver che, come ho scritto precedentemente ma qui sotto – non av
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Book review 1 6 Aug 04, 2014 01:12AM  
Where I'm Calling From 3 24 Jul 30, 2014 05:24AM  
Carver 1 11 Jun 19, 2013 03:04AM  
Where I'm Calling From 3 11 Jun 19, 2013 01:45AM  
Final Thoughts 1 7 Jun 19, 2013 12:53AM  
Where I'm Calling From 1 6 Jun 18, 2013 04:29PM  
Carver 5 40 Sep 27, 2012 05:45AM  
  • Rock Springs
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  • The Collected Stories
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  • Forty Stories (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics)
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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 and ...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.” 523 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.” 359 likes
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