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Raymond Carver: An Oral Biography
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Raymond Carver: An Oral Biography

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Raymond Carver has become a literary icon for our time. When he died in 1988 at the age of fifty, he was acclaimed as the greatest influence on the American short story since Hemingway. Carver's friends were the stuff of legend as well. In this rich collection—greatly expanded from the earlier When We Talk about Raymond Carver—of interviews with close companions, acquainta ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by University Of Iowa Press
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I was awfully excited to find this. I love Carver and I love biographies, but I hate biographers. So, an oral history ought to be ideal, and it nearly is. Sadly, rather than amputate the voice of the interviewer and arrange vignettes of each interview into a narrative (the ideal format for oral history), Halpert leaves his own voice in, and he's consistently overmatched. He constantly pries into Carver's alcoholism and, consequentially, the book is mostly an account of the "Bad Raymond days" (Th ...more
I have loved reading carver since discovering the pleasure of whisky and self pity while living in a shotgun shack in north Carolina. Carver writes all these mini stories that you can read in four minutes but which pack such impact.
I've read his story "why don't you dance" many times and tried to figure out what is going on under the surface.
Now of course the story is getting a ton of attention because will ferrel has turned dance into a movie. I am all for it.

So this book offers all these pe
Aside from the expected juicy biographical details from his "Bad Raymond" days, there are some amazing insights into his writing from a bunch of his writer friends: Richard Ford, Tobias and Geoffrey Wolff, Stephen Dobyns, Jay McInerny, etc. Their insights are interesting because they demonstrate a writer's understanding of the techniques Carver employed and this provides a completely different perspective than the one you get reading commentary from critics or book reviewers. And there is a grea ...more
Oct 18, 2010 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
An interesting look into the life of Raymond Carver provided by those who knew him best. Sometimes the interviewer/author does a bit too much to inject his own opinion into the interviews, but it's a minor complaint.

I was not aware of the Carver/Bukowski connection until reading this book.
Oct 10, 2007 Chad added it
I borrowed this book from someone (Hi, Kate) for 3.5 years - a new record!
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A Real Good War (Cassell Military Paperbacks) Raymond Carver: An Oral Biography --When We Talk about Raymond Carver

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