Christine's Reviews > Cathedral

Cathedral by Raymond Carver
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Jun 20, 11

Read from June 18 to 19, 2011

This is an excellent set of short stories and personally my first introduction to Carver. The back of my edition has a quote from Carver himself that sums up why these are so extraordinary better than I can: he has the ability "to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language and endow these things - a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman's earring - with immense, even startling power."

Which is exactly what he does to - fill his stories with the kind of details that are stark and bring a poetry-like specificity to his characters and their worlds. (It doesn't surprise me that he also published several poetry collections.) Reminds me of Hemingway's ability to convey mood and meaning without lots of movement or mucking about with plot and in the spareness of the prose - but much more about making the truly average heroic. Fewer bullfights, more regular old fights with the ball and chain - and yet it still felt poignant and emotionally BIG.

Rad stories: Chef's House, about a golden summer for a reunited couple staying at Chef's house; Vitamins, or the story of an unhappy couple's reality that the wife sells, well, vitamins for a living; A Small, Good Thing, the story of parents coping with the injury of their child; and... oh, forget it, every story was amazing and has had me thinking on it. This is a wonderful collection.
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