Jakon Hays's Reviews > The Best American Short Stories 1986

The Best American Short Stories 1986 by Raymond Carver
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
1088970
's review
Dec 22, 11


Goodbye to the Best American Stories 1986


Some numbers –


To read and report on these stories it took me 5 months and 1 day.


That also works out to:


22 weeks

Or

154 days

Or

110 weekdays.


While we are looking at numbers, I’ll dial it back a bit and see where we are with this little BASS project.


My first post dropped on:


May 29th 2008.


That was –


3 years 3 months and 4 days ago. I can’t even begin to tell you how my life has changed since then.


1191 days. Pffffffff….long sigh.


How many of these volumes have I read and reported on in 3 years, 3 months and 4 days?


Nine.


Some more numbers? Well, it looks like I spent about 4.3 months per volume. To be more exact, 132.33 days per volume.


I think it goes without saying that I need to speed things up.


Let me now discuss my thoughts on this volume.


The introduction can be found here:

http://yearsofbass.blogspot.com/2011/...


If you haven’t read the intro – please do, I’m actually proud of that post!


Here are a few words from that introduction.


I highlighted this from Carver’s intro:

“Stories from the New Yorker predominated, and that is as it should be. The New Yorker not only publishes good stories – on occasion wonderful stories – but, by virtue of the fact that they publish every week, fifty-two weeks a year, they bring out more fiction than any other magazine in the country.”

Well, I have discovered a new love for The New Yorker and that love has partially been the reason why I have failed to read stories from this volume. I’ve been too distracted by that magazine AND with working on a database that already existed AND attempting to buy, and eventually succeeding in buying a nice 3 volume set of collected short stories from that magazine.


There were 20 stories in this volume – 3 were from the New Yorker. See previous indexes from past BASS collections and you’ll see the NY’er dominating the collected stories!

Carver goes on to say

“One of the things I feel strongly about is that while short stories often tell us things we don’t know anything about – and this is good, of course – they should also, and maybe more importantly, tell us what everybody knows but what nobody is talking about. At least not publicly. Except for the short story writers.”

Yes – perfect. I’d say there were more than a couple of stories in this collection that did just that. They told us what everybody know but what nobody is /was talking about. The stories were wonderful – the majority of his selections.

Further-

“I deliberately tried to pick stories that rendered, in a more or less straightforward manner, what it’s like out there. I wanted the stories I selected to throw some light on what it is that makes us and keeps us, often against great odds, recognizably human.”

I mentioned in several of my posts the above quote. Carver succeeded.


So how do I feel about Carver’s collection?


Well, I feel that I did the volume a disservice. I took too long to read it and I didn’t fully commit my heart and mind to the project. I gave about 50%.

That, in short, is unsatisfactory.


Therefore, I do not feel I can faithfully pass judgment on this collection. The milk has been spilled, no need to cry. Let’s clean it up and pour another glass.

http://yearsofbass.blogspot.com/2011/...
Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Best American Short Stories 1986.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.