Jul 27, 07
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 couple whose child is killed in a hit and run incident are harassed by the baker they hired to make the boy's birthday cake they obviously never picked up. It is a uneasy and moving tale of grief and obsessive indignation.
Maybe "Cathedral" isn't the best of Carver's writing, maybe I should persevere with his other work, but I can't help that I lost my invite to the Raymond Carver Adulation Society.