J.P.'s Reviews > Cathedral

Cathedral by Raymond Carver
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Sep 28, 07

Recommended for: short story writers, short fiction fans
Read in December, 1989

On Christmas Eve, 1989, I sat in my room as snow fell outside. I was 20 years old. That night, I read this book cover-to-cover. I didn't mean to---Carver's voice and characters just grabbed hold of me and wouldn't let go. It's one of the few books I've ever read in one sitting.

These characters, I found, weren't like 'made-up' people from most other fiction I'd read up to that time. They were my friends, neighbors, coworkers---and to some extent, me.

Upon completing Cathedral, I was certain of three things: 1.) I wanted to be a writer; 2.) one could be a writer and be a blue-collar person (like Carver), not some glow-in-the-dark genius lounging in an ivory tower somewhere; 3.) I wanted to read every word Carver wrote.

18 years later, I've accomplished #3. I'm still working on #1. But when my inspiration flags, I dip back into Cathedral and it always recharges my writer's batteries.

This book is a modern classic. By all means, check it out! Raymond Carver truly was "America's Chekhov".
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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dead letter office excellent review.


Kesia Alexandra i wasn't nearly as passionate about this collection as you were, but I do love this review.


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