Casey's Reviews > Cathedral

Cathedral by Raymond Carver
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Apr 04, 10

I own a copy

Raymond Carver knows what he writes about. All of his characters could either be him or people he knows really well. I’ve never had that feeling before. That sense that the author is in every story he’s writing about. Be it the family that loses their son, our the alcoholic that is trying to dry up, the husband abandoned with two children by a wife that “is going for it”. I always got the sense it was Carver in all these stories. It was his life he was talking about. Of course that’s not the case. But he knows his subject matter. He knows this life style, this side of society like no other author, ever.

Straight forward writing is Raymond Carver. Simple to the point. Some say a poor man’s Hemingway, which I personally disagree with. Carver is Carver. What he is able to do in the short story format is incredible. He’s able to put your heart in your throat, or have you hold your breath until you finish the page. He is able to leave you guessing, wanting more from any particular story. Take the story A Small, Good Thing. If you finish reading this story and don’t feel empty afterward you don’t have a soul.

I loved every minute of this reading experience. I feel like I have found a friend in Raymond Carver. Someone I can sit down with, have a scotch, turn on the fire and pet my dog as he lays on my lap. The only other author I felt this closeness with is Vonnegut. Now that’s saying something.
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