Perfectly constructed and a classic for the ages. A great entryway to t…moreThis short story leaves an impression that stays with you; no need to re-read.
Perfectly constructed and a classic for the ages. A great entryway to the less uplifting stories for which Raymond Carver is so justly famous. Right up there with the best short stories you have ever read.(less)
This collection of twelve stories by Raymond Carver is the perfect example of how to compromise the reader's frame of mind by talking about daily events. Thanks also to a minimal prose, Carver has the great virtue of guessing more than any other author that the everyday and the ordinary, such as a home accident, a watch robbery or even the death are the most familiar events that bind us to life. The result is an emotional earthquake in the reader. Among the twelve s...more
Cathedral is the third major-press collection of short stories by American writer Raymond Carver, published in 1983.
The collection contains the following stories:
A Small, Good Thing - An extended version of his earlier short story "The Bath".
Where I'm Calling From,
Cathedral - Narrated by a man whose wife is old friends with a blind man, the story shows t ...more
The peacock walked quickly around the table and went for the baby. It ran its long neck across the baby’s legs. It pushed its beak in under the baby’s pajama top and shook its stiff head back and forth. The baby laughed and kicked its feet. Scooting onto its back, the baby worked its way over Fran’s knees and down onto the floor. The peacock kept pushing against the baby, as if it was a game they were playing.
The way we live often seems strange to ...more
American author Raymond Carver (1938-1988) - master of the short-story
A dozen Raymond Carver stories collected here as part of the 1980s Vintage Contemporaries series. Since other reviewers have commented on all twelve, I’ll share some short-short cuts from the title story, my reflections on Carver doozy, a story I dearly love. Here goes:
The Blind Man: The narrator’s wife is bringing her old friend, a blind man, home for a visit since the blind man made the trip to Connecticut to visit ...more
My heart is in my throat after finishing this magnificent collection. I've spent most of the day reading these stories, as I can't think of anything else I'd rather do.
This is both Carver's third collection and the third one I've read. This time, his work was published without the ruthless editorial hand of Gordon Lish, which is evidenced by longer, more detailed stories. It feels like Carver was stretching his legs a bit here, with pretty great ...more
It includes some of his most famous short stories: “Feathers,” “Chef’s House," “A Small, Good Thing,” “Vitamins,” “Where I’m Calling From” and the mysterious title tale.
I’ve read and studied some of the stories before, but this was my first time reading the book cover to cover. Here are a few observatio ...more
As I read Carver's stories, I understood that he is a maestr ...more
Following are the names of the 12 stories and when and where they were or ...more
Third collection of Carver's work I have now read, and while 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love' is still my fave, this could just well be his best work. Again produces some quite remarkable short stories, with a scrupulously simple prose full of compassion and honesty, all with a keen eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. He manages to create situations that are so breathtakingly real, and all done in such a short space of time.
I have been a big fan of Richa ...more
“Feathers”. A guy and his wife are invited for dinner at a workmate’s house. Bud and Olla have a peacock and a really ugly baby. (“Even calling it ugly does it credit.”)
“Preservation”. A guy loses his job and his life disintegrates. The fridge breaks down. His wife gets ready to go to an auction to buy a new one. That's all, folks.
“A Small Good Thing”. A boy is hit b ...more
"On her last day in the office, the blind man asked if he could touch her face. She agreed to this. She told me he touched his fingers to every part of her face, her nose - even her neck! She never forgot it . . . Now this same blind man was coming to sleep in my house."
The narrator's wife worked for the blind man for a year in his office then left to get married, but they stayed in touch sending tapes back and forth for years. Now he's coming to visit her and her second husband (the narrato ...more
“This blind man, an old friend of my wife’s, he was on his way to spend the night. His wife had died. So he was visiting the dead wife’s relatives in Connecticut … She hadn’t seen him since she worked for him one summer in Seattle ten years ago. But she and the blind man had kept in touch. They made tapes and mailed them back and forth. I wasn’t enthusia ...more
The theme is the communication gap that isolates relationships. The narrator drinks too much and seems unable to adequately communicate with his wife. The wife has earlier tried to commit suicide because of loneliness. Both the narrator and his wife are unable to effectively communicate with one another; however, his wife communicates freely and well with the blind man. The narrator is very resistant to getting to kn ...more
The story has a theme about seeing with one's eyes contrasted with seeing and understanding things below the surface. Robert may be blind, but he has the deeper understanding. ...more
As much as I’d like to be Rocketman, Alaric Darconville, or Ishmael, the fact of the matter is that I’m nothing more or less than a character in a Carver story. I’m a person—unexceptional by almost every mea ...more
I've now read the three collections -- and the feeling of sadness that there's not another one... just sort of smot ...more
His previous editor, Gordon Lish, was known for paring Carver's stories down to the bone. But in this collection, free from Lish's pencil, he is able to be more expansive. The stories still concern average shmoes living clumsy lives, but now Carver gives himself the space for more incident. More emotional nuance. Not only that, but he's funnier, and he was fairly funny to begin with.
I read a volume of his poems recently. Li ...more
A Small, Good Thing - I don't often cry, while reading or any other time really, but by the end of this story I had shed a few ...more
I love Raymond Carver's short stories. But after reading three collections, I feel like anyone could write like him if they practiced. It is a style that is quite easy to imitate. I guess he got there first. So, well done.
I liked the following stories in the collection:
Feathers - Two couples meet for dinner. There is a peacock at the house of the couple who are t ...more
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 t ...more
From "Feathers"—about a family with an ugly baby and a peacock for a pet.
p. 23 Olla watched Fran with ...more
I read this book for my Contemporary American Literature class, and I loved it. All the ...more
Review of the one story Cathedral:
How do people best communicate? By touch?
Communication is the means by which a thought, an idea, a message passes from one individual to another. Words are what first come to mind, but visually we can read another’s disposition and through one person’s touch of another communication is passed too.
A very good short story. T ...more
More to come...
The final story, from which the book gets its title, is a great one. Don't let yourself be put off by the main character being an ass. The story has a positive m ...more
Carver winds and unwinds the silken threads which hold us together, our essential vulnerability as human beings, our failures, our disappointments. What I have loved about this set of stories is their tenderness and silence. Men and women are explored in a discreet, subtle writing style that is very effective. It implies and leaves much to the imagination but in a way that is not cerebral at all; rather the things Carver leaves unsaid are those we understand to the bo ...more