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4.29  ·  Rating details ·  22,346 Ratings  ·  1,109 Reviews
Raymond Carver’s third collection of stories, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, including the canonical titular story about blindness and learning to enter the very different world of another.  These twelve stories mark a turning point in Carver’s work and “overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life. . . . Carver is a writer of astonishing compa ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published June 18th 1989 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Vivia Boe This 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…more
This 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)

Community Reviews

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Glenn Russell
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

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
Luca Ambrosino
Apr 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
English (Cathedral) / Italiano

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

Camille Stein
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

'Cathedral' - Anne Manteleers - graphic designer + illustrator -

J. P. and I are on the front porch at Frank Martin's drying-out facility. Like the rest of us at Frank Martin's, J. P. is first and foremost a drunk. But he's also a chimney sweep. It's his first time here, and he's scared. I've been here once before. What's to say? I'm back.

(...) My eyes were still closed. I was in my house. I knew that. But I didn’t feel like I was inside anything.

Dreams, you know, are what yo
Glenn Sumi
Raymond Carver is one of the most influential writers of the late 20th century, and this volume, published five years before his tragically early death at 50, has the feel of an American classic.

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
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had no Idea who Raymond Carver was before I picked this collection of short stories. Of course, I asked the great oracles of the Internet to feed me information about him, and they told me that Mr.Carver is one of the American literary gods who revived the dying short story literary form in the 80s. My primary concern was for the short story medium that almost died in the 80s, and don't worry, I checked and they are thriving nowadays.

As I read Carver's stories, I understood that he is a maestr
Paul Bryant
Just another genius collection of laconic grimly funny or just grim short stories by Carver, like his other four. My favourites :

“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
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preferiti
Vite di chi deve ripartire

"Per parecchio tempo io e mia moglie ci amavamo più di ogni altra cosa e più di chiunque al mondo. Compresi i bambini. Pensavamo, anzi, eravamo convinti che saremmo invecchiati insieme. Questa era la cosa più triste di tutte: qualsiasi cosa avrebbero fatto d'ora in poi, l'avrebbero fatta ciascuno per conto suo."

Istantanee di vita osservate dietro un vetro.
Carver narra il quotidiano attraverso un linguaggio semplice e curato, capace di accarezzare come velluto e corrod
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This book changed my life, sent me on my way to becoming a writer, and quite literally was the reason my girlfriend and I got together. Yeah. Soul mates. Me and Carver.
Ilenia Zodiaco
C'è in questa raccolta qualcosa che sfugge a qualsiasi definizione. Qualcosa che vi vestirà di incertezza, che vi farà sentire storpi e del tutto impreparati alla vita, dei "principianti". Eppure, meno soli. In un cerchio di tristezze, al centro un fuoco.
David Schaafsma
After two collections of beautifully written, lean but grim and mercilessly sad working class stories, Carver lets the reins loose a bit in this 1983 collection, allowing some of the stories to expand just a bit, in various ways. Almost all of the stories in Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (1976) and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981) are about working-class people on the edge of tragedy, or seen at the end of a slow tragic decline, though it’s not classic tragedy, of a great ma ...more
Chiara Selene
Piccole poesie raccontate con un linguaggio essenziale, concreto, efficace. Da leggere assolutamente. I miei racconti preferiti sono stati :"una cosa piccola ma buona", "cattedrale", "Conservazione" e "la casa di Chef"

Penne ⭐⭐⭐⭐
La casa di chef ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Conservazione ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Lo scompartimento ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Una cosa piccola ma buona🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Vitamine ⭐⭐⭐
Attento ⭐⭐
Da dove sto chiamando ⭐⭐⭐
Il treno ⭐⭐⭐
Febbre ⭐⭐⭐⭐
La briglia⭐⭐⭐
Cattedrale ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simboli inesauribili

“E' solo che, sapete, quando si scrivono racconti, i nostri peggiori nemici siamo solo noi stessi, capite? O siamo lì che mettiamo cose di cui non c'è davvero bisogno, di cui il lettore può fare benissimo a meno – possiamo infatti presumere che il lettore riempia i nostri vuoti da solo – oppure nascondiamo quel che conta sul serio. Insomma, secondo me qui c'è già tutto”. Da Il mestiere di scrivere

Ti racconta cose possibili e reali, Raymond Carver. La sua voce è così intensa,
A volte credo di dare troppa importanza a quello che leggo. Non fraintendetemi, non sono certa di riuscire a spiegare al meglio quello che vorrei dire: nella mia vita ho pochissimi punti fermi, ma una delle poche certezze, una delle poche cose su cui non ho mai avuto dubbi è proprio l'importanza che per me ha la letteratura, e non credo di voler cambiare questo fatto. Quello che intendo dire è qualcosa che probabilmente non riuscirò a dire, e allora faccio un passo indietro e provo a ricominciar ...more
PGR Nair
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The title Story "cathedral" is one of the best American stories of last century.

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
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On finishing this magnficent collection, I am moved -- Carver is a gem. The final story, in particular, strikes home, since I once spent many hours in College with a guy who was blind as a stone, sitting up late hours, also (as in Cathedral), passing the hooch.... and talking about being blind and seeing and colors and sounds.... what a loss, Carver's early death! Oh, what a loss...

I've now read the three collections -- and the feeling of sadness that there's not another one... just sort of smot
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favoritism
For reasons that become increasingly clear to me as I age, Raymond Carver will always be my short story God. Having just put down Cathedral, I think I can put my finger on it a bit better than usual. So grab a beer, put your feet up—here’s the ashtray. I’m gonna do a little bit of testifying.

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
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Per capire che atmosfera si respiri nei dodici racconti di "Cattedrale" basta cercare su Google Edward Hopper, e voilà il gioco è fatto!
Avevo già parlato di atmosfera "Hopperiana" palpabile, in un altro romanzo americano, ma in Carver la cosa balza proprio all' occhio.

Io sono un' amante delle edizioni illustrate, le illustrazioni mi piacciono da impazzire, perchè mi fanno considerare le cose da un' altro punto di vista. Non influenzano la mia versione dei personaggi e degli ambienti ,che già mi
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Questa volta sapevo cosa aspettarmi, non è stato come incontrarli una sera dopo cena e non sapersene staccare prima di averli letti tutti (Di cosa parliamo quando parliamo d’amore). Questa volta mi son preso tempo.
Ci sono due condizioni per apprezzare Carver: la prima è il desiderio di realtà. Chiunque sia appassionato di fantasy, horror, fantascienza, può lasciar perdere. Carver racconta ciò che vede. I suoi personaggi non sono eroi, non sono psicopatici, non sono persone speciali, nella maggio
Mevsim Yenice
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carver öyle usta bir öykücü ki, anlatma biçimini, hakkında konuştuğu şeye dönüştürmeyi başarıyor. Hem de hiç fark ettirmeden yapıyor bunu. Bir manada form, içerikten ayirt edilmez hale geliyor. Kitaba adını veren Katedral adındaki öykü insanı kıskandıracak cinsten. Tüyler, Katedral ve Küçük İyi Bir şey benim favorilerim oldu.
Kitap boyunca alttan alta nedense hep 'cocuk sahibi olan ciftlerin evliliginin ve aralarindaki askin bitttigini' vermis Carver. Bir niyeti olsa gerek ya da meselesi :)
Dec 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is the collection where Carver shakes off the label of "minimalist".

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
Sep 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: short story writers, short fiction fans
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 t
Franco  Santos
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cada cuento de este libro es una caricia de una mano fría.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C'è tutta l'anima dell'America degli anni '60 in questa splendida raccolta di racconti di Raymond Carver, il mio primo incontro con questo autore, che mi ha fatto perdutamente innamorare di lui. Un tuffo nell'esistenza delle gente comune, della gente di tutti i giorni, con le sue aspirazioni, le sue ambizioni, i suoi incidenti di percorso, le sue routine, le sue incomprensioni, i suoi fallimenti e le sue frustrazioni. Appena ho iniziato a leggere "Cattedrale" ho subito intuito di avere fra le ma ...more
Nella speranza che non mi sia sfuggito qualche codicillo locale per il quale sono previste pene corporali per chi non fa scintille per Carver, mi ritiro umilmente e in buon ordine a riflettere sul suo (non) minimalismo, sul non essenzialismo, sul sottrazionismo, sul linearismo, sul lirismo della porta accanto, su come sia facile e comodo preferire gli epigoni a lui dopo di lui, ché se non ci fosse stato lui non ci sarebbe nessuno adesso da preferirgli e cose così.
Momina Masood
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Our Favorite Faded Fantasies

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
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
Cathedral is a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver. Each story explores everyday moments in humanity, as well as common issues like relationships and alcoholism. Carver’s writing style is minimalist, so there are no moments of long description of setting or characters. Carver focuses on plot and themes, and each story ends with a slight cliffhanger, leaving it up to the reader to decide what happens.

I read this book for my Contemporary American Literature class, and I loved it. All the
Jul 27, 2007 rated it it was ok
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 coupl ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
زندگی آدمهای «کاروِِر» انگار همین زندگی و درماندگی است. تصویرها انگار یخ زده اند. گرما ندارند، مرده اند، دل را نمیلرزانند. اما کشش دارند، هیجان و ماجرا نیست، همین زندگیست. ا.شربیانی ...more
Trevor Frazier
Perfection. Every story in this collection is gold. Raymond Carver is on another level when it comes to writing stories that encapsulate real life and real people, especially the ones who are so often skipped over in literature. There is darkness here, but also hope. Out of the three collections of Carver's I have read, this one had the most redemption.

My favorites:

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 te
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
C’è un racconto abbastanza celebre di Raymond Carver che dà il titolo a una sua raccolta anche questa abbastanza celebre, “Cattedrale”. in questo racconto, il narratore parla di un incontro a casa sua con un vecchio amico di sua moglie. Questo amico è cieco dalla nascita e dopo alcuni convenevoli, presentazioni e quant’altro, il narratore inizia a studiarlo come se fosse non un semplice cieco, ma un problema scientifico, un bel grattacapo. “Era un tizio che non conoscevo affatto, e il fatto che ...more
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Best short story in this collection? 6 27 Oct 30, 2017 04:50PM  
Romania: Patru nuvele de Raymond Carver 1 17 Jun 28, 2017 04:21AM  
Questions on the Ending of Raymond Carver's Cathedral 2 58 Mar 12, 2014 04:23PM  
  • Believers: A novella and stories
  • Rock Springs
  • The Collected Stories
  • In the Garden of the North American Martyrs
  • The Pugilist at Rest
  • Persian Nights
  • Stories in an Almost Classical Mode
  • Escapes
  • The Wonders Of The Invisible World
  • The Stories of John Cheever
  • Shiloh and Other Stories
  • Sixty Stories
  • The Stories of Richard Bausch
  • Reasons to Live
  • Selected Stories
  • Emperor of the Air
  • Distortions
  • Paris Stories
Carver was born into a poverty-stricken family at the tail-end of the Depression. He married at 19, started a series of menial jobs and his own career of 'full-time drinking as a serious pursuit', a career that would eventually kill him. Constantly struggling to support his wife and family, Carver enrolled in a writing programme under author John Gardner in 1958. He saw this opportunity as a turni ...more
More about Raymond Carver...

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“You've got to work with your mistakes until they look intended. Understand?” 172 likes
“There is no answer. It's okay. But even if it wasn't okay, what am I supposed to do?” 88 likes
More quotes…