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A Small, Good Thing

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  233 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
A Small, Good Thing is an award winning short story by American author Raymond Carver. It was included in the story collection Cathedral, published in 1983.
30 pages
Published (first published 1981)
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Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Compartment and A Small Good Thing by Raymond Carver

Another version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:


The Compartment

In this narrative the hero travels by…train.
He is in Europe, on the way to see his son, who lives in Strasbourg.

At the start of the tale we have read about major differences between parent and child that have culminated in a fight.
Physical, with the father head locking the son.

But later on, a letter has not only
Keith Moser
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
For some reason, I saved a link featuring this story based on someone's recommendation years ago. I'm not familiar with Raymond Carver nor do I remember who tweeted or facebooked this link, but I can't say I'm happy they pointed it out to me...

It's no longer listed on the Classic Shorts Bibliography for some reason but other classics like The Monkey Paw & The Lottery are. A Small Good Thing is a simple short story (just under 10,000 words) that tells of a young boy who was the victim of a hi
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
"انسان هایی عادی, اسیر روابطی رنگ باخته که در شرایط غیرعادی و خاص واکنش های نامتعارف از خود بروز می دهند." یعنی کارور
Xin Le
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Read a recommendation from the paper and I was then busy searching through the net. I finished it on my coffee table (but I was drinking Milo), feeling great to have read a good story in this lovely morning.

It doesn't give much emotional rises and falls, but the ending was just nice, and reading is a small, good thing at the moment.

Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
A fascinating read. Carver has a knack of capturing a sense of extraordinary and interesting within simple prose. Within 13 short pages its impossible not to be carried along on the emotional journey of Ann and Howard, and the minute coverage of their reactions gives us insight into a situation that we hope to never experience.

I came across 'A Small Good Thing' having read Carver's 'The Bath'. Its seems that The Bath is a heavily edited version of this story (by Gordon Lish) and one which loses
Heather Norment
Feb 08, 2016 rated it did not like it
I seem to be one of very few who don't appreciate carver's style. 'bland' is a good word for it. I understand the concept of this story, but I don't feel it was executed fully. the language is so simple, when you reach the climax you have no idea you've reached it at all. I feel I've wasted my time reading this, having gained no insight from its intended message.
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really like this author's style. I've read two of his short stories (this one and "Cathedral") and am looking forward to read more of this author. His style is kind of simple, but there's still something very interesting to it and to the content of his stories, which I found to be pretty original.
Jul 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
The first story in my reading list for American lit class that made me cry. Review to follow. Let me gather the broken pieces of my heart first.
Vanessa Smereczynska
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sad, sad but good.
May 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: historias-cortas
Las penas con pan son menos (?)
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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
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