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Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

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  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Writing Style & Compassion

    I discovered Raymond Carver the summer I graduated college. It was such a horrible time in my life, broke, depressed, breaking up with my long time girlfriend, scared about the rest of my life, living at home and going nowhere. Raymond Carver was supposed to do a reading at my college, but canceled out when he got his big "gravy time" grant. I knew the name, but not his importance. So, it was the hot void of the worst summer in my life and I was probably working some really stupid job and had a few bucks to spend, and I walked to to the J.B. Dalton's bookstore, looking through the shelves and I saw WOULD YOU PLEASE BE QUIET, PLEASE, fresh in paperback, and I was like, oh yeah, I know that name. I remember leafing through it, skimming the sentences and bam! I was a miserable lost soul and these sentences blew away the smoke and filled me with light. I walked somewhere else in the Mall, sat on a bench and read that book and I like read it cover to cover several times in a row. I am constantly amazed this book did not become the hot book among our country's youth, and it is probably because our country's youth- especially the younger baby boomers, gen-xers and everyone who became a young adult during the 80s-simply don't read. I once had hopes "Please" would be like a Garp or a Naked Lunch or Hobbit, big with the college kids. Instead, it only could garner a creative writing student cult following. I consider this one of the defining moments of the anti-intellectualization of American culture. The youth of America did not adopt Please Be Quiet Please as a critical book of the currency; but unfortunately, they simply did not adopt any book. All those hippies who read like the Hobbit or the Electric Kool Aid Acid Tests, the punks with their Naked Lunch, or On The Road or Catcher in The Rye, well by the time of the Reagan youth was beyond defining themselves with literature. College kids were more interested in good grades I guess. Carver's two biggest impacts on me: the writing style, and the compassion. I reread this specific collection every year and so should you. Please Visit: timothyherrick.blogspot.com/

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    Posted December 29, 2008

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