Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories

Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories

4.6 10
by Raymond Carver, Peter Riegert
     
 

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2 cassettes / 3 hours
Read by Peter Riegert

"One of the great short story writers of our time - of any time."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer

Few American writers are more admired than the late Raymond Carver.  In Where I'm Calling From, his highly-acclaimed short story collection, Carver displays an astounding genius.

Carver's stories

Overview

2 cassettes / 3 hours
Read by Peter Riegert

"One of the great short story writers of our time - of any time."
-- Philadelphia Inquirer

Few American writers are more admired than the late Raymond Carver.  In Where I'm Calling From, his highly-acclaimed short story collection, Carver displays an astounding genius.

Carver's stories are populated by characters living in an unforgiving world, suffering the burdens of displacement, divorce, despair.  These people snarl and bark and speak in bursts of rough-and tumble dialogue.  They are everybody, anybody, nobody.  Here, Carver has captured a heart-wrenchingly poignant world of real people with real problems, convincingly portrayed in a spare and gritty style.

A final testament to Carver's towering talent, Where I'm Calling From is a mesmerizing masterpiece of fiction, drama, and poetry.

Stories included:
Neighbors
Colelctors
Chef's House
Little Things
Fat Elephant
Where I'm Calling From
A Serious Talk
Cathedral

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Books of the Century
What happens most powerfully and often ...is the imagining by one character of another character's life....We finally see in it the point made by Henry James, that beauty is the form of address made by the world to the human soul.
Chicago Tribune
The stories streamline and order and heighten experience in a way that makes everyday life look both chaotic and relatively benign, and so, in its way, Carver's fiction reassures. Set next to standard-issue American heroes, these characters may be jerks, losers, flops, sad-sacks, bums and chumps, but within each is a spark of caring. This human quality impels us into the center of every Carver story.
NY Times Book Review
Among the masterpieces of American fiction.
Baltimore Sun
Where I'm Calling From is the closest thing to definitive Carver.
Cleveland Plain-Dealer
Powerful, evocative....A good representaion of a modern master. If you're going to own one book by Carver, this should be it.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The cool streamlined style of this modern master of the short story has spawned dozens of younger writers who seek to follow in Carver's footsteps. But where the Brat Pack frequently produces flat, unresonating fiction, Carver has the ability to render graceful prose from dreary, commonplace, scraping-the-bottom human misery. This collection consists of 30 stories selected from four previous volumes, and seven new tales. Appearing in order of original publication, they reflect Carver's developmentfrom 1963 to the present. We meet many of his characters just as something dear to them is slipping away. Jobs, cars, the affection of a spouse or child, the routine of lifeall can be lost. Even in the more upbeat stories, a narrator recalls a happy occasion that, in retrospect, marked a change for the worse, or a high point in a life since gone sour. In Carver's world, ashtrays overflow, wives are usually ex-, and drinkers are drunks. Seedy and dishonest characters are glimpsed in the process of once again doing the wrong thing. One of the new stories, ``The Errand,'' which is in part an account of Chekhov's death, is offered as a tip of the hat to the great short story writer. Even here, with more affecting and finished prose than ever before, Carver's rendering gives us all the intimacy of a medical chart. Aptly named, he is a carver of flesh from the bone.
Library Journal
Carver is arguably the most important American short story writer since Ernest Hemingway, and like Hemingway he is the master of a much-imitated style: spare and flat, yet powerfully implying much more than it says. His stories deal with people whose lives are coming apart and with the illusions they cling to for self-respect; many have the emotional impact of overheard confessions. This aptly titled collection contains eight new stories written since the publication of the much praised Cathedral, plus 30 stories selected by Carver from his other books. Together they chart Carver's literary development as he takes us to frontiers of desperation where dreams turn to dread. -- Charles Michaud, Turner Free Library, Randolph, Massachusetts
— Geoff Rotunno, Tri-Mix Magazine, Goleta, California
— Geoff Rotunno, Tri-Mix Magazine, Goleta, California
Irving Howe
[Carver's stories] can…be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction.
The New York Times Book Review
From the Publisher
The summation of a triumphant career from "one of the great short story writers of our time—of any time." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)"[Raymond Carver is] one of the true contemporary masters." —The New York Review of Books"[Carver's stories] can...be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction." —Irving Howe, The New York Times Book Review"[These stories] overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life.... Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty, his eye set on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart." —The Washington Post Book World

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394578743
Publisher:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
04/01/1967
Product dimensions:
4.36(w) x 7.09(h) x 0.83(d)

Meet the Author

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first collection of stories, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please (a National Book Award nominee in 1977), was followed by What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1984), and Where I'm Calling From in 1988, when he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He died in August of that year, shortly after completing the poems of A New Path to the Waterfall.

About the Reader
Peter Riegert costarred in the hit movie Crossing Delancey.  His other film credits include Animal House and Local Hero.  He has appeared in several Broadway and off-Broadway productions and on television in the PBS miniseries Concealed Enemies.

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Where I'm Calling From: Selected Stories 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
People who consider Raymond Carver to be a strictly minimalist writer should really read this book from cover to cover. What they will discover is a career on the cusp of change, just before the author's life was tragically cut short. The stories are presented in chronological order. The opening dozen stories or so are classics of minimalist style which reaches its peak with the devestating 3-page story 'Little Things' in which a child is literally torn apart by its parents divorce. But Carver's tone and style changes in the stories that follow. 'What We Talk About When We Talk about Love' and the gut-wrenching 'So Much Water So Close To Home' take on a new level of story-telling where Carver gives us a more intimate look at his characters. The last two of the previously published stories are nothing like the earlier stories. In 'Cathedral', a typical Carver married man--distant, cynical, and slightly smug--makes surprising contact with another human being, presumably for the first time, in the most unlikely of situations. It is almost a salvation. 'A Good Small Thing' (which was a revision of an earlier story called 'Scotty') is nothing less than a masterpiece. In Carver's earlier career, this story would have ended bitterly and, perhaps, indifferently. Instead, this story ends up with an astonishing flavor of hope, forgiveness, and even closure. The seven 'New Stories' at the collection's end just drive home the fact that Carver was really moving forward or at least in a new direction. I defy anyone to read 'Intimacy' or 'Elephant' and say, 'Typical minimalism.' I would place a heavy bet that the reader would reply the same way I did, 'Damn! Damn! Can you imagine what he'd be writing if he were still with us?' Damn.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never heard of Ray Carver until I read this book for my Eng Lit class in college. I felt it was such a strong self-reflection of Carver's own life. Captivating! Many of his endings are left for the reader's imagination to come up with their own suitable ending to the story with or without a moral. Very sad at times also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book belongs in the Pantheon of American short fiction collections. Very few American writers match his gift for the short story and this book contains all his most celebrated works. Kick yourself if you consider yourself a true reader and haven't read at least 50% of this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best short stories collection I have ever read. Carver's characters are as real as they would be real life people.
Boomer48 More than 1 year ago
Mr. Carver is a genius who has done a great deal for the short story, but, unfortunately, this collection is tedious to me. The drinking, flawed characters took a toll on me, and, while I can appreciate his flair for realistic dialogue, I tire of the plots that seem to all end in unhappiness or ambiguity. Others may not agree and will have to pick up a copy and judge for themselves.