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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 compassion and honesty. . . . his eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart” (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World).
About the Author
Norman Dietz is a writer, an actor, and a solo performer. He has also performed frequently on radio and television, and he has recorded over 150 audiobooks, many of which have earned him awards from AudioFile magazine, the ALA, and Publishers Weekly. Additionally, AudioFile named Norman one of the Best Voices of the Century.
Table of Contents
A Small, Good Thing
Where I'm Calling From
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
It is a cruel, un-poetic injustice, that Raymond Carver's life was tragically cut short just when his stories began to take on glimmers of hope that were nowhere to be seen in his earlier collections. When this book first came out, I was eager to read new stories from my favorite 'minimalist' (isn't there a better word these days than 'minimalist'?) writer. Instead, I was reading stories about compassion, good-natured friendships, and even salvation and forgiveness. Sure there were still the choppy sentences, quick observations, and weighty silences. But it was different. Many of the stories, not all, ended with an unusual (for Carver) sense of closure, even understanding. As so many reviewers have noted, the title story is just glorious. The narrator, a sarcastic and distant husband, finds human contact in the strangest circumstance. And when he does, he simply states, 'It was like nothing else in my life up to now.' Simple, but it leaves a serious lump in my throat each time I read it.
I've seen some things. There was someone who said that 'Cathedral' was Carver's peak, and that here he was starting to go downhill. He'd lost the edge displayed in 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,' etc. That's bull. 'Cathedral' was the first major work after Carver came to terms with his alcoholism. In several stories, 'A Small, Good Thing' and 'Cathedral' especially, a strong sense of relief is felt by the characters--as well as the reader. After 'Cathedral,' Carver's work wasn't despondent or bleak. It was art. Pure Gravy. And don't forget it.