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Short Cuts: Selected Stories Paperback – September 14, 1993
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About 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 August 2, 1988, shortly after completing the poems of A New Path to the Waterfall.
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Top Customer Reviews
The story beneath the undercurrents is what makes Carver so addictive. He describes urges, images, and muted longings that you have always felt, but never could express in words-until now.
Take the story "So Much Water So Close To Home." A group of men go on a beer-bash fishing trip. Early into their trip, they discover the body of a nude woman floating face down in the river. The beer buddies figure to keep fishing! Why ruin a good fishing trip? She's dead already, what harm? After all, they're going to notify the authorities, only later, so as not to interrupt having a good time. The beer-induced logic is funny as hell, but the story's neurotic undercurrent explores sloth, inaction and soulless indifference, characters whose actions can only be sanctified after the factors of humanity and decency have been removed from the equation. The wife of one of the beer buddies serves as the story's conscious. When she discovers that her husband drank and fished while a dead body floated downstream, she is appalled, alarmed. To her every accusation of "What kind of man are you to have done this?Read more ›
The stories in 'Short Cuts', as well as his other collections, are about ordinary people doing ordinary things. There is no weirdness for weirdness sake, no post-modern literary games; Carver examines the absolute commonplace with a microscope. To anyone not familiar with his stories (and even to some that are), one might wonder what possible value that could hold. Yet along with the everyday, there is also some small event that occurs during the story, sometimes something as small as a lost key or as large as stumbling upon a dead body; but something that causes one character to look at their wife or husband and really see them as a person, and not just as extras in their own story. Whether these characters come to know each other in positive or negative ways isn't as important as the idea that they are no longer isolated within themselves - willingly or not they are confronted with the fact that they are part of the rest of humanity.
Those are the ideas that I take away from his stories at least. Some stories seem to communicate this better than others, and while the selection included in 'Short Cuts' still reflects what I like about Carver, I found this collection inferior to 'Cathedral', the other book of his stories that I've read.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very nice intro to a fantastic writer, and some great short stories!Published 5 days ago by Mojo Brown
And about the short cuts we all sometimes take in life. Poignant stuff. It was a great movie too. The older you get and the more you watch the movie the better you understand the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by California
WOW, The best short stories written in modern times.I read his books over and over, both the short stories and the poetry. I can't believe he grew up in the city I grew up in. Read morePublished 12 months ago by cindy lamb
raymond carver was best story writer ever, love his work. his poetry is fine also.Published 13 months ago by Keith Stanton Andrew
This is the second selection of short stories by Carver I've read, the first was This is What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, so I knew what I was getting into. Read morePublished on January 7, 2014 by Ann M.