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What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: Stories Paperback – June 18, 1989
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Yet these stories bear careful re-reading, like any truly important and enduring work. For one thing, Carver is one of the few writers who can make desperation--cutting your ex-wife's telephone cord in the middle of a conversation, standing on your own roof chunking rocks while a man with no hands takes your picture--deeply funny. Then there is the sheer craft that went into their creation. Despite their seeming simplicity, his tales are as artfully constructed as poems--and like poems, the best of them can make your breath catch in your throat. In the title piece, for instance, after the gin has been drunk, after the stories have been told, after the tensions in the room have come to the surface and subsided again, there comes a moment of strange lightness and peace: "I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone's heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark."
Much of what happens in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981) happens offstage, and we're left with tragedy's props: booze, instant coffee, furniture from a failed marriage, cigarettes smoked in the middle of the night. This is not merely a matter of technique. Carver leaves out a great deal, but that's only a measure of his characters' vulnerability, the nerve endings his stories lay bare. To say anything more, one feels, would simply hurt too much. --Mary Park
"Raymond Carver's America is...clouded by pain and the loss of dreams, but it is not as fragile as it looks. It is a place of survivors and a place of stories.... [Carver] has done what many of the most gifted writers fail to do: He has invented a country of his own, like no other except that very world, as Wordsworth said, which is the world to all of us." —Michael Wood, front page, The New York Times Book Review
"Splendid.... The collection as a whole, unlike most, begins to grow and resonate in a wonderful cumulative effect." —Tim O'Brien, Chicago Tribune Book World
"Carver not only enchants, he convinces." —J.D. Reed, Time
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I loved Carver before, and now I love him more. The way that these stories are set up just makes me want to keep reading! VERY GOOD!!Published 9 days ago by Pen Name
A wonderful collection of stories from an overlooked master writer.Published 16 days ago by Jerry Mac
Commonly referred to as 'The Godfather of Minimalism,' Raymond Carver is at his best in this collection. Read morePublished 22 days ago by Daniel Lassell
This has been a really good read so far. When I read the very first story I was confused but it's one of those books that sinks in over time. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Ikra Ahmad
I really enjoyed this book of short stories which are not connected by characters yet loosely related by themes of love & relationships.Published 1 month ago by James Montgomery
The modern Hemmingway. A pleasure to read the lines and read between the lines. The movie BIRDMAN reignited my interest.Published 2 months ago by Chris Capot
This is the source material for the Academy Award-winning Film, Birdman. Everyone who loves this film needs to read the original short story, too.Published 2 months ago by Tony Strad