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Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?: Stories Paperback – June 9, 1992

35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Carver has made himself the natural successor to his true mentor, Chekhov" Financial Times "He is alert to the unique, inconspicuous incident, when a life or a marriage may change course decisively" Sunday Telegraph "Carver's stories celebrate some lasting aspects of the human condition, however minimal, conjuring up a quality of fellow feeling which gives the stories a compelling, dry-eyed poignancy, a melancholy but intensely moving authenticity" -- William Boyd Daily Telegraph "There is nobody else like him. In some ways his pared-down style is an extreme development of the Hemingway style, but Carver writes about women and the ways men relate to them far more convincingly than Hemingway ever did" Frank Kermode "Carver is a master of the clear, sharp, resonant detail" Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

With this, his first collection of stories, Raymond Carver breathed new life into the American short story. Carver shows us the humor and tragedy that dwell in the hearts of ordinary people; his stories are the classics of our time.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; 1st Vintage contemporaries ed edition (June 9, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679735690
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679735694
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His father was a saw-mill worker and his mother was a waitress and clerk. He married early and for years writing had to come second to earning a living for his young family. Despite, small-press publication, it was not until Will You Please Be Quiet Please? appeared in 1976 that his work began to reach a wider audience. This was the year in which he gave up alcohol, which had contributed to the collapse of his marriage. In 1977 he met the writer Tess Gallagher, with whom he shared the last eleven years of his life. During this prolific period he wrote three collections of stories, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, Cathedral and Elephant. Fires, a collection of essays, poems and stories, appeared in 1985, followed by three further collections of poetry. In 1988 he completed the poetry collection A New Path to the Waterfall.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Tsila Sofer Elguez on July 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
There is something very satisfying about short stories, especially if you are short of time; here you still manage to feel some sort of "accomplishment" at having read a "piece of life" embodied in a story. Raymond Carver's short stories are a special treat in this regard. I first came by Raymond Carver's name while watching the movie "Short cuts". This is why I was so intrigued to read this book, his first collection of short stories.
"Will you please be quiet, please?" is an assortment of harsh, condensed, short stories. The stories are brief and "to the point". Carver captures the human experience at a certain important moment in time. This moment can seem trivial to an outside observer, but this is a flash of revelation, a private understanding that comes after a seemingly regular event. This is a moment of small change, recognition --- something will not remain as it was before.
The story "Fat" can be a good example for Carver's style. "Fat" opens the book and is one of my favorite stories in this collection. This is an account of a rather trivial, every day encounter of a waitress with a fat client. However, this encounter manages to shake something inside her and force her to feel something of his "Fat experience". Somehow this makes her think about relationships and people and brings her to a certain realization as to her personal interactions.
Carver does not glorify human beings. His description is not tender and he does not write with mercy. This is true regarding instants of ugliness and on the other hand - quick moments of great love and compassion - just as during one day you can have mixed feelings and a great moment of love can come from nowhere and just pass by, sometimes even unnoticed.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Chiang Hai Tat on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
Raymond Carver is my all-time favourite writer. I was hooked on his writings since the first time I read his book, which is this one. When I first finished reading this book some years ago, it changed my view in English literature altogether. What struck me was the stark honesty and reality in his writings. Never had I come across a writer who was as honest as Carver. He tells his stories the way life really is, without trying to twist, sensationalise or glamourise it. He tells stories about people like us. In fact, his stories are about us and the people around us.
Don't be fooled by the length of his short stories, his shortest pieces like 'Neighbors' and 'Fat' are among his best (though I can't really point out any that is not his best anyway) because it tells so much in so little words.
Another startling thing about Carver's stories is that it can relate to people everywhere in the world though he writes about Americans.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By J. Keller on November 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first bought and read this collection while an undergrad
at the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Carver wasn't then such a
recognized master of the short story. Most striking was how pain-
ful the stories were to read, and this was without the life experience one has gained since the late 1970's.
Raymomd Carver already wrote the stories I was aspiring to; there
was nothing left but to obtain his wonderful story collections, and re-read them every five years or so. The stories become more harrowing the older one gets. I just can't be objective about this collection in particular, as it's been such a touchstone for me.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Surferofromantica on August 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
Twenty-two Raymond Carver stories, published between 1963 and 1976 when the price of a pack of cigarets and a bottle of beer was much less than it is now. These are tales of strange, rural Americans, individuals with peculiar motivations and torments who are often seedy, and who are morally fairly corrupt. The stories are talky and chatty, or they are just bleak and descriptive, written as if he can wring some sort of spooky back story out of the most mundane happenings, like a couple who are house-sitting, or a man who reacts in a deplorable fashion when he realises that people think his wife is fat. A random wrong phone call pushes a caller to embark on a mysterious encounter. A kid with a lousy relationship with his parents masturbates, plays hooky and goes fishing. A farmer deals with poachers on his land. A young couple gets stoned and talks about moving up to Alaska. A guy lives with his parents after his marriage falls apart and he has no money even for his own car (this particular story feels very Charles Bukowski, somehow). A man enjoys a strangely malicious visit from a vacuum cleaner salesman who attempts to get him to answer to his name (is it something satanic, or is the guy trying to serve him a legal notice). A postman observes a young beatnik couple's relationship fall apart day-by-day from his route. A poor couple fail to dispassionately work through their frustrations. An older couple have a demented Christmas visit with their landlord, Carver lets their conversation builds into a serious, resentful confrontation. One awesome story is about a man having a crisis (the factory is laying off workers, he drinks too much, he has a mistress and his tense wife probably knows about it) who decides to get rid of the family's new dog because it's driving him crazy; he does, but he doesn't.Read more ›
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