- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (4 Sept. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099449854
- ISBN-13: 978-0099449850
- Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.5 x 19.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 677,931 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Cathedral Paperback – 4 Sep 2003
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'All the stories in Cathedral are different; some funny, some hauntingly sad. Each has its own individual and curious power' Daily Telegraph
'All the stories in Cathedral are different; some funny, some hauntingly sad. Each has its own individual and curious power' Daily Telegraph (2003-03-03)See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Before he died in 1988 at the age of 50, Carver had proved himself to be the greatest modern exponent of the short story in America. The stories in this collection include 'A Small, Good Thing', which was awarded the 1983 O. Henry Award. It also includes my favourite Carver story: the title story, 'Cathedral', which is so packed with emotion, clarity of thought, beauty and pain as to leave one breathless with admiration.
In my view, the short story is the pinnacle of prose writing and Carver is one of its few consistently successful exponents. This collection proves both points.
But sentimentality and false notes are pretty rare in Carver's stories, and this collection is still excellent: sparse prose and suburbanity, stories that explore tenderly human failures. Carver the short-story writer was a decendent of Hemminway without the exoticism and bravado, and a contemporary of Charles Bukowski without the desire to ridicule and aspire to bohemianism.
"Cathedral" - a collection of 12 stories by Carver, has made me re-think the merits of short stories. Several here are minature masterpieces, one or two don't work for me, and one or two absolutely had me rivetted and thinking about them long after I'd finished reading. It's a combination of ingredients that work here: Carver's pared-down-to-the bone style, the timeless quality of the stories, the dilemmas and sense of the moment being preserved. But overall, I think it's Carver's ability to tell a story that could be taking place at any point in time that gives them such power. They just don't seem to date, and he's cleverly avoided layering the stories with too much detail about time and place, so they don't age.
But they do make you think. At just over 200 pages, the stories don't take long to get through, but they say so much more than other, longer books I've read. If, like me, you aren't that convinced that short stories make good reading, I urge you to give this collection a try. A revelation, and a lesson too in how to write little, but say a lot.
Carver's style is simple, precise, captivating, but mostly - and it says this in the blurb on the back - resonant. Truly.
Like short stories - you NEED this!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I read Raymond Carver decades ago and then forgot about him until recently. Now I remember what I loved about his writing - the apparent simplicity and absolute detail, almost... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Fran Richards
Those who love to read and improve on their English this book is a must. Carver is a genius, a rare talent never to be forgotten. Read morePublished on 30 Jan. 2014 by Anthony Fernandez
I was pleased with all aspects of this purchase: the product arrived promptly and was in excellent condition and met my expectations.Published on 25 Jan. 2014 by Ms. S. J. Rolph
One of the most poorly written and wittlessly concieved books I have had the misfotune to read.Published on 24 Aug. 2010 by BivviBaz