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Short Cuts [Paperback]

Raymond Carver
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: £9.99
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Book Description

7 Mar 1994
'I look at all of Carver's work as just one story, for his stories are all occurences, all about things that just happen to people and cause their lives to take a turn... In formulating the mosaic of the film Short Cuts, which is based on these nine stories and a poem, 'Lemonade', I've tried to do the same thing- to give the audience one look... But it all began here. I was a reader turning these pages. Trying on these lives' - Robert Altman in his introduction.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Press; New Ed edition (7 Mar 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860460402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860460401
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first short stories appeared in Esquire during Gordon Lish's tenure as fiction editor in the 1970s. Carver's work began to reach a wider audience with the 1976 publication of Will You Please be Quiet, Please, but it was not until the 1981 publication of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love under Gordon Lish, then at Knopf, that he began to achieve real literary fame.

This collection was edited by more than 40 per cent before publication, and Carver dedicated it to his fellow writer and future wife, Tess Gallagher, with the promise that he would one day republish his stories at full length.

He went on to write two more collections of stories, Cathedral and Elephant, which moved away from the earlier minimalist style into a new expansiveness, as well as several collections of poetry. He died in 1988, aged fifty.

Product Description

Review

"Raymond Carver's stories can be counted amongst the masterpieces of American fiction" (New York Times)

"The stories overflow with danger, excitement, mystery and the possibility of life... His eye is so clear it almost breaks your heart" (Washington Post)

"One of America's most original, truest voices" (Salman Rushdie)

"Superb" (Ian McEwan)

About the Author

Raymond Carver was born in Clatskanie, Oregon, in 1938. His first short stories appeared in Esquire during Gordon Lish's tenure as fiction editor in the 1970s. Carver's work began to reach a wider audience with the 1976 publication of Will You Please be Quiet, Please?, but it was not until the 1981 publication of What We Talk About When We Talk About Love under Gordon Lish, then at Knopf, that he began to achieve real literary fame. This collection was edited by more than 40 per cent before publication, and Carver dedicated it to his fellow writer and future wife, Tess Gallagher, with the promise that he would one day republish his stories at full length. He went on to write two more collections of stories, Cathedral and Elephant, which moved away from the earlier minimalist style into a new expansiveness, as well as several collections of poetry. He died in 1988, aged fifty.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Master of the Short Story Craft... 21 Aug 2003
Format:Paperback
If you love Raymond Carver, or have yet to read any of his stories, this is a great book for you. These are selected stories by Carver, which inspired the movie "Short Cuts." Though I did enjoy the movie, reading the actual stories is ten times more satisfying.
Carver is a genius when it comes to the crafting of a short story. He's showed me that you don't need to have the most complex plot or the happiest ending in short stories. You don't even need a solid resolution. Carver creates some of the most memorable characters and is a pro when it comes to dialogue. These characters are faced with conflicts that can happen to anyone and anywhere. Some conflicts are small while others are major and life-changing. How these characters react to the situations thrown upon them are much like the way we could see ourselves dealing with them. That's why the stories work. They're very convincing and realistic.
I really enjoyed these stories. I liked the fact that some of these stories really caught me off guard. "Tell the Women We're Going," has to have one of the most horrifying and disturbing endings I have ever read in a story. I also liked the fact that these characters seem so real. It's like these are people you have known for all of your life. He writes the way people actually talk, and that is a great talent.
My favourite stories are, "They're Not Your Husband" "Neighbors," "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" "A Small, Good Thing," "Tell the Women We're Going," and "So Much Water so Close to Home." These are very realistic stories that paint a picture of everyday life.
Raymond Carver was a brilliant writer. We need more like him. If you like Carver or you have yet to read any of his work, check out this book and read some of the stories. It doesn't have a lot, but the ones that are in here are very well done. A book I will read over and over again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Carver manages to create a sense of magic out of the ordinary. He sifts through the rough scraps of throw-away reality that make up l.a. or indeed any large city and he weaves them into a beautiful delicate whole.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Carver re-visited 12 July 2009
Format:Paperback
Raymond Carver was unequivocally one of the top five non-fiction writers of the c.20th. Add to this honour, that he was also the undisputed world heavyweight champion of the short story, and only then can one begins to understand the pedigree of the artist. An artist who at times painted such a thin wash over his canvass that it was still possible to see the very fabric underneath. If one were to complain that there was insufficient colour painted on his canvass, then the correct response would be to say that the reader was not fulfilling their side of the contract. A contract which Carver single-handedly re-established; that is the unwritten contact between the author and the reader which states the author provides only half of the data and the reader uses their imagination to provide the remainder. If you want Carver to spoon-feed you, you will undoubtedly walk away hungry.

Regarding the specifics of this text, it should be made clear to any potential purchaser, that all of the stories contained herein were originally published elsewhere and are contained in other collections, so more than likely you don't need to purchase this collection. In addition, I would like to point out that this text is really just a marketing spin-off from Robert Altman's 1993 'Short Cuts', which is loosely based on the nine short this anthology contains. Therein lies the reasons why I only awarded it the five stars, as this wasn't made clear on the Amazon page.

Having stated the above, I might still have purchased this collection because it contains so interesting additions and editions I have yet to come across. New works I have yet to read were:

i) Vitamins
ii) Lemonade

Both of which were excellent, especially 'Lemonade'.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book Review: Short Cuts 4 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback
The short story book “Short Cuts” by Raymond Carver explores the neurotically, fate stricken people with issues below their own surfaces which takes place in the suburban world.

It is definitely the type of style of writing that you either get stricken by or enjoy it thoroughly or it could be the type of literature that you would want to stay away from. It is no doubt is a very unique style seeing as it is very real life like, he uses the language techniques such as " get in, get out, don’t linger “ and repetition to emphasize… He doesn’t thoroughly analyze all the situations, emotions and doesn’t drag on the story line or ideas which is actually effective because he manages to merge the ideas, feelings and the situations into a few phrases which makes it even more interesting to read because you can use your imagination and interpretive it any way you want.

He hits the nail on how people get or choose to be treated as well as the struggles, escapism, insecurities, emotions, broken relationships, self conflict and realization of the situation. We generally enjoy to read stories such as his because we all subconsciously want to escape from our lives and delve into stories about people with their own issues whilst forgetting about ours even if its just for a short while.

A good example of his language techniques and writing style is the story “A Small, Good Thing”, to sum it up it’s about how a boy named Scotty and he gets hit by a car and as usual he is in the hospital and he becomes unconscious for quite a while.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb short stories
All of these stories are about ordinary people, not bone poor, but with little to spare. The stories too have very little slack in them. Read more
Published 2 months ago by GeordieReader
1.0 out of 5 stars Hmm!
the book arrived but not in the condition that I expected.
I hope never to have that experience repeated. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Maxine Jarrett
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting but not unmissable
A collection of short stories, so some better than the others. Well written, Intriguing and quirky, but endings can be disappointing.
Published on 31 May 2012 by Mrs. Jelena Matijas
3.0 out of 5 stars Harrowing truths about humanity will leave you suicidal ...
We are currently studying this book in AS English Literature and Language, so it was not by choice that I picked it up. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2011 by Olivia
1.0 out of 5 stars Emporers new clothes?
I read this as it was recommended highly to me and if you like stories about ordinary people where nothing happens then this one is for you. Unsatisfying
Published on 22 Dec 2010 by Harri
2.0 out of 5 stars I really tried to like this
I am doing Short Cuts for my A level. I really tried to like the story but i can't. They are so boring. Read more
Published on 11 Nov 2004 by Mr. P. W. Stirups
5.0 out of 5 stars American Beauty!
Why are these Americans so damned good at writing quality short stories? I loved this book so much, I ran out and bought some of Carver's non-fiction too! Read more
Published on 9 Dec 2001
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