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What We Talk About When We Talk About Love Paperback – 3 Jul 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New edition edition (3 July 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099449846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099449843
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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

Book Description

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

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By ARWoollock on 11 May 2009
Format: Paperback
Again, I might well be arriving late to the party, and maybe the food might all be gone, but I still feel it worth attending and seeing if I can't find something to munch on.
I found Carver via Murakami's 'Birthday Stories', where, having been impressed by 'The Bath', I decided to dig further and seek other works. Now, having read 'What we talk about...' I can only say three things;
i) Brilliant! Carver is a literary genius who occupies rare ground,
ii) Original. He re-wrote the short-story, he invented, re-invented the short-story,
iii) More! I want more! I want to read every word he wrote, I am thirsty for his world vision.
Carver's style, his vision, his world-view optimises what makes American literature great, and what is great American literature. After reading this I was reminded just how good modern American literature really is - there is not a country on this planet who has a definite modern style as beautiful, clean and expressive as America. People often say that Jazz is the only true American Art, but I disagree! To that I would also add the short-story! America has a rich and unchallenged history in the short story and it must surely be at least partly attributable to the likes of Raymond Carver.

Many readers have commented that 'nothing happens'... NOTHING HAPPENS? Things happen, lots happens, it's just, like life, things happen quickly - who could forget the three page masterpiece 'Popular Mechanics'? Where Carver's real genius lies is that he really is a master storyteller, that is to say he paints a sparse picture and challenges the reader to fill in the blanks, to use THEIR imagination to join the dots.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 31 July 2005
Format: Paperback
Short stories are one of my favourite forms, and Carver is masterful. His sparse prose reminds me of Hemingway, and his characters - all struggling with their own small-town psychoses - hit you directly from the page. I'm not the biggest fan of American literature, to be honest, but embarked on my first experience of Carver after recommendations from a friend (who is a huge fan). Carver's stories wheedle their way into your consciousness. His portraits of everyday yet remarkable people are sharp and linger long after the few pages devoted to each tale. There's still something cerebral rather than emotional about the stories, but this alienation is part of the package. If you want to see beautiful craftsmanship and feel in the mood to take the wry, sometimes deeply sad, stories of failed promise or everday accident, then Carver is a rewarding experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Shepherd on 27 Jan 2012
Format: Paperback
The stories are crisp, sharp and focused and written in a very minimalist style. But they are harsh. While the title uses the word "love" each of the stories has a cold hard reality about it which is far from loving, and an infinite distance from romance. Representing the short story equivalent of Tom Waites, its an easy 5 stars, but don't expect too many smiles.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Grumpy on 28 Aug 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a great example of the short story genre. Each story opens a little window on lives either troubled or trying to smother the echoes of the past. The stories provoke more questions than they give answers. The reader is left uneasy. I loved it. I can see how others might find it disturbing. But if you are open to the short story genre, these are classics.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By hannah on 21 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
This was the first collection I read by Carver. I was very glad I did. He is a master of the short story and a very evocative writer. The short story is so hard to get right - but needless to say he says so much in a short time.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. CM Cole on 17 April 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book of short stories was recommended to me as a good example of minimalism. The stories are short and sharp as might be expected when considering that Raymond Carver is a writer known for his succinct text. I enjoyed the stories even though they are miserable and gloomy. The book has ecouraged me to read more about Carver himself.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By loverofliterature on 16 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
This is one of the greatest collections of short stories ever written - Carver was a master storyteller, with not a word wasted
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By laurac on 21 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting collection of stories - very heavily edited and sometimes hard to understand endings. I want to read Beginnings now!
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