Top positive review
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Best collection of short stories
on 29 March 2006
The is the first I have read of Raymond Carver's and I picked it up to read on holiday as I thought short stories would be better to dip in and out of plus, I have only ever heard good things about Carver and had always meant to get round to reading some of his work. This is a collection of his short stories, previously published in seperate collections. He says in the introduction, written shortly before he died, that these stories are put together in the order that he felt suited. He also says in the intro that he "loves the swift leap of a good story, the ecitement that often commences int he first sentence, the sense of beauty and mystery found in the best of them...that the story can be written and read in one sitting" - that really summed up for me how important short stories can be and also why I am dismayed how they are overlooked by alot of the reading public. From this quote I was sure that I was in for a treat.
The themes covered in these stories are love, loss, marriage, betrayal, beer and fishing. He really does write the miniutae of life beautifully and finds the extraordinary in the ordinary. Some of the stories don't really have a sense of closure but they are so beautiful and haunting that it doesn't matter. One story about a boy who is knocked down by a hit and run driver actually had me in tears and I had to put it down for a while before reading on.
I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates good writing and feels like getting lost for a while. I think I can honestly say that I have never read a better short story collection and will definitely be looking out for more of his work. These stories are really a benchmark for short story writing and hope that some of you give it a go.