2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Seven snapshots of human existence,
This review is from: Elephant (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Carver is often said to be America's Chekhov, or the Chekhov of the 20th century. He writes short stories about everyday life. Although some of them are brilliant in the way they capture little snippets from the lives of ordinary people, I didn't find this collection to be as good as the previous one, Cathedral. One or two of these stories are so ordinary as to be quite boring and even pointless. Do we really want to read about a couple lying in bed at night smoking cigarettes, unable to sleep after a phone-call (wrong number) wakes them? Nothing happens. Some of Carver's little stories are really quite brilliant, but some of these aren't. This is the difficulty in writing simple tales about nothing much: it's a fine line between making us think 'yeah, that's what life is really like' and 'so what?' Here we have examples of both.