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Where I'm Calling from Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook

4.5 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Random House US Audio; abridged edition edition (2 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394578740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394578743
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 11.4 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,113,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The summation of a triumphant career from " one of the great short story writers of our time--of any time." ("The Philadelphia Inquirer")
" [Raymond Carver is] one of the true contemporary masters." -- "The New York Review of Books"
" [Carver's stories] can...be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction." -- Irving Howe, "The New York Times Book Review"
" [These stories] overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life.... Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty, his eye set on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart." -- "The Washington Post Book World"

The summation of a triumphant career from "one of the great short story writers of our time--of any time." ("The Philadelphia Inquirer")"[Raymond Carver is] one of the true contemporary masters." "The New York Review of Books""[Carver's stories] can...be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction." Irving Howe, "The New York Times Book Review""[These stories] overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life.... Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty, his eye set on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart." "The Washington Post Book World"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Where I'm Calling From, with the author's original introduction, is the essential Raymond Carver story collection. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
"I love the swift leap of a good story, the excitement that often commences in the first sentence, the sense of beauty and mystery found in the best of them; and the fact - so crucially important to me back at the beginning and now still a consideration - that the story can be written and read in one sitting." (from foreword in Where I'm Calling From, 1998)
Raymond Carver's short fiction is often placed in the realistic tradition of Stephen Crane and Ernest Hemingway. Also, given the often muted, anticlimactic atmosphere of the prose there is a tension which is reminiscent of either Franz Kafka or Harold Pinter.
A motif within Carver's works is the issue of love, or, more precisely, the issue of love and its absence, and the bearing of love's absence on marriage and individual identity. He depicts the quiet desperation of white-and-blue-collar workers, salesmen and waitresses, and their sense of betrayal at being unable to express themselves. Things are frequently left unspoken and conflicts unresolved, and the meaning of the story is often only revealed through implications. In particular, his portrayals of marriage problems are full of emotional tension, hidden memories, wounds, longing, hate, anxiety, and melancholy.
"It is possible to write a line of seemingly innocuous dialogue and have it send a chill along the reader's spine - the source of artistic delight, as Nabokov would have it. That's the kind of writing that most interests me." (Carver in The New York Times, February 15, 1981)
This particular collection, Where I'm Calling From, published posthumously, contains a good selection, containing stories from Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? Cathedral and all seven stories from Elephant. Though, having said that, a better introduction to his stories would probably just be a copy of Cathedral. That way you wont have to buy any repeats.
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Format: Paperback
It is possibly the hardest and best thing that a writer can do to find the very big in the very small but Carver made a career out of doing just that and this is a definitive collection of his efforts. His characters are simply everyday people doing everyday things but their lives pivot on events that illuminate the greater truths in operation all around us. There is often a sense in these shorts that we are looking through windows or into back-gardens, that we are eavesdropping on our suburban neighbours. The lives of others will always be essentially unknowable to us but Carver gives some consolation that they feel the same hurts, struggle through the same frustrations, and have the same moments of intimation of sad and senseless mortality that we all do. Stories like “Bicycles, Muscles, Cigarettes”, written in a sparse muscular prose style, read almost like modern-day parables, like snapshots of the unexpected moments in life. Later pieces, like “What We Talk about When We Talk about Love”, have that rare quality to make you feel more like you are listening to a story being told than that you are actually reading at all. This collection ultimately becomes far more than the sum of its parts and it will live out a long and well-thumbed life in your library.
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By A Customer on 12 Jun. 2003
Format: Paperback
Raymond Carver, and the stories in this collection in particular, opened my eyes and mind to literature. His stories are told simply and beautifully. They are accessible to all readers and can be taken on all kinds of levels. I first read "Where I'm Calling From" (the story) when I was 15, and my love of this man's works has not stopped: in fact I completed a dissertation on his works a couple of years ago.
This collection is the best place to start, but be warned, you could find yourself buying these stories again as you go out and by the respective collections that Carver issued in his earlier career! Best stories include 'Fat,' 'The Calm' and 'Cathedral.' The latter is truly powerful, and although apparently a little different from other Carver stories, it really sums up his whole writing/storytelling agenda (which is certainly not a dogma or forced overstated thing -- you take whatever you want to take when you read a Carver story.)
There's also a touching little introduction from the author himself.
If you like Hemmingway, or Chekhov or V.S Pritchett, give Carver a go: if you know this collection already, next step could be Carver's 'Fires.' As it says in an excerpt on the back cover "Read everything Carver ever wrote."
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