Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 5 Nov 2009
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"Carver is the king of short fiction. His writing hits you in the pit of your stomach, and haunts you with its disenchantment. It's almost visceral." (Natasha Lunn Red)
"Carver has made himself the natural successor to his true mentor, Chekhov" (Financial Times)
"He is alert to the unique, inconspicuous incident, when a life or a marriage may change course decisively" (Sunday Telegraph)
"Carver's stories celebrate some lasting aspects of the human condition, however minimal, conjuring up a quality of fellow feeling which gives the stories a compelling, dry-eyed poignancy, a melancholy but intensely moving authenticity" (William Boyd Daily Telegraph)
"There is nobody else like him. In some ways his pared-down style is an extreme development of the Hemingway style, but Carver writes about women and the ways men relate to them far more convincingly than Hemingway ever did" (Frank Kermode)
'The American Chekhov' Sunday TimesSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I find Carver the most original and intuitive voice - the craft of short story writing is much the poorer for his death.
Carver's genius lies in his powers of transportation. His ability to paint his subjects in the most transparent of washes, the faintest of brush-strokes and yet still manage to make you imagine them in their fullness and their complexity. Like the Chinese or Japanese masters of 'sumi-e' (ink painting), he lays down the simplest of lines, the simplest of narratives and the simplest language to convey to the viewer (the reader) just what was intended to be conveyed. There is no waste, no excess, no fat to be trimmed here, he stops short of giving too much and just shy of not giving you enough.
Carver arguably restored the relationship, the contract between the reader and an author. A contract whereby both parties agree to work for a common goal. The author agrees to give part of the story, if the reader agrees to use their imagination to fill in the blanks. And in agreeing to this contract, they agree to not just use their imagination in some passive, inert sense, but rather agree to draw on their store of experiences and knowledge to deepen one's assimilation to the characters and situations laid down on the page.
This short collection is memorable from start to finish and is highly recommended for anyone who likes great story-telling, who is interested in the human condition, or anyone who wants to encounter just what the short story can be.
In one of the more famous stories in this collection, "Neighbors", an unhappy couple find themselves slowly developing an obsession with a couple they envy across the hall, to the point they start to inhabit their home and their lives. A boy plays hooky to go fishing, and finds that while he can bring home the biggest catch, he finds he cannot confront the truth of his parents' failing marriage and his own intense loneliness in "Nobody Said Anything".
Elsewhere, the stories are full of men and women who talk but are not able to communicate, and when words prove meaningless, violence threatens to surface. Carver excels at painting working-class characters, who are living hand to mouth, and just making do, sometimes trying and failing, or on the brink of despair. The pain is never melodramatic, but quietly borne. The vacuum of their lives are filled with knick knacks and ordinary objects that litter their living spaces, holding their attention when staring their problems head-on proves too hard and distressing.
What you get with RAYMOND CARVER is a deep insight into human behaviour and emotion. His stories are often set around the mundane and frequently have no satisfactory resolution of the problems/situations that confront the main characters , but what a web this man spins. It is the sign of greaatness to do all of the above in such simple but effective language.
His style of writing is so different , that you may find like I did , that initially you are confused by the stories within this book. Persist. It took me about three stories until I skipped to THE STUDENT'S WIFE and then followed this by reading BICYCLES , MUSCLES, CIGARETTES .
They literally blew me away.
Buy this book and treasure the wisdom within I am not a re-reader of books but I found myself reading this again .
Rest in peace RAYMOND CARVER . You brought a devasting original voice into the short story form , and for that I salute you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Arrived quicker than expected securely packaged. The book was in excellent condition as described.
I'd never read any of Raymond Carver, so didn't know what to expect. Read more
Great little stories mainly about nothing but very thought provoking. Mainly all about people and the way they interact.Published 21 months ago by Lazerbeam203
In this collection of short stories, the author once again creates fiction out of everyday non-fiction, showing us that there is much more weight behind a gathering, a... Read morePublished on 21 Jan. 2014 by Saul
You won't have read shorts like this.completely absorbing and makes you think for yourself after he leads you so far and stopsPublished on 15 Dec. 2013 by m j goodfellow
Just fabulous. Every story seems simple, every agony it describes matches the real world with unlikely grace and goodness! Hurrah! Read morePublished on 1 Jun. 2013 by Neil McPherson
Evokes the 70's era of small town America and the interactions of the population. Enjoyable & thought provoking with tenuous links or themes between each story.Published on 2 May 2013 by Jez
This collection of short stories is possibly the best i've read, the characterisation is fantastic. A reminder of why I love carver.Published on 22 Mar. 2013 by niall mobsby
Raymond Carver was without a doubt one of the best short story writers of the 20th century, and this is one of his best collections. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2011 by The Book Witch