Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver – A Book Review

Where I’m Calling From is a collected edition of Raymond Carver’s short stories.  Carver died from lung cancer in 1988, but before doing so he was said to have been one of the writers responsible for bringing back the glory of the short story.

Where I’m Calling From is certainly the work of an expert.  The stories are nothing particularly outlandish or special in terms of subject matter, but they most definitely cut to the heart of what it means to be human and to have relationships with other humans.  Carver seemed especially intent upon giving us stories about married couples who are divorced, in the process of getting divorced, or are on their way to getting a divorce. 

That’s not to say all of the stories found within this collection deal with such topics.  Some of them deal with losing a child, some deal with reflecting on parents, and some deal with simple experiences one has in life.  However, all of them are told in a concise and captivating manner where the reader can’t help but finish the story in one sitting. 

I recommend reading Where I’m Calling From if you are interested in studying non-traditional short stories, especially if you’re a writer.  I think his work may be a little too abrupt and unconventional for just the casual reader, though I feel everyone would benefit from reading this man who mastered his art.

To me, the most fascinating aspect of Raymond Carver is that as he neared his death, his stories actually got more positive.  That says something.

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