The book's jacket states that Carver's stories are "suggestive rather than explicit" - I say they are both. The work is deliciously dark, as well as, uncomfortably close. I recently read Where I'm Calling From, another collection of his stories, and there is significant overlap. I suggest this one because it provides a broader range and simply more stories.
Are You a Doctor? explores both curiosity and hope but not in the expected manner. Pastoral and The Cabin are essentially the same story but altered slightly as Carver fine tuned the latter. Both examine the futility of attempting to repeat exact moments and feelings. Viewfinder evokes Cheever and showcases the ability of both of them to dance on the edge of madness within a sane backdrop. Tell the Women We're Going carries a hint of Stephen King - enough said.
The Pheasant is abrupt much like the accident it depicts. Preservation tells the story of one in a marriage holding it together until they no longer can. The Train, written for John Cheever, picks up on one of his own stories and extends both the mood and the mystery of the original. It is hard to describe any of Carver's work as bright and positive but Fever comes as close as any. It was among my favorites for its hope and human connection. Kindling also carries a feeling of redemption but Carver, bless him, leaves the conclusion to the reader. One that continues to sit with me is What Would You Like To See? - it is simple, compelling and worthy or a re-read or two but, then again, all of Carver's stories are.
on January 7, 2016
I love this book. It brings together ALL of Carver's short stories (plus the pre-edited version of one of his famous collections) in a fine volume (I absolutely love the paper). It also contains very useful information, written by the two editors, in the back. An invaluable addition to my library, and at an unbelievable price. Bravo to the editors and the publisher!