fiction · short stories

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver

Ever since I saw Birdman, I wanted to read this book. Now, why I wanted to read it: the title. Titles just get to me. I know that’s not something you should base your feelings on a book upon, but with this one, it ended up being true.

I am a person who enjoys stories about everyday life. And I especially like stories that lay bare the banalities of everyday life, the pointlessness and meaningless of it. And Carver does that splendidly. I am not a big fan of short stories, mainly because I like books where I can get attached to characters, I like back stories and I Iike a lot of character building, and there’s no space for that in short stories. But this one was really good.

Carver’s writing is quite unique and it takes some getting used to. But in the end, it did wonders for me. It’s very bare and straight to the point, with nothing excessive to it. It’s stripped and it works with the themes he incorporates and the atmosphere he aims to create. It’s such a distinctive style, something you can recognize straight away, and I always admire and appreciate that. If you read a random, out of context paragraph, you could tell that it’s Carver’s because it’s quite specific, and you got to give credit for that.

The stories are really depressing but very, very poignant, which made them even more sorrow and melancholic and the atmosphere is palpable. It’s alive and the tone is consistent throughout all of the stories. You won’t feel happy after you’re done with this, but the stories will stick with you because they are so realistic.

Overall, impressed with it, definitely recommend it and I’m looking forward to reading more of his work!

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