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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cathedral

Raymond Carver's Cathedral was book #22 on my list this year.

So, um yeah you may have noticed that I've been reading a lot of short stories lately. Tis true. What can I say, they make the perfect literary snack for the internet generation. One thing that's become abundently clear as I've delved deeper and deeper into the genre is that Raymond Carver was truly an amazing talent. He's the Michael Jordan of contemperary authors, effortlessly achieving what others can only aspire to. Cathedral is but another highlight in his storied career.

In Cathedral Carver gives us a dozen dazzling stories that make up one masterpiece of a collection. My favorites were "Feathers", "The Compartment", "A Small Good Thing", "Fever", "The Bridle" and "Cathedral". Highly recommended.

"This old station wagon with Minnesota plates pulls into a parking space in front of the window. There's a man and woman in the front seat, two boys in the back. It's July, temperature's one hundred plus. These people look whipped. There are clothes hanging inside; suitcases, boxes, and such piled in back. From what Harley and I put together later, that's all they had left after the bank in Minnesota took their house, their pickup, their tractor, the farm implements, and a few cows." -- opening paragraph of "The Bridle"

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