For those who are passionate by a minimalist written style, Raymond Carver is a great option for your next reading choice. Mr. Carver’s tales go further the daily immediate problems we deal with, once he brings more intimate manias, self expectations and mediocrity. These three themes are spread in his tales.

A good example of that is his tale “Neighbors” (spoilers ahead), in which the narrator presents a couple, Bill and Arlene Miller, who show strange behavior when they start looking after their neighbors’ house while they are on a trip. Bill begins visiting the neighbor’s house often, and puts on his wife neighbor’s bras and painties. Apart from that strange mania, Bill becomes more eager to have sex with Arlene.

Another example is the tale “They are not your husband” in which an unemployed salesperson named Earl Ober goes to her wife’s workplace, a coffee shop, and orders some snack. While she is waiting on the guests, Earl listens to two men’s commentaries on her wife:

“Look at the ass on that. I don’t believe it” The other man laughed. “I’ve seen better”

Raymon Carver in “Will you please be quiet, please?”

Earl becomes paranoid about Doreen’s (his wife) weight and decides to ask her to go on a diet. Doreen makes a great effort to lose pounds while Earls starts controlling her habits and public life.

By unveiling the real American dream, Mr. Carver excavates deeply in the soul of the common American and shows the reader some aspects of the raw reality of the post Great Depression. His direct and economic style turns the narrative more suggestive than exposed, which makes his tales more vivid and riddled. The reader ends up fulling the holes more by the suggestive scenes than the explicit text.

A good example of that is the tale “The Idea”, from which we may infer, by her inner thought, that the narrator has a repressed wish to cheat on her husband, while showing us the contrary through her hypocritical actions.

To make a long story short, it is worth reading Raymond Carver in order to find out the dark side of the moon on humans.

Luciano Aparecido Marques

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