“A dozen stories that overflow with the danger, excitement, mystery and possibility of life…Carver is a writer of astonishing compassion and honesty…his eye set only on describing and revealing the world as he sees it. His eye is so clear, it almost breaks your heart.” —Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World
“Cathedral contains astonishing achievements, which bespeaks a writer expanding his range of intentions.” —The Boston Globe
“A few of Mr. Carver’s stories can already be counted among the masterpieces of American fiction…Cathedral shows a gifted writer struggling for a larger scope of reference, a finer touch of nuance.” —Irving Howe, front page, The New York Times Book Review
“Clear, hard language so right that we shiver at the knowledge we gain from it.” —Thomas Williams, Chicago Tribune Book World
“Carver is more than a realist; there is, in some of his stories, a strangeness, the husk of a myth.” —Los Angeles Times
It was morning in America when Raymond Carver’s Cathedral came out in 1983, but the characters in this dry collection of short stories from the forgotten corners of land of opportunity didn’t receive much sunlight. Nothing much happens to the subjects of Carver’s fiction, which is precisely why they are so harrowing: nothingness is a daunting presence to overcome. And rarely do they prevail, but the loneliness and quiet struggle the characters endure provide fertile ground for literary triumph, particularly in the hands of Carver, who was perhaps in his best form with this effort.