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Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

Stories
Narrated by: Norman Dietz
Length: 7 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

With this, his first collection of stories, Raymond Carver breathed new life into the American short story and instantly became both the recognized master of the form and one of our best-loved fiction writers. Carver shows us the humor and tragedy that dwell in the hearts of ordinary people; his stories are the classics of our time.

©1991 Tess Gallagher (P)2017 Tantor

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  • Darwin8u
  • Mesa, AZ, United States
  • 03-31-19

Humanity at the Breaking Point

“Not in pictures she had seen nor in any book she had read had she learned a sunrise was so terrible as this.”
― Raymond Carver, "The Student's Wife" in Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?

A collection of 22 short stories averaging about 6-8 pages each (a couple might stray into the 11-15 page range) that Carver wrote during what Carver called his "Bad Raymond days" or "First Life" (1960-1974) . Disclosure, like in other short story collections, I may have put one star too many on some of these and accidentally left of a star when I should have actually included it it on several. I read these stories in San Diego drinking Diet Coke while laying under palm shade on fake grass at the Hotel del Coronado. I probably should have been drinking cheap bourbon to really get more into it. But that's it. I can't imagine getting MORE into it. Carver's spare writing guts me. I feel like I'm exposed, raw, and sore. He is brutal. Several stories almost made me cry (and I'm not a casual literary crybaby). While reading this, I kept thinking how different directors (Not Altman) would direct these stories? Some seemed almost Lynchian (the macabre hiding under the banal and normal), while some seemed more like they gave a K-Mart meets Alfonso Cuarón vibe. I liked the idea of him as the poor-man's Hemingway, but he is more human and brutal than just that. He captures humanity at the point where we break (and we all break).

1 "Fat" - ★★★★
2 "Neighbors" - ★★★★★
3 "The Idea"- ★★★★
4 "They're Not Your Husband" - ★★★★★
5 "Are You a Doctor?" - ★★★
6 "The Father" - ★★★
7 "Nodody Said Anything" - ★★★★
8 "Sixty Acres" - ★★★
9 "What's In Alaska?" - ★★★★★
10 "Night School" - ★★★★
11 "Collectors" - ★★★★
12 "What Do You Do in San Francisco" - ★★★★
13 "The Student's Wife" - ★★★★★
14 "Put Yourself In My Shoes" - ★★★★
15 "Jerry and Molly and Sam" - ★★★★★
16 "Why, Honey?" - ★★★★
17 "The Ducks" - ★★★★★
18 "How About This?" - ★★★★
19 "Bicycles, Muscles, Cigarettes" - ★★★★★
20 "Are These Actual Miles?" - ★★★★★
21 "Signals" - ★★★★
22 "Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?" - ★★★★★

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Yes!

I rather enjoyed these stories. Albeit short stories are usually frustrating because they lead you in then desert you in a foreign landscape, I think the title of the book was true to the theme and absolved some of the guilt of the inherent abandonment. Yeah, I liked them, and the narrator as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jeff
  • Central Michigan
  • 10-05-17

I guess I don't get Carver

I felt most of his stories stopped short of having a point. Narration wasn't great

1 of 6 people found this review helpful