Book Review: What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver


One of my favourite things to do is to walk around a book store and physically browse books and see if any of them catches my eye. A lot of the time it's an impulse buy after reading the back, other times I remember a title of a book that is on my 'to read' list and I feel that it is a sign that I should read it. Initially when I was attracted to the title and found out what it was about I was immediately interested. I'm trying to branch out when it comes to what I read, I haven't read short stories for a very long time. I still have memories of my Dad reading to me and my little sister before bed from a big book of stories. There was also a lot of praise for Carver's writing style. When I found this, I picked up the last copy on the shelf and went to pay.

I believe that all authors are talented, they create something in their mind, put pen to paper and it's there for anyone to read. To write a series of stories with such different characters, narratives and events, each of them significant in their own way is artistic. Being able to achieve the same in a few pages that others do in a few hundred is quite inspiring. They are about people, all different types of people, young, old, relatable, unimaginable, men and women.

They really do linger in your mind, it as been a month since I read the 17 stories and some of them really got me thinking. In particular the story with the same title What we talk about when we talk about love. A group of people are having a conversation and one of them says 'There was a time when I thought I loved my first wife more than life itself. But now I hate her guts. I do. How do you explain that? What happened to that love?'. I couldn't stop thinking about that when I first read those words. It seems like love can grow as easily as it can die. Maybe there is a balance in the universe and there can't be more love or more hate, it must be equal. But who truly knows, and that is what I love in a book. When I think about something I never thought about before. 

As it is a relatively small collection it was really quick to get through, perfect for days when you want to read a few pages at a time. If you want a change from an entire novel I would recommend giving this a read. 

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