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

My next review is one of Raymond Carver’s collection of short stories I’ve heard nothing but brilliant things about. How it’s like a loving pat in the back and a slap in the face all at once. Now, if there’s one literary fear that I have, it’s short stories. I guess I’ve always been spoiled with an in-depth plot that sudden twists and turns of a short story just puts me off. But this year, I’m determined to put aside that fear and embrace all the surprises and wild guesses that come while reading this form of literature.

Anyways, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love is a spectacular start of my “therapy” because of how honest it was writtan, and I felt every bit of affection and tragedy from the many men and women that are beautifully disintegrating right before my eyes. ¬†And all of that is done through slice-of-life storytellings to remind us how all of us are a little broken. In fact, Carver reminds me so much of Hemingway because so much detail is presented to us on the surface, leaving us to dig a little deeper. Sure, there was a lot of head tilting on my part where I rummage through words on the page. wondering what on Earth is happening. However, I think that’s just where the beauty lies in this book because heck, how many times in life were we shrouded by uncertainty? Furthermore, it takes me one read-through of a dinner conversation to rediscover that yes, love is anything but simple.

Don’t expect revelations and big conclusions from this book because instead you’ll find regrets, unresolved arguments, men walking away from confrontations – carrying their ashtrays, and a woman’s indifference that sinks her deeper into an unhappy marriage. So, I’m thanking Carver for embedding a reminder that human nature is neverendingly complex. Yet we do hold some power in letting ¬†compassion and love shine through the litte cracks.

What an amazing read and I’m really optimistic about tackling this literary fear throghout 2017.