Short Cuts

28 05 2011

This collection of short stories (9 stories and a poem) by Raymond Carver is a delightful read. It offers glimpses into the ordinary lives of American families. What makes these stories endearing is the utter simplicity of them and their characters. It is easy to relate with them.

I’ve always felt uncomfortable around the stories which leave unanswered questions, either as to the motives of the characters or as to the rationality behind the happenings or the like. So many of the critically acclaimed stories come into this category that I was first afraid that I was going to read another such bunch in Short Cuts but I was wrong. These stories cannot be farther from such stories which evoke strange feelings and often leave me utterly confused.

I always prefer those stories which have a proper beginning and more importantly, a proper, clear, and satisfying end. While I can’t say that the stories in Short Cuts meet this expectation of mine completely, they do not seem unreal or distant or make me feel  bewildered. The stories in this collection are different in that they portray the true picture of emotions people feel. In life, we don’t always act or feel rationally and we cannot always explain our urges or motives or actions. It is this struggle with our own selves and with those around us that these stories tried to depict.

Only one story in this book, titled “Collectors” made so little sense to me that I’m not even able to describe what it’s about. 😐 I may want to read it again sometime later with a fresh mind, in the hope to be able to better appreciate it.

It may be interesting to note that these stories are made into a film titled “Short Cuts” by Robert Altman; like a string of stories with exposes different facets of something. In fact, it is Robert who brought these stories, which were part of different collections earlier, together in this book.  The movie “Short Cuts” vaguely reminds me of “Das Kahaniyah” of Bollywood (a string of 10 separate stories).

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10 02 2012
2011 Reading « Peek Inside My Mind

[…] Short Stories – English: Short cuts by Raymond […]

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