Books on GIF #13 — 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love' by Raymond Carver


Books on GIF is a weekly review and discussion of random books told with the help of GIFs. We'll cover fiction, nonfiction and the occasional graphic novel.

This Sunday's book is 'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love' by Raymond Carver.

Raymond Carver

This collection really puts the 'short' in short stories — each tale is only a few pages long. Even so, they are vivid and intense. There's some of this:*

A lot of this:

And a bit of this:

What struck me most about Carver's work was not just what he wrote and how — he has a great, straightforward yet subtle style — but what he left out. So many powerful ideas about loneliness, love, relationships, sex, violence, despair, indifference and men are more engaging and interesting because of what's unsaid.

Anyone who loves short stories, particularly those by Flannery O'Connor or John O'Hara, will enjoy this book.

'What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,' by Raymond Carver, was originally published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1974, and by Vintage Books in 1989. 159 pages.

My rating:

What's next? In the coming weeks, I'll review 'Outline' by Rachel Cusk, 'The Dispossessed' by Ursula Le Guin and 'The Story of a New Name' by Elena Ferrante.

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* This scene from 'Birdman' depicts a stage adaptation of the titular Carver story of this collection.