My friend gave me this as a present. Honestly, it isn’t the kind of thing I would normally read but I feel kind of ashamed about that now. This is one of the best collections of short stories I have ever read! There are a number of controversies related to authorship with this book. Apparently, Carver’s editor Gordon Lish did some substantial rewriting. That’s a fascinating issue but, whoever did the bulk of the writing, the book is extraordinary. The prose style is about as spare as possible but also infused with tenderness and compassion for people struggling with silent pain and rage. One or two of the first stories are a little too paired down for my taste although even these are beautifully written. Most of them however are about as perfect as short stories can get. My absolute favorite was “The Third Thing That Killed My Father Off.” Brilliant and chilling, its power haunted me for weeks and I’ve reread it several times. Other favorites were “Sacks,” “The Bath,” and “After the Denim.” However, I’d happily read them all again!