Cathedral (the collection) is what I picked up a few weeks ago. While I’ve read singles from his other books of stories, what attracted me to this particular collection was the opportunity to revisit one of the first stories I ever read (the title story). I wasn’t let down, either.
These stories are fast, real, and rip the soul out of everyday life. We encounter all sorts of people in hard situations.
I would be able to discuss this collection further in detail if I hadn’t read it in the middle of Richard Ford and Ron Rash. And, as a warning, I’d recommend people interested in reading short stories to not read two collections in a row. It jumbles things up.
Anyway, Cathedral is spectacular in every way. You need to read Carver, lots of him.