The Short Stories of Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and John Updike
5 cassettes / 7 1/2 hours
Unabridged short stories
Three American masters of the short story - Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and John Updike, brought together for the first time in one deluxe audio collection.
Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver, read by Peter Riegert
Few American writers are more admired than the late Raymond Carver. InWhere I'm Calling From, his highly acclaimed short story collection, Carver displays an astonishing genius. His stories are populated by characters living in an unforgivable world, suffering the burdens of displacement, divorce, despair. These people snarl and bark and speak in bursts of rough-and-tumble dialogue. They are everybody, anybody, nobody. A final testament to Carver's towering talent, Where I'm Calling From is a mesmerizing masterpiece of fiction drama, and poetry.
The Stories of John Cheever, read by Maria Tucci
"[John Cheever is] a master storyteller." - Time
A selection of the incomparable short fiction that has, together with his novels, secured John Cheever's place among the foremost writers of our time. The stories included on this AudioBook are "The Enormous Radio", "O Youth and Beauty!", "Just One More Time", "A Woman Without a Country", and "The Worm in the Apple".
Selected Stories by John Updike, read by the Author
John Updike reads six stories, including "A&P", recounting a moral crisis at the checkout counter; "Pigeon Feathers"; "The Family Meadow"; " The Witness"; "The Alligators" and "Separating," which recounts the June day when Richard and Joan Maple separate, in front of their children.
Mr. Updike, when asked to describe his method of reading aloud, said "I try to picture the things described, and to speak the words distinctly, and to let the emotion come through on its won."
The method works beautifully.
* American Masters also includes a 30-minute audio sampler of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, performed by Jeremy Irons
What's unique about American Masters is that it's such a complete work of art. Not only are the stories well written and thought provoking, but the narrators are perfectly suited to their tasks. Each voice is like the bass note of a complex symphony--whenever your mind begins to wander, swimming within the tones of the various worlds composed, these voices call you back to the original structure of the story. Of course, the narration is various and unique, suitably matched to the writers: Raymond Carver deports himself with all his usual rawness of character and gritty realism through Peter Riegert's gruff but melodic intonations; John Cheever disguises the same with an air of refinement and quietly piqued nostalgia in the fine New England accent of Maria Tulcci; and John Updike holds them both down (through his own narration) with a funniness that is all too serious, or vice versa (you're never quite sure which). But the differences only highlight the fact that these literary giants all carry a certain bearing toward their work that is distinctly American. They all seem to find it rather like an animal of its own, like human nature itself. Taken like this--as variations on a theme--and mingled with the textures of the ancient art of storytelling, the collection becomes less a set of audiobooks and more a rare tapestry of American vantage points. Listen and discover these masters' works all over again. (Running time: 7.5 hours, 5 cassettes) --Courtenay Kehn