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Selected Shorts: American Classics

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A compilation of classic tales by great American writers performed by terrific actors, with a lineup ranging from Eudora Welty’s hilarious story of an independent young woman striking out on her own, "Why I Live at the P.O." read to wacky perfection by Stockard Channing to Joyce Carol Oates’ sly, creepy tale of a teenage girl’s seduction by a dangerous drifter, "Where Are A compilation of classic tales by great American writers performed by terrific actors, with a lineup ranging from Eudora Welty’s hilarious story of an independent young woman striking out on her own, "Why I Live at the P.O." read to wacky perfection by Stockard Channing to Joyce Carol Oates’ sly, creepy tale of a teenage girl’s seduction by a dangerous drifter, "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?," read poignantly by Christine Baranski to Edgar Allen Poe’s terrifyingly delicious "The Black Cat," read by René Auberjonois. Other featured stories include Alice Walker’s "Everyday Use" read by Carmen de Lavallade, John Cheever’s "Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor" performed by Malachy McCourt, Amy Tan’s "Rules of the Game" read by Freda Foh Shen and Jerry Stiller reading John Sayles laugh-out-loud classic "At the Anarchists’ Convention" by John Sayles.


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A compilation of classic tales by great American writers performed by terrific actors, with a lineup ranging from Eudora Welty’s hilarious story of an independent young woman striking out on her own, "Why I Live at the P.O." read to wacky perfection by Stockard Channing to Joyce Carol Oates’ sly, creepy tale of a teenage girl’s seduction by a dangerous drifter, "Where Are A compilation of classic tales by great American writers performed by terrific actors, with a lineup ranging from Eudora Welty’s hilarious story of an independent young woman striking out on her own, "Why I Live at the P.O." read to wacky perfection by Stockard Channing to Joyce Carol Oates’ sly, creepy tale of a teenage girl’s seduction by a dangerous drifter, "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?," read poignantly by Christine Baranski to Edgar Allen Poe’s terrifyingly delicious "The Black Cat," read by René Auberjonois. Other featured stories include Alice Walker’s "Everyday Use" read by Carmen de Lavallade, John Cheever’s "Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor" performed by Malachy McCourt, Amy Tan’s "Rules of the Game" read by Freda Foh Shen and Jerry Stiller reading John Sayles laugh-out-loud classic "At the Anarchists’ Convention" by John Sayles.

30 review for Selected Shorts: American Classics

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I don't usually enjoy audiobooks, but these short stories were great. Each one was told by an actor, and the actor chosen to read each story was spot on. Particularly hilarious: "The Anarchists' Convention," written by John Sayles and read by Jerry Stiller.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I have a love/hate relationship with short stories. But recently have found that while I don’t really enjoy single author short story collections, a one off classic can really be sublime and perfect. I finally understand that they can do things that simply can’t be done in full length fiction. That being said, I didn’t love every short story in this multi author collection, but all the actor narrators were great and the three stand out stories for me where “Where are Going, Where have you Been” I have a love/hate relationship with short stories. But recently have found that while I don’t really enjoy single author short story collections, a one off classic can really be sublime and perfect. I finally understand that they can do things that simply can’t be done in full length fiction. That being said, I didn’t love every short story in this multi author collection, but all the actor narrators were great and the three stand out stories for me where “Where are Going, Where have you Been” by Joyce Carol Oates, “The Black Cat” by Edgar Allan Poe and “Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor” by John Cheever (spot on narration by Malachy McCourt).

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    This was an audio book performance of the stories listed in the description. All the stories are classics, most of which I read some time ago. My favorite short story of all time "Where are you going, where have you been?" by Joyce Carol Oates is included in the selections. It was a joy listening to all of the stories. Some were quite funny. In particular, "At the Anarchists’ Convention" made me smile throughout. John Sayles managed to respect being elderly and still suffuse the story with honest This was an audio book performance of the stories listed in the description. All the stories are classics, most of which I read some time ago. My favorite short story of all time "Where are you going, where have you been?" by Joyce Carol Oates is included in the selections. It was a joy listening to all of the stories. Some were quite funny. In particular, "At the Anarchists’ Convention" made me smile throughout. John Sayles managed to respect being elderly and still suffuse the story with honesty.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chris Gaither

    This is the first audiobook I've reviewed for GoodReads. What a delightful set of stories, performed before live audiences by actors who do them full justice: Stockard Channing reading a cheeky Eudora Welty tale, David Straitharn a manic story by Donald Barthelme, Christine Baranski a tense Joyce Carol Oates piece, René Auberjonois capturing the crazy in Edgar Allen Poe, and so on. My favorite is Malachy McCourt telling John Cheever's gloriously funny Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor. You This is the first audiobook I've reviewed for GoodReads. What a delightful set of stories, performed before live audiences by actors who do them full justice: Stockard Channing reading a cheeky Eudora Welty tale, David Straitharn a manic story by Donald Barthelme, Christine Baranski a tense Joyce Carol Oates piece, René Auberjonois capturing the crazy in Edgar Allen Poe, and so on. My favorite is Malachy McCourt telling John Cheever's gloriously funny Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor. You can spend a worse four hours than listening to these gems.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Lavender

    I listened to the audio version of this Selected Shorts - A Celebration of the Short Story. While not all the short stories deserve the 4 stars, I enjoyed the opportunity to "read" 8 different authors. Each was read by an actor which added to the story. Each lasted about 30 minutes, so they were a good length and while I am not much of a short story fan this made me look up the authors and I will be adding some of their novels to my reading list.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I listened to this in the audiobook format and it is an excellent collection of short stories performed by a variety of people. The performer who did Edgar Allen Poe’s "Black Cat" was especially fantastic. My favorite story overall was "Game" by Donald Barthelme, and the performance was also well done. "At the Anarchists' Convention" was also quite good and I found myself laughing out loud.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mboconnor31

    Fantastic collection, each story was unique from the other in topic, style or type. Of course, the audio version is best. Because it is based on live performances of special actors or orators. Amy Tan’s story of the young female chess champion is so clever and funny. John Sayles’ piece on the anarchists convention is laugh out loud funny, read by Jerry Stiller. Edgar Allen Poe, well creepy as only he can do. A must!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    I listened to this as an audio book--not my favorite way to "read" a book but I have to say the particular readers of these stories did the stories justice. I especially liked Rene Auberjonois reading "The Black Cat" by Edgar Allan Poe, Stockard Channing reading Eudora Welty's "Why I Live at the P.O., and Jerry Stiller was hilarious reading John Sayles' "At the Anarchist's Convention".

  9. 4 out of 5

    Themardi

    Some of the stories on here are amazing and worth 5 stars or more, like "The Anarchist's Convention", read by Jerry Stiller. Another one is about a teenage girl getting harassed by a man. It is disturbing, almost harrowing to listen to.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Penni

    I'm so glad I discovered this. Or rather, was introduced to this by a friend. Every story, a joy to listen to. (Audible)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Excellent selection of short stories brilliantly performed.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sg.00

    nice selection of stories read by a interesting selection of narrators in front of live audiences. the crowd reactions were, at times, a little jarring.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Halifax

    Audiobook. Entertaining stories, especially since they were read by actors.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katrina Feinberg

    I listened to this in Audible. Great short stories read to live audiences by actors who performed them amazingly. Not all of them were four stars, but overall fun to listen to.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jay Miraldi

    Loved "Everyday Use". And props to the guy who read "Black Cat", he could not have embodied Poe more if he tried :P

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam S

    This was an uneven collection. Some of the stories were excellent and others were just okay. The first one, by Amy Tan, was especially strong, which may have raised expectations too high.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been by Joyce Carol Oates and The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe were both excellent.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Helen

    Really enjoyable! I particularly liked the rendition of "Why I Live at the P.O." by Eudora Welty.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Olga

    Amy Tan's story = ***** the most excellent, touching and mesmerising of the bunch! "Where are you going, where have you been?" is the most terrifying and hopeless.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tania Mittleider

    This is a great collection of short stories and introduced me to a lot of classic American authors that I hadn’t previously read. The readings by various actors were highly enjoyable and brought more life to the stories. They range from humorous to horrifying to thought-provoking, and I enjoyed each in a different way. In order of preference: • John Sayles: "At the Anarchists’ Convention" • Amy Tan: "Rules of the Game" • Eudora Welty: "Why I Live at the P.O." • Donald Barthelme: “Game” • Edgar Allen This is a great collection of short stories and introduced me to a lot of classic American authors that I hadn’t previously read. The readings by various actors were highly enjoyable and brought more life to the stories. They range from humorous to horrifying to thought-provoking, and I enjoyed each in a different way. In order of preference: • John Sayles: "At the Anarchists’ Convention" • Amy Tan: "Rules of the Game" • Eudora Welty: "Why I Live at the P.O." • Donald Barthelme: “Game” • Edgar Allen Poe: "The Black Cat" • Alice Walker: "Everyday Use" • Joyce Carol Oates: "Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been?" • John Cheever: "Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor"

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The first two short stories are very good. Rules for the Game by Amy Tan and Game by Donald Strathairn are highly recommended, however stop reading/listening after that. In fact, I've never read anything by Amy Tan before and after listening to her story about the interesting relationship between a chess champion and her helicopter mom I would definitely want to read more of her stories or novels.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Raven Johnson

    My God this was amazing! "At the Anarchists' Convention", "Why I Live at the P.O.", and "Game" were so funny, I listened to them twice. Two of the stories are wonderfully creepy, and the other two tell the story of an Asian American family and an African American family, respectively. I recommend this collection to anyone that enjoys a good short story!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Lauri

    There were two stories in this series which were just creepy and nearly ruined the book for me. But the rest were wonderful - particular one by Alice Walker and, best of all, Jerry Stiller reading "At the Anarchist's Convention." Worth the price of the CD alone.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I didn't get through all of the stories, because it had a hold at the library, but all I listened to were very good, and the readers were great. I especially liked Christine Baranski's reading of Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? by Joyce Carol Oates.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Earline

    This collection has introduced me to 2 of my favorite short stories that I've read/heard all year! I absolutely loved Amy Tan's "Rules of the Game" and Donald Barthelme's "Game." I also enjoyed being exposed to other great authors, such as Joyce Carol Oates, John Cheever, and Alice Walker.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    pure delight! well performed. ohmygosh.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mary Taitt

    Super! A wonderful collection of thought-provoking short stories.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Excellent narration in this eclectic mix of short stories!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maureen

    Amy Tan fan. Storyteller of "Rules of the Game" is quite good too!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    Excellent collection of stories, and the readings are superb. Highly recommended.

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