Weekly Short Stories

Each week The Literary Roadhouse podcast hosts deeply read and discuss one short story.

The Bet | Anton Chekhov | Literary Roadhouse Ep 145

Discussion Notes: The Bet

This week’s story:  The Bet by Anton Chekhov

Next week’s story: A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “The Bet” by Anton Chekhov, a deceptively simple story. Through discussion, our hosts discover that the moral of this story is buried deep in the narration’s point-of-view, in the rambling letter of a mad man, and the hypocrisy of a greedy would-be murderer.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Birdsong | Jahnavi Barua | Literary Roadhouse Ep 144

Discussion Notes: Birdsong

This week’s story:  Birdsong by Jahnavi Barua

Next week’s story: The Bet by Anton Chekhov

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss a very short story called “Birdsong” written by renowned Indian author Jahnavi Barua.  This discussion will give aspiring writers a lot to chew on. Our hosts marvel at Barua’s writing craft, and her talent for guiding mystery, tension, and mood. Interestingly, Gerald and Rammy were confused by the ending, which Anais absolutely loved.

Did the ending leave you confused or enchanted?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Signal-Man | Charles Dickens | Literary Roadhouse Ep 143

Discussion Notes: The Signal-Man

This week’s story:  The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens

Next week’s story: Birdsong by Jahnavi Barua

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss a classic Charles Dickens ghost story, “The Signal-Man.” Anais notices a pattern in Dickens’ ghost stories, and draws parallel to another Dickens story we discussed on the podcast, “The Trial for Murder.” Meanwhile, Rammy felt chills while reading this week’s story, and Gerald enjoyed the imagery. Listen for a fascinating story of Charles Dickens’ real life brush with death, and how it manifests not in this story’s wraiths, but in its setting.

If you’re wondering where Maya’s been, she’s been MIA as she devotes herself to getting her nomadic artist life in full gear. She’s been getting her hands dirty with some DIY van updates and camping hacks.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Roman Fever | Edith Wharton | Literary Roadhouse Ep 142

Discussion Notes: Roman Fever

This week’s story:  Roman Fever by Edith Wharton

Next week’s story: The Signal-Man by Charles Dickens

Rated: Clean

Guest host, author Tim Weed

This week the Literary Roadhouse welcomes guest Tim Weed, an author whose short fiction collection, A Field Guide to Murder & Fly Fishing, made the 2018 Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Shortlist and was a finalist in the short story category for the American Fiction Awards and the International Book Awards.

His first novel, Will Poole’s Island, was named to Bank Street College of Education’s list of the Best Books of the Year. Tim is also the winner of a Writer’s Digest Popular Fiction Award and his writing has appeared

 in Literary Hub, The Millions, Talking Points Memo, Colorado Review, The Daily News, The Writer’s Chronicle, Fiction Writers Review, and elsewhere. He teaches at GrubStreet in Boston and in the Newport MFA in Creative Writing.

He’s the co-founder of the Cuba Writers Program and works as a featured lecturer for National Geographic in Tierra del Fuego, Spain, and Portugal. 

To learn more about Tim, visit his website at timweed.net.

Tim suggested we read “Roman Fever” by Edith Wharton, and we couldn’t be more grateful. All four hosts dive deep into this story that’s smart, gripping, and instructional on how to structure a great story with an omniscient point of view.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

Enough for Me | Becca Krock | Literary Roadhouse Ep 141

Discussion Notes: Enough for Me

This week’s story:  Enough for Me by Becca Krock

Next week’s story: Roman Fever by Edith Wharton

Rated: Explicit

This week Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss a story from Gerald’s favorite literary journal, Carve Magazine. Through discussion, ours hosts’ opinions of “Enough for Me” by Becca Krock evolve. Gerald’s and Anais’s scores rise steadily as they discover more depth and color in the story, but Rammy remains a steadfast dissenter. At the end, Anais offers some insight into Rammy’s harsh grading style. It all goes back to their shared experience as highschool English students.

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge | Ambrose Bierce | Literary Roadhouse Ep 140

Discussion Notes: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge

This week’s story:  An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Next week’s story: Enough for Me by Becca Krock

Rated: Clean

We’re sorry this episode is two days late! If you want to prevent an episode from ever releasing late ever again, consider supporting us on Patreon.

This week Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” by Ambrose Bierce. Gerald loved the prose, but not the plot. In the reverse, Anais loved the plot the anticipates an entire genre, but prefers different prose. Rammy struggled to find meaning in the story, while Anais found plenty to chew on, albeit a rather depressing chew.

Have thoughts on this story?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Crowd | Ray Bradbury | Literary Roadhouse Ep 139

Discussion Notes: The Crowd

Find this week’s story, a Halloween Special: Listen to an audio version of The Crowd by Ray Bradbury

Next week’s story: An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

Rated: Clean

Happy Halloween! Listener Nick Huard recommended a spooky Ray Bradbury story for Halloween, and we couldn’t resist! Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “The Crowd” by Ray Bradbury. Our hosts discuss the supernatural elements and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it plot twist at the very end. Anais compares the original story discussed on this podcast to the made-for-TV version that aired in a 1985 episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater. We highly recommend you watch the TV episode of the crowd on Youtube.

Have thoughts on this story?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Five-Forty-Eight | John Cheever | Literary Roadhouse Ep 138

Discussion Notes: The Five-Forty-Eight

Find this week’s story here:  The Five-Forty-Eight by John Cheever

Next week’s story, a Halloween Special: Listen to an audio version of The Crowd by Ray Bradbury

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “The Five-Forty-Eight” by John Cheever. All three hosts loved this story, which was remarkably similar in theme and protagonist to last week’s story, but very different in terms of style, mood, prose, and tension. Cheever’s story is full of symbols that allude to the monotony of mediocre, suburban life, and the men who feel entitled within it. If you enjoyed this discussion, be sure to listen to last week’s discussion on “A Rich Man” by Edward P. Jones.

Note: Although Anais wins the game at the end, our discussion of “An Occurrence at Owl Creek” by Ambrose Bierce will not post until the first week of November. Next week it’s Halloween and we’re enjoying a spooky Ray Bradbury treat!

Have thoughts on this story?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

A Rich Man | Edward P Jones | Literary Roadhouse Ep 137

Discussion Notes: A Rich Man

Find this week’s story here:  A Rich Man by Edward P. Jones

Next week’s story:  The Five-Forty-Eight by John Cheever

Rated: Explicit

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “A Rich Man” by Edward P. Jones. Anais valiantly tries to convince Gerald and Rammy that there’s more to the story than meets the eye. Though the men on the podcast agree with Anais’s points, they struggle to connect with the overall narrative and characters. However, Gerald enjoyed the prose and reads his favorite lines.

This story pairs nicely with next week’s story, “The Five-Forty-Eight” by John Cheever. Both stories focus on philandering men whose dalliances lead them down dangerous paths.

Have thoughts on this story?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>

The Mark on the Wall | Virginia Woolf | Literary Roadhouse Ep 136

Discussion Notes: The Mark on the Wall

Find this week’s story here:  The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf

Next week’s story:  A Rich Man by Edward P. Jones

Rated: Clean

Gerald, Rammy, and Anais discuss “The Mark on the Wall” by Virginia Woolf, and struggle to separate thesis from plot. Rammy’s need for a story outweighed Anais’s appreciation of Woolf’s philosophical points. Gerald notices a motif across Woolf’s short stories: snails.

For those wondering where Maya has been, she’s been taking the summer off to get her adventurous life as an artistic digital nomad in order. She’ll be back!

Have thoughts on this story?

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Psst: Full list of short stories discussed on the podcast >>