Weekly Short Stories

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

The Drowned Giant | J. G. Ballard | Literary Roadhouse Ep 122

Discussion Notes: The Drowned Giant

Find this week’s story here: The Drowned Giant by J. G. Ballard

Next week’s story: The Proxy Marriage by Maile Meloy

Rated: Clean

At the behest of longtime listener Todd Williams, the Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss “The Drowned Giant” by J. G. Ballard.  While technically a science fiction story centered around a mysterious giant that washes up on shore, the work felt grounded in a social reality the hosts recognized. Through discussion, they discover new layers of meaning and nuance, and an intellectual chewiness that inspires admiration. They compare the story to “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World” by Gabriel García Márquez which was discussed on episode ten. By the end of the episode, all 3 hosts rate the story 5.5 out of 6 across the board. (Our interests are converging. The hivemind will arrive soon.)

If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

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We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon


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

And of Clay Are We Created | Isabel Allende | Literary Roadhouse Ep 121

Discussion Notes: And of Clay Are We Created

Find this week’s story here: And of Clay Are We Created by Isabel Allende

Next week’s story: The Drowned Giant by J. G. Ballard

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss “And of Clay Are We Created” by Isabel Allende, a short story loosely based on the 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia. Throughout the discussion, Rammy wrestles with how to feel about a story that super imposes fiction on a highly publicized world event. Meanwhile, Gerald reflects on the heavy themes, while Anais latches an intrigue buried in lines. As is typical on this show, those four lines inspired a tangential conversation that, this time on gender dynamics in relationships. Along the way, Anais gets a new book idea. Overall, the hosts liked the story, but discovered a lack of enthusiasm.   

Oh and Anais finally wins a game to secure a win for long time listener Todd Williams. For months he has been patiently waiting for a discussion of The Drowned Giant. If you want a host to pick up a story suggestion, drop a line in the comment section, on Twitter @litroadhouse, or in the FB group linked to below.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon


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

Who Will Greet You at Home | Lesley Nneka Arimah | Literary Roadhouse Ep 120

Discussion Notes: Who Will Greet You at Home

Find this week’s story here: Who Will Greet You at Home by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Next week’s story: And of Clay Are We Created by Isabel Allende

Rated: Clean

The four Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss the Caine Prize for African Writing runner up “Who Will Greet You at Home” by Nigerian writer Lesley Nneka Arimah. This story polarized our hosts sharply and along gender lines. On the ladies’ side, Maya and Anais had nothing by love and admiration for this sharp portrayal of motherhood, in particular the cycle of longing and shame. The boys weren’t moved by the theme, in large part because of magical realist elements that made the context feel alien. Our hosts debate whether or not gender plays a role in the understanding of this story. What do you think? We’re curious to know if men and women receive this story very differently.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon

Top 10 Short Stories (from Episodes 1 through 30)

 

Top 10 Short Stories (from episode 1 thru 30)

We’ve discussed 100s of short stories over the past 3+ years. To help new listeners find the absolute best stories, Anais has curated her personal top 10 short stories from the first 30 episodes.

Why the first 30? Picking the top 10 stories from our podcast archive was just too dang hard. So, Anais decided to make it easier on herself by selecting her top 10 stories of the first 30 episodes. She’ll continue making things easy for herself by taking a look at the stories we’ve discussed in batches of 30.

Also, you can click on any slide and it’ll open a link to the episode in a new tab. Hooray!

For long time listeners, did Anais miss an important story from the first 30? Remember, you can view the full list whenever you like at the list of short stories page.

 

Want to discuss any story with us?

The Literary Roadhouse Readers group is a place where listeners can discuss any story, and not just this week’s story. Because all hosts are a part of the group, it’s a great way to speak with us directly. So if you’re new, listened to an old episode, and want to chime in, you can! Click the button below to join the group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

The Kitchen Child | Angela Carter | Literary Roadhouse Ep 119

Discussion Notes: The Kitchen Child

Find this week’s story here: The Kitchen Child by Angela Carter

Next week’s story: Who Will Greet You at Home by Lesley Nneka Arimah

Rated: Explicit (discussion of sexual content)

Gael Gilliland, founder of The Legacy Recorder

Guest Gael Gilliland, found of The Legacy Recorder

On today’s podcast, we welcome a special guest Gael Gilliland. She is founder of The Legacy Recorder (www.thelegacyrecorder.com) which  helps people preserve their favorite moments and wisdom for generations to come. The Legacy Recorder works with both individuals and assisted living facilities to help preserve individual’s life stories.

 

Patreon bonus! Anais interviewed Gael! Subscribe to hear Gael talk about preserving memories and how young volunteers are helping the elderly put their stories down on paper.

As for today’s story, Maya, Gerald, Anais and Gael discussed The Kitchen Child by Angela Carter. Set in England, this rowdy comedy centers around a boy born to an estate’s cook, and whose father remains a puzzling mystery. Opinions diverged. On the most positive side, Anais and Gael enjoyed the humor and cartoonish aspects of the story. Meanwhile, Gerald took issue  with the mistreatment of the female cook, and Maya struggled with what could be seen as assault dismissed for laughs. Boy, what a debate!

Stay for a culinary quiz and test your continental chops.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon

Wyatt Thurst | Brendan Bowles | Literary Roadhouse Ep 118

Discussion Notes: Wyatt Thurst

Find this week’s story here: Wyatt Thurst by Brendan Bowles

Next week’s story: The Kitchen Child by Angela Carter

Rated: Explicit (discussion of sexual content)

The Literary Roadhouse hosts, sans Maya (but she’ll be back next week!) discuss “Wyatt Thurst”, a short story by the winner of the Writers Trust of Canada Award, Brendan Bowles. After this story burst the American hosts’ conceit that cowboys and rodeo are presumed to be American, it offered a lovely discussion on character building, subtlety in writing, and meticulously polished prose. All three hosts enjoyed the story, though for slightly different reasons. Rammy said it reminded him of Jack Kerouac, while Gerald loved the rhythm, and Anais marveled over the prose. Listen to the hosts deep dive into the psyche of the main character, Wyatt. And lastly, “canoe dancing” has its first, and possible only, mention on the show. Listen to find out why.

Have thoughts on this story?

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or in our FB group.

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Join the Literary Roadhouse Readers FB Group

Support us on Patreon

We’re still a self-funded podcast. We work hard every week to bring you the best content possible.


Support Literary Roadhouse on Patreon

Marry the Sea | Marie-Helene Bertino | Literary Roadhouse Ep 117

Discussion Notes: Marry the Sea

Find this week’s story here: Marry the Sea by Marie-Helene Bertino

Next week’s story: Wyatt Thurst by Brendan Bowles

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss a short story recommended by Kristy Lin Biluni, the Sexy Grammarian who appeared on Episode 106. This week’s story “Marry the Sea” by Marie-Helene Bertino was published in Time Out Magazine, and the surreal story left the hosts buzzing, confused, but, for three out of four hosts, happy. The unenthusiastic hold out, Rammy, raised very good points and questions which forced the others to explain why this strange, whimsical, brooding yet light, plot-less story struck the right chord. Even Rammy confesses the story made him feel rebellious, and Gerald and Anais explore the ways in which prose can sometimes resemble modern visual arts.

Stay for a surreal mad lib game at the end of the episode.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Laughing and Turning Away | Patrick Holloway | Literary Roadhouse Ep 116

Discussion Notes: Laughing and Turning Away

Find this week’s story here: Laughing and Turning Away by Patrick Holloway

Next week’s story: Marry the Sea by Marie-Helene Bertino

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts, sans Maya, discuss the second place winner of Carve Magazine’s Fall 2017 Raymond Carver Contest, “Laughing and Turning Away” by Patrick Holloway. Gerald loved the story, while Rammy led the podcast with the feint praise ‘competently written.’ Anais grappled with the parts of the story she didn’t like, while highlighting commentary on Brazilian and machismo culture that she found insightful. The hosts discuss whether or not the difference between the protagonist and the author led to the distance between the reader and protagonist as well.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

Once Removed | Colette Sartor | Literary Roadhouse Ep 115

Discussion Notes: Once Removed

Find this week’s story here: Once Removed by Colette Sartor

Next week’s story: Laughing and Turning Away by Patrick Holloway

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts, sans Maya still, discuss the show’s second Colette Sartor story, “Once Removed.” This episode quickly turned into a love fest with all three hosts loving the story, the characters, the prose. Love, love, love. Though usually this show discusses the meta aspects of a story, the characters in this piece felt so real that our hosts kept discussing them like real people, commenting on their behavior, and making judgments and predictions as to the future of these characters’ lives. Stay for a fun truth-or-dare game around real life super powers. And yes, Rammy won the game but everyone lost track of points. Lucky Gerald, we read his story next week.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.

The Trial for Murder | Charles Dickens | Literary Roadhouse Ep 114

Discussion Notes: The Trial for Murder

Find this week’s story here: The Trial for Murder by Charles Dickens

Next week’s story: Once Removed by Colette Sartor

Rated: Clean

The Literary Roadhouse hosts, sans Maya, discuss Charles Dickens’ short story “The Trial for Murder.” Surprisingly, all three hosts walked away from the story a bit ambivalent, or in Rammy’s case, confused. They discuss the characters, the plot, the themes, and what makes for a good ghost story and how the genre has evolved over the decades. Despite the overall ambivalence, Gerald and Anais pick out gems, moments of levity or wisdom that stayed with them. The show ends with a friendly modern ghost quiz.

Did we miss a crucial piece of this story? Tell us below! Or on Twitter @litroadhouse or on our Facebook page.

Also, don’t forget to rate the story! For the history of our goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate this story? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail.

Lastly, your reviews on iTunes help us grow. Please search Literary Roadhouse in iTunes and leave reviews for all of our shows.