Next week’s story Axolotl by Julio Cortázar

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This weeks podcast is rated Explicit for early discussion of erotica and mild swearing.

We were joined by Sam Tarakajian and had an amazing discussion. While Anais and Maya found many faults with this weeks story, they agreed that many of the literary choices were interesting and even brave. Sam enjoyed the story a great deal more and wondered if it was because as a man, he had more distance from the story which actually allowed him to enjoy it more. This episode was a blast and Sam was a gracious guest co-host with many interesting observations. If you would like to follow him on twitter, his handle is @starakaj

We do have a rating scale based on Bradberries! For the history of this goofy system, see Anais’ post “Read Short Stories or Ray Bradbury Cries.” If you want to design a Bradberry, we’d love to see it. Anais has the urge to create a Bradberry collage… Imagine, Bradberries on your desktop! You gave last week’s story, Birdsong by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,  4.5 Bradberries.

On a scale of 1-6 Bradberries, how do you rate What We’re Sure Of? Tell us in the comments below or via voicemail, and we will give you the final tally on the next episode.

Next week we are reading Axolotl by Julio Cortázar

7 comments on What We’re Sure Of – Brandi Reissenweber – Literary Roadhouse Ep 17

  1. EmergingWriter says:

    Unfortunately, I couldn’t read this story as it no longer seems to be available online. However, the podcast really made me want to read it! I enjoyed the discussion very much, and Sam was an awesome guest house. I missed Gerald, though! 😉

    I wish I could offer more by way of reaction, but without having read the story it is hard to contribute more. Thanks, as always, for the cast!

    1. Maya Goode says:

      Oh, that makes me sad. Looks like they pulled the pdf so it’s only available in the physical journal. Here’s a link but I’m super bummed because we try very hard to stick to freely available stories.

      1. EmergingWriter says:

        No worries, Maya… it happens. Thanks! Maybe I will go ahead and seek out a print copy. There is a university library near me that might have it or be able to get it through interlibrary loan.

        I am so addicted to this podcast, it’s not even funny. You all do great work… keep it up!!!

  2. Maria Concepcion says:

    I agree with Todd, I felt pity for these women. I don’t think they had malicious thoughts for Carol, I think they envied her. I also think the we point of view was very effective to strip the women of any individuality. They serve to fulfill their function, not to satisfy their own individual needs, like "Stepford’s wives." They projected onto Carol all of their fantasies and desires, and by "getting involved" they gave themselves a mini-vaca, a departure from their routine.

    I enjoyed the podcast, Sam was an excellent guest host!

    5 Bradberries from me.

    1. Todd Williams says:

      Yes! I forgot to mention that Sam did a great job of guesting.

      1. Maya Goode says:

        I agree, he was a fun guest.

  3. Todd Williams says:

    I thought the portrayal of the "soccer mom hivemind" was incredibly well done. I had to re-read the story after listening to the podcast and hearing how horrible Maya and,less so, Anais thought these women were. I felt a lot of pity for their hollow, unfulfilling lives but don’t find any instances where the women are mean-spirited about Carol; they seem more to envy her for an imagined exciting life. I realize the catty clique thing is a reality and more personal to women, but I just didn’t pick up on it that way in this story.
    I thought the "we" viewpoint was very effective in presenting a lot of opinions and feelings without specifying who they belonged to. It’s irrelevant which woman wanted to be a dancer yet we know one of them did etc.. I really loved it as a narrative technique.
    Overall I felt the theme was more about the desperate "need to know" that is so present in our culture and how We will manufacture whatever we have to in order not to face the unknown. This is so obvious whenever a major event happens and all the speculation and false headlines pour in before any actual info can be determined. This makes the title so much more ironic and sarcastic.
    5.5 blackberries for me!

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