Click here to play or download Slate's June Audio Book Club (MP3 format) * or click here to subscribe to Slate's new book club podcast on iTunes.
The next audio book club, about Beloved, will be posted on July 19.
He's born, he cheats, he dies, but not necessarily in that order. We're talking about the eponymous, nameless hero (so to speak) of Philip Roth's latest novel, Everyman, a compact volume that distills some of the author's most familiar themes.
Everyman is a great focal point for a broader discussion of Roth and his place in American literature. And, wouldn't you know it, we have exactly such a discussion ready for your listening pleasure. Click here to play or download* audio of the hourlong book club meeting featuring critics Stephen Metcalf, Meghan O'Rourke, and Katie Roiphe. Remember, you don't need an iPod to listen. The file will play on any computer or MP3 device.
We're also announcing the Audio Book Club selection for July. It's Beloved,by Toni Morrison. I asked our book club leader, Slate's Culture Editor Meghan O'Rourke, to explain why the group chose such a well-known work:
On May 21, the New York Times Book Review anointed Toni Morrison's Beloved the "Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years." The announcement lit a heated debate. Was Beloved really a better novel than contenders like Philip Roth's American Pastoral, Don DeLillo's Underworld, and John Updike's Rabbit series? It originally was published in 1987 to great acclaim; does it seem as significant a novel as it did then? We decided to judge for ourselves whether Beloved really is a great work of American fiction.
Audio of the Beloved book club will be available on Wednesday, July 19.
One technical note: The Audio Book Club is a regular part of Slate's daily podcast feed, but we've also set up a separate solo feed for the book club (iTunes feed here; RSS feed here). There you'll find the latest episode plus all the previous ones (including discussions of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking and Ian McEwan's Saturday). And if you want to learn about our other audio offerings, check out Slate's new podcast page on iTunes.
We welcome your comments on the Audio Book Club or any of our podcasts. E-mail us at Podcasts@slate.com.
* If clicking on the link doesn't start the audio playing on your system, or if you prefer to download it, try right-clicking (Windows) or holding down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then "save" or "download" the audio file to your hard drive.