The Audio Book Club on Beautiful Children
Our critics discuss Charles Bock's first novel.
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2008, at 1:41 PM
To listen to the Slate Audio Book Club discussion of Charles Bock's Beautiful Children, click the arrow on the player below.
This month, Stephen Metcalf, Troy Patterson, and Katie Roiphe sink their teeth into Charles Bock's first novel, Beautiful Children, which John Burdett, writing in the Washington Post, described as a novel that "deserves to be read more than once because of the extraordinary importance of its subject matter and the sensitivity with which [Bock] treats it."
The Audio Book Club members were less impressed. Although they conceded that it was a "flavorful, powerfully written book," they largely agreed that it failed to deliver on the promise of its early sections. The conversation runs about 35 minutes.
If you'd like to get an early start on the next book-club selection, we've chosen Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, specifically the 2004 translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
You can also listen to any of our previous club meetings by clicking on the links below *:
All the King's Men, by Robert Penn Warren
Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert
Tree of Smoke, by Denis Johnson
The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
Independence Day, by Richard Ford
The Emperor's Children, by Claire Messud
The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Everyman, by Philip Roth
Saturday, by Ian McEwan
The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
Questions? Comments? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (E-mailers may be quoted by name unless they request otherwise.)
* To download the MP3 file,right-click (Windows) or hold down the Control key while you click (Mac), and then use the "save" or "download" command to save the audio file to your hard drive.
Stephen Metcalf is Slate's critic at large. He is working on a book about the 1980s.
Troy Patterson is Slate's television critic.
Katie Roiphe, professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University, is the author most recently of Uncommon Arrangements: Seven Marriages, and the forthcoming In Praise of Messy Lives.