The Audio Book Club on Raymond Carver
Our critics discuss "A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath."
Posted Monday, Nov. 16, 2009, at 9:51 AM
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This month, the Audio Book Club tackles two versions of a Raymond Carver story—"A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath." The former represents Carver's original vision, whereas the latter was heavily edited by Knopf's Gordon Lish. You can find both in the recently published Library of American compendium of Carver's stories.
In a roughly 45-minute book club, Slate's critics discuss the differences between the two versions and the merits of each. They also broach the question of whether Lish went too far by altering the message and tone of Carver's story as well as his style.
Slate's Audio Book Club now comes to you on the third Monday of every month. Our selection for December is Vladimir Nabokov's The Original of Laura. Look for our discussion on iTunes or on the Slatehome page on Monday, Dec. 21. Also, please become a fan of the Audio Book Club on Facebook.
You can also listen to any of our previous club meetings through our iTunes feed or by clicking on the links below. 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.
The Anthologist, by Nicholson Baker
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
A Vindication of Love, by Cristina Nehring
Thy Neighbor's Wife, by Gay Talese
"The Swimmer," by John Cheever, and "A Good Man Is Hard To Find," by Flannery O'Connor
Atmospheric Disturbances, by Rivka Galchen
Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace
Rabbit, Run, by John Updike
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Night of the Gun, by David Carr
American Wife, by Curtis Sittenfeld
Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh
Netherland, by Joseph O'Neill
Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
Beautiful Children, by Charles Bock
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.)
Meghan O'Rourke is Slate's culture critic and an advisory editor. She was previously an editor at The New Yorker. The Long Goodbye, a memoir about her mother's death, is now out in paperback.
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.