The Audio Book Club on Reality Hunger
Our critics discuss David Shields' new manifesto.
Posted Monday, June 21, 2010, at 9:31 AM
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This month, the Audio Book Club discusses David Shields' Reality Hunger: A Manifesto. Composed of 618 fragments, many of them unattributed quotations, Reality Hunger is Shields' attempt to bring the novel up to date. Musicians "sample," documentarians mix news footage with interviews—shouldn't authors experiment with appropriation as well? Our critics' first question: Is this really a "manifesto"? Meghan O'Rourke, Jody Rosen, and Troy Patterson are all a bit skeptical of Shields's project.
By the way, Troy Patterson would like to note that his head was full of pollen on the day of recording and was therefore rather grouchy. He stands by his comments but acknowledges he was in a generally rude state of mind.
Slate's Audio Book Club comes to you on the third Monday of every month. Our July pick is Bret Easton Ellis' Imperial Bedrooms. Look for our discussion on iTunes or on the Slatehome page on Monday, July 19. Also, like 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.
To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Big Short, by Michael Lewis
Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
White Noise, by Don DeLillo
Lit, by Mary Karr
The Original of Laura, by Vladimir Nabokov
"A Small Good Thing" and "The Bath," by Raymond Carver
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 email@example.com. (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.
Jody Rosen is Slate's music critic. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.