I can’t read well. I mispronounce words, I use the wrong intonation, I sound clumsy. Back in college I dreaded that part during workshops where you had to read the poem the class was going to fillet discuss and critique. I can’t do poetry/fiction readings. I’d rather sit and listen. Or stay in a corner and read the work to myself; this is usually the case.
A few months back I listened to the New Yorker Fiction Podcast featuring T.C. Boyle reading Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain”. It is a great short story; it got the reader it deserved. I wish I could do that – do accents, voice-emote, read with such energy the characters come to life.
The podcast can be downloaded here (and it’s free!), along with other readings. Other featured readers were Tobias Wolff himself, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jhumpa Lahiri, Paul Theroux, Junot Diaz (who reads his own short story).
The latest: A.M. Homes’ reading Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery”. Another favorite story, yay.
(But seriously, if you haven’t read “Bullet in the Brain”, then you HAVE to read it. I found an online copy here. I recommend having the file open on your PC while listening to Boyle. :) )