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Publisher's Summary

A compilation of classic tales by great American writers performed by terrific actors, with a lineup including Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award winners, and PEN Award winners.

  • Amy Tan's "Rules of the Game", performed by Freda Foh Shen. A strict Chinese mother bedevils her chess prodigy daughter.
  • Donald Barthelme's "Game", performed by David Strathairn. Playing cosmic chicken in a nuclear bunker.
  • Eudora Welty's "Why I Live at the P.O.", performed by Stockard Channing. Hilarious story of an independent young woman striking out on her own.
  • Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat" performed by René Auberjonois. Terrifyingly delicious Poe masterpiece.
  • Joyce Carol Oates' "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" performed by Christine Baranski. Sly, creepy tale of a teenage girl’s seduction by a dangerous drifter.
  • John Sayles' "At the Anarchists’ Convention", performed by Jerry Stiller. Laugh-out-loud classic.
  • Alice Walker's "Everyday Use", performed by Carmen de Lavallade. Siblings disagree about a precious piece of their family heritage.
  • John Cheever's "Christmas Is a Sad Season for the Poor", performed by Malachy McCourt. A high-rise elevator operator is overwhelmed by his riders’ holiday generosity.
©2010 Symphony Space (P)2010 Symphony Space

What listeners say about Selected Shorts: American Classics

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  • Michael
  • 30-08-2012

Classic classics

I am a very big fan of short stories and have listened to the Selected Shorts program for over 20 years. Any collection can be hit or miss, but this selection of american classics are all big hits. I liked every story and every reader. The stories range from funny to outrageous and touching to creepy. What more could one ask for?

12 people found this helpful

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  • NK
  • 04-12-2011

Classics, indeed.

Where does Selected Shorts: American Classics rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best Audible selections of the dozens in my library.

What other book might you compare Selected Shorts: American Classics to and why?

A unique experience. Inspired pairing of readers and texts.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Rene Auberjonois' masterful, remarkable delivery of an Edgar Allen Poe story is worth the purchase price on its own. In his hands, the minute joys of Poe's writing are presented to their best advantage. Stockard Channing's similarly spellbinding performance in a Eudora Welty selection will make you want to read everything (or re-read) Welty ever wrote--her mastery of Welty's prose is astounding.

Any additional comments?

I can't recommend this highly enough.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Shaynie
  • 06-12-2012

Spectacular

Would you listen to Selected Shorts: American Classics again? Why?

Yes, I'm pretty sure I'll return to it more than once.

Who was your favorite character and why?

This is worth buying for Stockard Channing's reading of 'Why I live at the PO' and Joyce Carol Oates' disturbing 'Where are you going, where have you been' read so well by Christine Baranksi. I loved Jerry Stiller's reading of At the Anarchist's Convention too. But really, the whole collection is outstanding and every reader is brilliant.

Which scene was your favorite?

I kept laughing out loud on the bus listening to 'Why I live at the PO', and ended up in a foetal position listening to 'Where are you going ...'

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  • Christine
  • 13-07-2018

Performances are superb!

Dude seriously. Listening to these performances makes me feel like I’m going to be a better/more imaginative reader in the future. Big fan :)

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  • grik
  • 07-11-2013

Brilliant reading of Welty's Why I Live at the PO

Would you listen to Selected Shorts: American Classics again? Why?

I could listen to Stockard Channing's performance of Why I Live at the PO over and over again. It is wonderful. I enjoyed the other stories as well.

1 person found this helpful

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  • BirdLady
  • 28-01-2012

Such a fun and entertaining listen!

All of the stories were done with a live audience so the listening experience puts you in their presence too. All the readers/actors were fantastic. Stories were classics in every way.

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  • Barbara
  • 20-12-2011

FANTASTIC

What a great surprise! To hear these stories, most of which I had read before, performed by good actors before a live audience! I laughed--a lot. The stories really cam alive in a new way.

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  • MaryAnn Germano
  • 08-09-2020

Have a listen . This is very enjoyable! Very funny

Sweet stories! Well worth the time. I find myself wanting to hear them all again.

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  • Amy Farmer Penne
  • 12-05-2015

Selected Shorts Always a Listening Delight

If you could sum up Selected Shorts: American Classics in three words, what would they be?

Engaging. Dynamic. Diverse.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Selected Shorts: American Classics?

All of them are impressive. The Amy Tan story grabbed me by the heart and drew me in, as she does.

Who was the most memorable character of Selected Shorts: American Classics and why?

Joyce Carol Oates' Where are You Going, Where Have You Been, came alive for me in some new ways despite the fact that I've probably read it ten times in various English classes and on my own.

Any additional comments?

All of these collections of Selected Shorts benefit greatly from being performed in front of live audiences. I've purchased several short story collections because I've heard a story from an author that was well-read and grabbed me. Thanks Audible!

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  • Noreen
  • 08-07-2012

Shorts are Super!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes! An excellent variety of stories I would not have read otherwise.

What did you like best about this story?

Every story had an outstanding reader, even if the story was not my style, all stories were entertaining and thought provoking.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Everything!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Story-time shorts are super!

1 person found this helpful

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.