The Best American Short Stories of the Century: Volume 1

John Updike, Editor, John Updike, Read by, Cynthia Ozick, Read by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $25 (0p) ISBN 978-0-618-01320-3
Updike narrowed down his collection of short stories from 55 to 21 to present this rich, warm voicing of some of the best writing of the 20th century. Whenever possible, it seems, Updike has enlisted living writers to read their own works. It's a pleasure to hear Updike soothe his way through his own ""Gesturing"" and Gish Jen whir her ""Birthmates."" Others contributor/readers include Thom Jones, Cynthia Ozick, Lorrie Moore and Tim O'Brien. For writers such as Dorothy Parker, Robert Penn Warren and Raymond Carver, Updike has cleverly paired appropriate readers. He lends his own voice to Sherwood Anderson's ""The Other Woman,"" George Plimpton deftly breathes F. Scott Fitzgerald's ""Crazy Sunday"" and Jill McCorckle's sharp twang lends a wry rhythm to Eudora Welty's ""The Hitchhikers."" Each story, sometimes snug with a second, fits neatly on one side of a cassette. Brief interludes of music, when the readers introduce themselves, the stories and the places of original publication, thankfully fade away, leaving the listener with crisp, fresh recordings of these excellent tales. Based on the Houghton Mifflin paperback. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1999
Release date: 11/01/1999
Hardcover - 768 pages - 978-0-395-84368-0
Other - 978-0-618-01357-9
Prebound-Other - 835 pages - 978-1-4177-1138-3
Hardcover - 864 pages - 978-0-618-06597-4
Hardcover - 978-0-618-00576-5
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-618-01321-0
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