Listen free for 30 days

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Bloomsbury presents A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders, read by George Saunders, Phylicia Rashad, Nick Offerman, Glenn Close, Keith David, Rainn Wilson, BD Wong and Renée Elise Goldsberry.

From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times best-selling author of Lincoln in the Bardo, a literary masterclass on how to become both a better writer and reader, on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about how to live.

In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, George Saunders guides the listener through seven classic Russian short stories he's been teaching for 20 years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program. 

Paired with stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol, these essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. Saunders approaches each of these stories technically yet accessibly and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. For the process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is as much a craft as it is a quality of openness and a willingness to see the world through new eyes.

Funny, frank and rigorous, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain ultimately shows how great fiction can change a person's life and become a benchmark of one's moral and ethical beliefs.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2021 George Saunders (P)2021 Penguin Random House Audio

Critic reviews

"A morally passionate, serious writer.... He will be read long after these times have passed." (Zadie Smith)

"George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time." (Khaled Hosseini)

"What warm, kindhearted and radical writing. Such delicacy, such serious wit. I love it." (Max Porter) 

What listeners say about A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    17
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Passionate education

There is no story as such. It's basically tutoring in creative writing, focusing on the short story. George Saunders narrates & so you are receiving the benefit of his knowledge, experience & passion, first hand. Also there are actors narrating the Russian short stories which, for me, brought them to life. It is educational but also hugely entertaining. Not all books work on audible. This one definitely does

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gorgeous

An excellent book on the craft of writing, and why it matters. An incredibly thoughtful, practical and inspiring book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring read.

An inspiring read for anyone who loves writing and reading and wishes to know what happens in the writer's head as she writes.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jc
  • 25-02-21

Outstanding!

The stories are unbelievably good and George Saunders is a humble, insightful and funny teacher! This is honestly an incredible experience. As with Lincoln in the Bardo Saunders goes the extra mile to make the audiobook special.

I love love loved it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This has to be a 4.5 to 5 star book.

What a lovely unique book. I didn’t know much about these 4 Russians which is partly why I went for this one. I’m glad I did as it’s been a great introduction to them and I will now read more of them. I love George Saunders take on life and this is also a great personal development book as long as you’re not too pompous to see it as such. The audiobook is superbly narrated with a brilliant cast. For me Keith David was sublime. I’ll be doing a YouTube review by the end of the week