Recommended Reading

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Todd Summary

Do not let Etgar Keret deceive you. The Israeli writer who's worked in film, illustration, animation, and radio, is a storyteller in all senses of the word. Like a conman, he'll promise you a simple story and then the next thing you know your emotional reserves have been completely emptied. It's a literary bait and switch, and he'll get you every time.

Here, in “Todd,” a story that also challenges the boundaries between literature and reality, Etgar directly engages with the wonderful deception of fiction itself. The titular friend asks the narrator, who resembles Etgar—an Israeli short story writer who frequently appears on NPR—to write a story that'll help him get girls into bed. The narrator must then explain that writing doesn't work that way: "A story isn't a magic spell or hypnotherapy," the narrator claims, and yet that is exactly what happens here.

About Recommended Reading:

Great authors inspire us. But what about the stories that inspire them? Recommended Reading, the latest project from Electric Literature, publishes one story every week, each chosen by a great author or editor. In this age of distraction, we uncover writing that's worth slowing down and spending some time with. And in doing so, we help give great writers, literary magazines, and independent presses the recognition (and readership) they deserve.

©2013 Electric Literature. Authors hold the rights to their individual works. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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  • Book 1

    • Todd

    • By: Etgar Keret, Benjamin Samuel (foreword)
    • Narrated by: Matthew Josdal
    • Length: 13 mins
    • Unabridged
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    • Story
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    Do not let Etgar Keret deceive you. The Israeli writer who's worked in film, illustration, animation, and radio, is a storyteller in all senses of the word. Like a conman, he'll promise you a simple story and then the next thing you know your emotional reserves have been completely emptied. It's a literary bait and switch, and he'll get you every time.

    Regular price: £2.39

  • Book 2

    • Firewood

    • By: J. Robert Lennon, Halimah Marcus
    • Narrated by: Nicholas Techosky
    • Length: 15 mins
    • Unabridged
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    • Story
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    "If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that logic is the sworn enemy of grief," writes Halimah Marcus, co-editor of Electric Literature, in her introduction to “Firewood," a hilarious and devastating story by J. Robert Lennon. "When the narrator’s wife (expectedly) leaves him, too devastated to admit the obvious, he concocts an impossible explanation for her disappearance. All I’ll say is that it involves the woodpile. The invented story is more horrible than the truth, but somehow easier to manage."

    Regular price: £2.29

  • Book 3

    • The Cottage on the Hill

    • By: J. Robert Lennon, Matt Williamson (foreword)
    • Narrated by: Matthew Josdal
    • Length: 39 mins
    • Unabridged
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    The Cottage on the Hill is a horror story, but it’s a J. Robert Lennon horror story, in which the characters’ loneliness - their disconnectedness, their inability, at times, even to speak or listen to one another - is more chilling than any of the supernatural elements.

    Regular price: £2.29

  • Book 4

    • Interpreters of Men Get It On

    • By: Fiona Maazel, Jennifer Acker (foreward)
    • Narrated by: Gwen Hughes
    • Length: 21 mins
    • Unabridged
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    "That night was a lesson learned: There's the erotic's of a woman who feels so miserable and wrecked and anxious and sad she will get on her knees and let four people have at her with varying degrees of rupture and bliss, and then there's everything else." The Common, guest editor of Recommended Reading 2.4, publishes stories with a strong sense of place, yet the opening of Interpreters of Men Get It On sets the story to be the "Middle of Nowhere."

    Regular price: £2.39