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Novel Conversations

Storytelling Podcasts

Novel Conversations is a podcast summarizing the world’s greatest works of classic literature: in 35 minutes you get the whole story from cover to cover. If CliffsNotes had an audio-bestfriend, it would be us! Each episode, Frank Lavallo hosts two readers, and the three of them share their reactions to the story and read their favorite passages along the way. If you're looking for a good story, you're in the right place. *This podcast is a production of the Ohio Film Tax Credit.

Novel Conversations is a podcast summarizing the world’s greatest works of classic literature: in 35 minutes you get the whole story from cover to cover. If CliffsNotes had an audio-bestfriend, it would be us! Each episode, Frank Lavallo hosts two readers, and the three of them share their reactions to the story and read their favorite passages along the way. If you're looking for a good story, you're in the right place. *This podcast is a production of the Ohio Film Tax Credit.

Location:

Willoughby, OH

Description:

Novel Conversations is a podcast summarizing the world’s greatest works of classic literature: in 35 minutes you get the whole story from cover to cover. If CliffsNotes had an audio-bestfriend, it would be us! Each episode, Frank Lavallo hosts two readers, and the three of them share their reactions to the story and read their favorite passages along the way. If you're looking for a good story, you're in the right place. *This podcast is a production of the Ohio Film Tax Credit.

Language:

English

Contact:

2165323060


Episodes

“The Sparrow” by Mary Doria Russell

10/20/2020
The Sparrow tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission to an off-planet world, Rakhat, and the risky and courageous attempt to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life.

Duration:00:32:42

“Advise and Consent” by Allen Drury

10/6/2020
Advise and Consent is the dramatic 1959 political fiction novel that explores the United States Senate confirmation of controversial Secretary of State nominee Robert Leffingwell, whose promotion is endangered due to growing evidence that the nominee was a member of the Communist Party.

Duration:00:34:49

“The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells

9/22/2020
The story that launched H.G. Wells’s successful career and earned him his reputation as the “Father of Science Fiction.” The Time Machine sends a brave explorer to face a future burdened with our greatest hopes… and our darkest fears. The discovery of two bizarre races, the Eloi and the Morlocks, offer a dystopian warning and / or a portrait of hope for the future of humanity.

Duration:00:44:24

“Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

9/8/2020
Ray Bradbury’s famed novel is set in a dystopian society that burns books in order to control dangerous ideas and unhappy concepts. The novel tells the story of Guy Montag, a fireman who questions the book-burning policy and undergoes extraordinary suffering and transformation as a result.

Duration:00:38:21

Novel Conversations Season 6 Blooper Reel

6/30/2020
Another epic outtake reel featuring Host, Frank Lavallo, and Readers, Elizabeth Flood, Phil Setnik, Peter Toomey & Katie Smith as they blunder and fumble during the making of Novel Conversations Season 6. Enjoy!

Duration:00:03:38

“Till We Have Faces” by C. S. Lewis

6/16/2020
The original story of Cupid and Psyche, told in the 2nd century AD, was believed by Lewis to be illogical and problematic. As a result, he developed a new story from a new main character’s point of view: Orual. She is the older sister to Psyche. Together, they grapple with Gods over spiritual disputes and bitter inner turmoil.

Duration:00:31:55

“Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf

6/2/2020
Mrs. Dalloway covers one day from morning to night in one woman’s life. Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class housewife, walks through her London neighborhood to prepare for the party she will host that evening. The celebrated classic looks at Virginia Woolf’s multitude of characters, from love interests, to party-goers, friends and philosophers, and explores the inter-war social structure of the time.

Duration:00:35:22

“The Red Pony” by John Steinbeck

5/19/2020
Raised on a ranch in northern California, Jody is well-schooled in the hard work and the demands of a rancher's life. This four part novella centers around the special connection he will forge with his hot-tempered pony and discovering the life lessons he must learn about the ways of nature and, particularly, the ways of man.

Duration:00:33:29

“Jude the Obscure” by Thomas Hardy

5/5/2020
Thomas Hardy's last finished novel, Jude the Obscure, tells the story of Jude Fawley, a working-class man who dreams of becoming a scholar, and of his doomed relationships with the seductive Arabella Donn and the true love of his life, Sue Bridehead.

Duration:00:28:54

“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

4/21/2020
Set in 17th century Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony, the novel tells the story of Hester Prynne who conceives a daughter through an affair and then attempts to create a new life of dignity. Hester, her estranged lover, and the town itself, all struggle with morality, sin and guilt during a strict religious time period in American history.

Duration:00:33:18

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

4/7/2020
Slaughterhouse-Five follows the life and experiences of Billy Pilgrim as he finds himself “unstuck in time”. The book is centered around his time as an American soldier during World War II, his capture by the German Army, and his survival of the Allied firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner-of-war - an experience which Vonnegut himself lived through as an American serviceman. Vonnegut offers a multi-dimensional view of fantasy and rock-hard reality.

Duration:00:35:15

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

3/24/2020
The story of Huck Finn is about a fun-loving risk-taker youth and his adventures on the Mississippi River with a runaway slave named Jim. A blossoming friendship ensues on their freedom seeking voyage and beyond. Huckleberry Finn is most commonly viewed as a satire of racism, religion, morality, and social attitudes of the time, making it Twain’s most notable work and one of the great American novels.

Duration:00:35:13

“The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

3/10/2020
This classic tale is about a youthful trickster, Tom Sawyer and his adventures in the antebellum south. From treasure hunting and playing pirates to church pranks and schoolhouse crushes, Tom Sawyer’s childish antics make him Twain’s standout character. Although his mischief starts out as mere entertainment, it soon turns into danger as he and his band of friends, witness a murder.

Duration:00:32:17

Novel Conversations Season 5 Blooper Reel

8/27/2019
Enjoy this “irrevocably” humorous compilation of outtakes featuring amusing mistakes and mishaps from Host, Frank Lavallo and Readers: Elizabeth Flood, Phil Setnik, Peter Toomey, & Katie Smith, which occurred during the making of Season 5 of the Novel Conversations Podcast.

Duration:00:02:18

“Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley

8/20/2019
This early 19th century novel tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a hideous creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Unbeknownst to the obsessed scientist, the creature is intelligent and longs for a mate. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Duration:00:34:56

“Parnassus on Wheels” by Christopher Morley

8/13/2019
This old-fashioned, sweet novella is about Helen, a governess turned adventurer, who hops on a traveling book-selling wagon as a way to escape the monotony of farm-life. Her brother, Andrew, unexpectedly becomes a celebrity author and leaves Helen chained to chores… until Roger Mifflin shows up with Parnasuss on Wheels and offers her a thrilling life on the road selling books and beyond.

Duration:00:30:46

“The Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc” by Mark Twain

8/6/2019
Twain's last completed novel, published when he was 61 years old, recounts the life of Joan of Arc through a fictional character (invented by Mark Twain) - The Sieur Louis de Conte. Joan of Arc, at the age of seventeen, fights for French independence from the English in the 15th century under Charles VII. Louis accompanies Joan as her secretary through the battles and witnesses her trial and execution at the hands of the English.

Duration:00:40:29

“White Fang” by Jack London

7/30/2019
Plot: This adventure story details White Fang's journey to domestication in Yukon Territory and the Northwest Territories during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush. The young pup, who is part wolf and part dog, struggles to survive after he is separated from his mother. White Fang eventually finds his life in the hands of a young gold hunter, Weedon Scott, who purchases the pup and attempts to tame him. After a long, patient effort, Scott succeeds.

Duration:00:33:47

“Main Street” by Sinclair Lewis

7/23/2019
Plot: Main Street relates to the life and struggles of Carol Milford Kennicott in the provincial town of Gopher Prairie, Minnesota, as she comes into conflict with the small-town mentality of its residents. She moves to the town with dreams of transforming it into a sort of modern utopia. But there's just one problem... everyone else in Gopher Prairie likes the ugly old town just the way it is.

Duration:00:38:48

“Candide” by Voltaire

7/16/2019
Plot: Candide, a simple man, is thrust into a world of chaos as he experiences the horrors of war, poverty, the maliciousness of man, and the hypocrisy of the church. His tutor, Doctor Pangloss, attempts to teach him philosophical optimism, that “... All is for the best.” Candide begins to doubt the veracity of Pangloss' theories and soon finds the best of both worlds.

Duration:00:35:03