Novel Conversations

Novel Conversations

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.

Episodes

January 20, 2021 1 min

Evergreen is proud to present Five Minute News hosted by Anthony Davis. Independent. Unbiased. Essential. Five minutes of verified and truthful world news, daily.

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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 7. Enjoy!

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December 15, 2020 44 min

1984 follows the life of Winston Smith, a low ranking member of ‘the Party’, who is frustrated by the omnipresent eyes of the party, and its ominous ruler, Big Brother. Orwell effectively explores the themes of mass media control, government surveillance, how a dictator can manipulate and control history, thoughts, and lives in such a way that no one can escape it.

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One of the greatest satires in American literature, Twain's novel shares how Hank Morgan, a skilled mechanic in a nineteenth-century New England arms factory, is struck on the head during a quarrel and awakens to find himself among the knights and magicians of King Arthur's Camelot. The 'Yankee' embarks on an ambitious plan to modernize Camelot.

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A novel published in nine volumes, this extraordinary work of literature details the accounts of the four comical mishaps which shaped the course of Tristram Shandy’s life from an early age. Tristram’s life story is nothing short of a strange, eccentric, endlessly complex masterpiece. 

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November 3, 2020 37 min

During World War II, a group of men are held prisoner by the Germans, who determine that three of them must die. This is the story of how one of those men trades his wealth for his life - and lives to pay for his act in utterly unexpected ways.

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October 20, 2020 32 min

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.

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October 6, 2020 36 min

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.

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September 22, 2020 44 min

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.

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September 8, 2020 40 min

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.

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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!

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ro...

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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