Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Radios: Short Takes on Life and Culture Hardcover – August, 1997
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Library Journal
A range of pieces that prove why Stern was one of the most popular commentators for National Public Radio until his death in 1996.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
The spoken word translates neatly into the written in this posthumous collection of microessays from National Public Radio commentator Stern (Making Shapely Fiction, not reviewed, etc.). Two or three minutes of radio airtime equals about the same number of written pages, which would normally seem too constricted for a personal essay. It turns out to be just enough, however, for Stern to create his artful prose miniatures: say, to cover a topic like the social ritual of the dessert cart's temptations; to relate an anecdote of brazen cafeteria line-jumping or a reminiscence of school ``hobby day''; or to play out the conceit of an existential airline's announcement: ``Remain comfortably seated, for this trip may be your first or your last, or one of the many trips you will take so . . .'' These ``radios'' (as opposed to ``papers'') are rooted in the everyday, with Stern favoring his memories of family dynamics (``Reading the Refrigerator''), his experiences of teaching and being taught (``Looking for Mr. Keats''), and the close scrutiny of kitchen appliances, such as ice trays and rotisseries. Stern conjures up arrestingly small details, such as the changing fashions of Christmas tree lights or the brand of highlighter (the ``Personalizer'') used to mark the targets for radiation therapy on his body. Stern's ongoing mysterious illness punctuates this miscellany like a mildly cliff-hanging radio serial while he recounts testing, diagnosis, and treatment. Throughout, Stern keeps his ear tuned for good dialogue, even one of his nurses discussing the life expectancy of her kids' pet fish; and his mind is always primed for an artful turn of phrase--undergoing chemotherapy, he describes the radiation machine's sound as ``the sizzling crackle of a patio bug zapper.'' Pleasantly diverting observations on passing life, ideal for short-attention-span meditations. (drawings by author, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
Whether waxing eloquently about a childhood memory, relating his experiences in family dynamics, or including us in the very personal aspects of the illness that ultimately brought about his untimely death, Stern's prose is able to do what most writers cannot: paint a vivid picture in the reader's (or listener's) head in a brief timespan and a concise manner.
And, that is one of the aspects of this collection that makes it so valuable - it is a great example of that most difficult art, the short essay.
A Guide to my Book Rating System:
1 star = The wood pulp would have been better utilized as toilet paper.
2 stars = Don't bother, clean your bathroom instead.
3 stars = Wasn't a waste of time, but it was time wasted.
4 stars = Good book, but not life altering.
5 stars = This book changed my world in at least some small way.