Novel Conversations

Rediscover the World's Greatest Stories

Frank Lavallo hosts two readers and the three of them summarize the world’s greatest works of classic literature, giving their reactions along the way. If SparkNotes had an audio best friend, it would be us!

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Latest Episode

“The Red Pony” by John Steinbeck

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S6 Ep 6

Host: Frank Lavallo

Readers: Elizabeth Flood and Phil Setnik

Author: John Steinbeck

Year of Publication: 1933

Plot: 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.

Recent Episodes

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“Jude the Obscure” by Thomas Hardy

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S6 Ep 5: A summary of the Victorian era novel exploring the doomed relationships of an aspiring scholar.
Listen to “Jude the Obscure” by Thomas Hardy

“The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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S6 Ep 4: A summary of the American classic novel that explores Hester Prynne’s moral dilemma as an adulterer.
Listen to “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

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S6 Ep 3: A summary of the celebrated 1969 science fiction-infused anti-war novel.
Listen to “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

“The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

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S6 Ep 2: Written eight years after Tom Sawyer, this novel continues to tell the stories of youthful adventures in boyhood, as Huck Finn and his travel companion, Jim, float down the Mississippi River on a raft.
Listen to “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

The Team

Frank Lavallo

The Host
A former private attorney, a current High School Honors History & Literature Teacher, and a classic novel aficionado.

Julie Fink

Julie (a.k.a. Big Julz) brings a unique blend of radio, broadcasting and creativity to her producer role.

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