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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“Jude the Obscure” by Thomas Hardy

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S6 Ep 5

Host: Frank Lavallo

Readers: Elizabeth Flood and Phil Setnik

Author: Thomas Hardy

Year of Publication: 1895

Plot: 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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“The Red Pony” by John Steinbeck

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S6 Ep 6: The episodic 1933 novella follows Jody Tiflin and his life on his father's California ranch.
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“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.
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“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut

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S6 Ep 3: A summary of the celebrated 1969 science fiction-infused anti-war novel.
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“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.
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