Selected Shorts

Reviews For Selected Shorts

…in how this show has changed. I listen for the stories and the intros that used to be brief. I don’t enjoy the new format at all.
I agree with several fellow listeners that the podcast was better before Wolitzer became host. She is fine when limiting her commentary to the story at hand but, frequently, she inserts annoying bits and bobs from her own life. I am also dismayed to see Wolitzer being permitted to have her mother pop up on the podcast sometimes, which I feel to be an inappropriate use of Wolitzer’s platform as host. The mother’s recent story was cute, but not of the caliber listeners have come to expect. It then went on to include an interview with Wolitzer’s mother during which Meg as host shamelessly continued to promote her mother’s work, as she did during a Mother’s Day segment. That, too, included a not-terribly-interesting interview of mother by daughter, during which her mother offered rather prosaic thoughts about writing, under the guise of insights. I listen for the stories, not for background about Meg — or her mother. Meg seems not to understand or care about this. (Does anyone on the Selected Shorts’ Board read these reviews?)
Loved this podcast until she began hosting. I listen because I am interested in the authors and the readers — I don’t dislike Wolitzer as a writer but this series is NOT about her. It’s annoying to me to hear her insert her into it so much — enough so that I no longer subscribe.
What is this? There are only 16 episodes and maybe a third are stories; it’s mostly interviews and discussions. I realize many hosts desperately want to make a living talking to interesting people or sharing their thoughts, but don’t deceive us by pretending this is a fiction podcast.
I used to love Selected Shorts but now I have to skip through the host’s parts because she is SO irritating. Lately, the stories are being replayed without any indication in the description. Are you sure you want to continue the podcast? Unless there are changes, I’ll unfollow.
What happened to all the episodes? Please don’t put this show behind a pay wall.
I used to order Selected Shorts compilations on audio CDs from my library so you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that my favorite stories were right under my nose all along!
I have been following this Podcast quite a while. I look forward with excitement bto each new release and play it right away. I listen to this Podcast while I knit on a project such as socks, a sweater, or some such item. They go together so well. I recommend this Podcast to anyone and everyone. Enjoy 🙂👍
Love the stories, but I’m fast forwarding past the intros, outros and interstitial comments. Can you please just tell me a story, let me savor and reflect on it, and save the writer’s workshop prattle for another podcast?
I applaud SoS for years of bringing the world brilliant short stories read by really talented people. Now I’m wondering: are there no longer any good stories? The quality has gone downhill in my opinion; I am hearing more and more “fable”-style stories that, as another reviewer observed, seem more like college or high-school English projects. And the readers for the most part deliver the stories as if they were doing cold reads. Like others, I find the protracted hosting and interviews unnecessary. So sorry! I’m going to see if I can dig up archive versions of the series from its heyday.
I’ve been listening to this podcast for a couple of years. Listen when traveling for hours while going to visit family. Love love love. Each and every podcast enlightening, entertaining and keeps me alert. Highly recommend for anyone.
I have been listening to the show for several years. It is beautifully and professionally performed and produced Thanks so much! One constructive criticism: please consider reducing or eliminating Meg Worlitzer’s comments/monologue the beginning of the show and in between stories. I’m sorry to day it, but They are too often boring and irrelevant .
I still savor the few “selected” stories that are worthy of a good listen. But lately, the stories are not very interesting. I loved it a few years ago when Leonard Nimoy read “What we talk about, when we talk about love” (I realize Leonard is diseased - but think you could replay)or Linda Lavin’s reading of Grace Paley stories. I loved the short story “Deep Lie the Woods” and “Illusions” where a couple become separated in the desert and the woman tries to help a family who are con artists. There are so many great stories out there. I do not know who is selecting them now, vs who selected them in the past - but please have faith that your readers can understand complex stories … because lately they are just flat. Meg does a great job of hosting - but the host of “Too Hot for Radio” voice is like fingernails on a chalkboard … sorry … but it is impossible for me to listen to her voice. OK - sorry to be a bit negative - I am hanging in there, hoping for a return to the past. Sincerely, Raine
I would like it if there were an alternate feed with less commentary. Sometimes it would be nice to be read a story without the criticism or lessons in literature.
I try to listen every week. Love great stories
This was my very favorite podcast for many years. I saved episodes for bedtime to savor before sleep. No more. The new host Meg Wolitzer has taken this delightful well crafted professional show by the wonderful Isaiah Scheffer to an uninteresting vanity project. I find her so distracting w her ME ME ME. The best readers are gone too, it appears. Too bad. It was perfect.
Are there directors? Rehearsals? Or do they just come from the sound stage of their sit coms to speed read through volunteer gigs? More than half of the stories are ones I cringe through because of the very very poor quality of the reading. The more famous and busier the reader, the worse the reading. From the first to the last word of capotes short story I was slack jawed. Not to mention that the intro was literally as long as the story. Then the first line of the next story just starts with a mistake. Is there a period after counter? This sounds like someone had never read the story before. SS has always had a smattering of emotive readers who over do it. That’s for the last 20 years. Maybe bc I’ve decided to give it a try again over Covid I’m poorly conditioned for performances like the ones I’ve been hearing. Also I’ve been spoiled by stellar performances on audible by no name readers of superior skill. Ok I get it audible is edited and this is live. All the more reason to rehearse and direct these readings.
Thank goodness there have been more stories about race lately. Let it continue—it’s an ever rich and essential topic.
You’re “Too Hot Explicit” segments are definitely not hot. Just no. Creepy and dull.
I used to love listening to SS a few years ago. The actors and authors reading were fantastic, but now the “too hot for radio” is just for pearl clutching boomers. It’s gotten so boring. I used to be able to go back years in order to find the perfect story to fall asleep to, but now you have your pick of 11. No thanks
Ruining story after story by treating them as plays. The focus is on the actors rather than the story.
Comedy and drama read by terrific actors.
Even if you’re Black, even if you’ve won the highest literary awards in the country, it is not okay to stereotype, mock & insult Black people. I hated Mr. McBride’s short story on so many levels. So let me just say, even if you have good intentions, “Buck Boy” is not only racist, it’s dehumanizing! Every Black person in the story except for his sister is stupid & trifling, especially Buck Boy, who McBride wants to show (stolen money in his cold dead hands) deserves to be killed. The only person the reader should have compassion for is the Asian man who killed Buck Boy after he robbed him. He is the only one who is decent in his concern for Buck Boy’s funeral costs, burial site, but strangely not his life. I racially classify characters because it was McBride’s whole point. While a whole community of black folks, from mother to minister don’t care, don’t even show up for his funeral, they just want money, things, & dope. When Toni Morrison included some of our peoples’ eccentric names, she explained how the name came about & we appreciated the wit & truth behind it. With McBride it feels mocking & insulting. If a white person wrote this terrible racist story of stereotypes he or she would be canceled. Well for this one lone Black woman, Mr. McBride is canceled. I will not read anymore of his books & I’ll side-eye Riverside Books. I’ve enjoyed Selected Shorts, but will have to take a break from it too. Thanks for the opportunity to give feedback.
Two minutes of host Maulik Panchol and a recent female author (can’t remember name) advertising themselves before the show—it’s not only in bad taste—it’s ridiculous!
We keep cycling through the same handful of stories, and it really is upsetting. I am unsubscribing… And I will be boycotting your sponsor Zabar’s, until you start putting up some new content .. Or , if you go a little deeper into the archives. And one star, until things change !
Love this story telling. It’s up there with the ‘The Rattle Bags’, ‘Batman and Robin Have an Altercation’ and ‘The Taxman’. Thanks for bringing these to us!
In these traumatizing times, I don’t want to hear political essays, charming as the readers are, I want ESCAPEs as ez a we d as z a a sad dawa. For an hour, just one measly hour, a week, I want to forget that politics and DC and campaigns, and bitter, violent partisanship don’t exist. Can’t you give that to me? Please?
I love a good short story. Thank you for reading to me as I drive.
She’s one of the best readers/performers featured. Hilarious and brilliant. She brings stories to life. Feature her more please! Make the back catalog available please. Alec Baldwin reading Wharton, Jane Curtain reading anything/everything.
I like to listen to these readings as I’m falling asleep. Well-curated literary selections are performed by actors with a minimum of ego. Just the stories.
I love hearing good stories again, but I’d prefer if there was access to older episodes and new stories on new episodes! I get all excited for a new episode, and then it’s a story I’ve already listened to multiple times. Still love the stories!
Where are all the back episodes? I listened to some and I’d like to share them and listen to them again.
I’ve been a Selected Shorts fan for years, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. Lately, though, Kevin Kwan has been self-promoting with such a heavy hand that I cringe every time I hear his voice. We know about your books, Kevin. Thanks for the constant reminders.
Is there any way to access the David Schwimmer episode?
The performances are incredible but why do older episodes disappear? Such a shame that they don’t remain accessible to listeners.
Also Hope Davis’ performance in Your Honor is absolutely perfect (and gorgeous). Thank you!
I sure love Zadie Smith’s work! However, I can’t stomach David Sedaris’ voice since reading his hateful, bigoted, ignorant 2013 essay about his sister, who had committed suicide earlier that year. I used to think he was funny; now I just hear him as snide and cruel.
Terrific story - outstanding performance!!
A MUST in the Pandemic.
Thanks for this podcast. I like that there are a variety of performers and different types of stories.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but I thought a few years ago Selected Shorts used “readers,” not “performers,” to present the stories. I agree that it is good to have readers who understand the material, who speak clearly, and who have pleasant voices. But lately, the stories seem to have become mere vehicles for actors to show off how much they can emote and how many versatile voices they can use. The quality of the writing now takes second place to the actors’ egos. The podcast will be better when the priorities are reversed: choose well-written material; present it by articulate readers who are intent on making the stories—not themselves—shine. Eve Brouwer
I've listened for many years. The stories have gone down in quality and depth - very shallow plots, predictable writing, mainstream themes that aren't very stimulating: obvious, pedestrian responses to mundane melodramas read breathlessly to give them the intensity that they don't inherently have. The stories sound like they were written by college students or genre writers. What happened? This podcast seems like a reflection of American society's dumbing down, lack of artistic sophistication and grit. I go back every now and then to check out a podcast that I once loved. It's vapid.
This podcast is driving in the car on a sunny afternoon with a good friend, prepping for dinner in a warm kitchen, The stories are so freaking good and the readers, for the most part, are really well paired to the story and really good performers. Sometimes funny, sometimes devastating, always human. Love.


I just love it. I love it and I look forward to it. Thank you guys.