A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
Nathan Englander’s collection of short stories For the Relief of Unbearable Urges was published in 1999, but it was released as an audiobook in 2007. I do not know why it took so long, but it was worth the wait, and it is worth listening to any time. As read by Susan Denaker, Paul Michael, and Arthur Morey, the nine stories about Jewish experience are riveting. What sets these stories apart from lesser stories is Englander’s elegant descriptions of desperate situations. At times, the stories are somewhat humorous but there is always a soul or many souls at stake. In most of the stories the need to follow Jewish law is also a complicating factor in the plot. This New York Times Notable Book is a good item to recommend to readers who like literary fiction.
Review by Rick