I listen to The New Yorker fiction podcasts once a month on a long run. Generally they are wonderful. This month’s was less compelling. While Cheever was prescient about the pitfalls of an over-sharing culture, and his sentences are compelling in their craft-style, the story just seems, well, like a Twilight Zone episode.
On this month’s fiction podcast, Nathan Englander reads John Cheever’s short story “The Enormous Radio,” which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1947. It tells the story of Jim and Irene Westcott, an Upper East Side husband and wife whose careful sense of propriety gets rattled when Jim buys an expensive new radio that allows them to overhear the conversations of their neighbors.