The Brothers Karamazov and Friends is an audiobook disguised as a podcast, in which our host Phil Malcom invites one friend every week to spend an hour reading through the greatest novel ever written. Why? Because the only thing better than a Russian novel is a Russian novel podcast.
There are only three rules:
1. There are no re-do's.
2. No help with pronunciation.
3. You have to do voices for the characters.
It's the Brothers Karamazov and Friends! Lower your expectations, and you won't be disappointed.
Episode 28: with Zach Kloppenborg
Episode 27: with Melissa Taylor
A juxtaposing of cultures. As we stumble fearlessly right into Book 9 of The Brothers Karamazov, the tiny-appendaged Melissa Taylor joins our always-tweeting host Phil Malcom during this riveting and rather violent reading. Among the many completely accurate and fascinating topics they explore are patricide; the nobility of a not-as-noble-as-we-might-assume character; semiautomatic handguns; and the similarities and differences between cabbage pies (“a bad surprise”) and Runza sandwiches from Nebraska. Listeners will also be delighted to meet two more special friends this episode who sit silently in wonder of this audio book: Rachel Swartz, who would definitely drink a Margarona if she were Mitya, and Jackson the dog, who is a dog. It’s totally still The Brothers Karamazov and Friends, in which the commentary almost always falls beneath your already low expectations.
Episode 26: with Laura Malcom
A time to renew. We return with our season three installation of TBKaF to explore the gloriously scrupulous pile of Russian pages known as a “supreme achievement in literature,” as cited by Wikipedia experts. Reconvening in our expensive podcast recording studio is Laura Malcom, previously the GIRL-friend of our beloved host, and now the Bride of Philip. (Tweet them a congrats!) After reminiscing about their day of wedded bliss—heralded by one hundred talented recorder players—Phil and Laura expertly navigate the not-so-shallow waters of our characters' loooong journey. Join us as they interpret allegorical names, almost-orgies, passionate kissy-face scenes (narrative only), love slaves, and more PG-13-heavy plot devices. It's still The Brothers Karamazov and Friends, where we laugh because we don't understand some of the words.
Episode 25: with Stefanie Reinsch
A reckless gallop into the unknown. Please join our host Phil Malcom and his special guest Stefanie Reinsch, devoted reader of only the longest Russian novels. Together in this hour, Phil and Stefanie learn several valuable lessons, including but not limited to: "Poles love money and kolaches", "Dimitri Fyodorovich is a werewolf", and, last but not least, "Sometimes you can't get people to come to your party because they all have lice". As for the story itself, it charges forward, beginning with a desperate horseback ride that culminates in a bizarre party-planning session with a peasant. Will Dimitri's lustful passions end in bloodshed? It remains to be seen. Are there gypsies around? We can only hope. Will we ever finish this very long book? No one can know. It's The Brothers Karamazov and Friends, where we don't know enough to know that we should fear the unknown.
Episode 24: with Carrie Todd
An episode of false assumptions. In this week’s reading of The Brothers Karamazov, Dmitri is mistaken about the nature of an old woman’s charity, and our humble readers are mistaken about the proper amount of whiskey someone should consume while recording a podcast. Carrie Todd joins us at the readers’ table with her small reindeer-dog, Lulu and mistakenly assumes that she can break the unwritten no-swearing policy. Yes, dear listeners, there are some swears. Our alarm quickly calms, however, as Carrie assures us that “sometimes adults say words.” On this week’s episode we are also delighted to read about Dmitri’s upcoming lavish party, at which guests can expect to enjoy up to four watermelons. In the midst of all this, Carrie brags about her iPhone, and our two readers engage in a spirited debate about the nature of Dostoevsky’s death. Words are mispronounced, dogs squeal, and a whole lot of peanut butter-filled pretzels are eaten. It’s pretty much a clusterbleep.
In this completely adequate introduction to the second season of our long foray into the endless pile of pages that comprise the greatest novel of all time, Phil is joined by two former guests, each Dostoevsky scholars, who encourage him to continue his quest to read a very long novel. The journey is long, and the path is fraught with dangers, but Mme. Kerns and M. Huckabee voice their strong support. “Read on! Read on!” they say. And so we shall. Join us this week as we remember heartwarming/confusing/unfortunate moments from our first season (some of which are probably better left forgotten) and look ahead to a new collection of characters, chapters, and chaps. Lindsay and Tyler offer suggestions for ways to spice up the second half of the novel, and Phil listens quietly. Is this the best way to revive your interest in a book so long it took us 23 hours to read the first half? Perhaps not. But listen anyway! It’s The Brothers Karamazov and Friends, where you always get what you pay for.