EAR MOVIES | Live the death you've always wanted! This is what the latest episode of The Truth (thetruthapm.com) advertises. Martin Fink hires a company to help him fake his own death and watch his own funeral. We are offered a glimpse into Martin's sad existence that has driven him to the point of wanting to end it, though he's not courageous enough to do it. The Truth is a weekly series of five-to-15-minute radio dramas that reveal small pieces of ourselves. With story lines that rival the Twilight Zone, the listener indulges in audio buffets so rich, they can only be described as "movies for your ears". The only things required are suspended belief in reality and a great set of headphones.
RADIO | I listen to This American Life on NPR. It combines creative reporting with compelling journalism, but sometimes it feels so rigid. That's why I've gravitated toward Snap Judgment (snapjudgment.org). It feels like they've taken the blueprint for TAL and improved upon it. They keep the beautiful long-form stories, but add poetry, stand-up and short-form fiction. Creator and host Glynn Washington explains, "I'm not a reporter. I'm a storyteller," and I guess that's the point; you never actually know what to expect from an episode of this series.
BOOK | Life happens in the margins. That's not a tag line, but literally the concept for J.J. Abrams' new book: S. is actually two story lines in one. Ship of Theseus, written by author V.M. Straka (both fictional) chronicles a man, S., who has lost his memory on a ship that defies the space-time continuum. The other story line is handwritten notes in the margins of the book. We discover that college students Jen and Eric write notes to each other about Theseus, trying to uncover its mysteries and the author's real identity. Fans of Abrams can expect plot twists, but the gem in this book is all of the graphic extras that come with it, from scribbles on napkins to postcards.