This is where I leave you by Jonathan Tropper performed by Ramon de Ocampo

If you’re Jewish and you have a brother and he’s still married, this is NOT how he will sound after he divorces his goyishe wife who you’ve never liked anyway. Because the person reading this acid-funny tale doesn’t have the nasal force or the resentful irregularity or that specific Jewish brand of ironic despair in the face of public failure that dunks every insult, every complaint, every abusive remark (“This is my brother Judd… Judd is recently cuckolded.”) in borscht-belt tenderness.

When this brother is summoned home to your father’s funeral, he will be driving forward but wishing in reverse.

When people give directions to any home or business in West Covington they use [my parent’s house] as a negative landmark. If you see the big white house then you’ve gone too far. Which is precisely what I’m thinking.

Your sister will have installed a high tech baby monitor in the front hall, so you can all hear the baby screaming in amplified stereo as you eat lunch but

…she doesn’t seem at all inclined to go upstairs and quiet the baby. “We’re letting her cry” she announces, like it’s a movement they’ve joined.

If you’re Jewish, this imaginary brother is sitting shiva in hell, i.e. surrounded by his family, thinking about his divorce from a beautiful woman who he had once been able to make laugh. Once, he’d

read enough Playboy … to know that beautiful women want a man who can make them laugh. Of course what they really meant was a man who can make them laugh after he delivered multiple orgasms on his private jet with his trustee 9 inch cock.

If you’re not Jewish, you already knew this. But you may be interested in this unhappy family’s way of being unhappy. I doubt it.

Started Early Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson read by Graeme Malcolm

Jackson slugs a bully and saves a small dog. Hence Jackson, ex military man, ex husband (twice), having been familiar with violence his whole life has now finally found a good use for it. Now on the other side of the law, but otherwise non-localizable: “when he stayed at a hotel, he knew who he was. A guest.”

Tracy is big, post-menopausal, plain, and so indistinct that qualifiers float over the surface of her identity, like flat swabs of paint on a blank canvas.

At school Tracy had always been wary of the domestic science crowd – methodical girls with neat handwriting and neither flaws nor eccentricities. For some reason they were usually good at netball as well, as if the gene that enabled them to jump for the hoop contained the information necessary for turning out a cheese-and-onion flan or creaming a Victoria sponge-sandwich mix.

After she pays $3000 for a small child being dragged around by a street-mother, Tracy buys the kid cotton clothes and uses thought to re-organize her life from the point of view of a small girl.

Two characters in an England out of time, make a decision that makes no sense, and thereby changes the sense of life and everything in it. Two characters that grip us by the throat, and leave us breathless, waiting for the real inside the fiction.