The Uncanny Listener… (Part 2)

More stories from the shadows, featuring Franz Kafka, Yoko Ogawa, Dean Paschal and Mansoura Ez-Eldin.

The Uncanny Listener: Stories from the Shadows (Part 2)

We’re back with a second portion of scary stories! Following on from last month’s episode, part two of our audio anthology ventures even further into the dark and dingy corners of world literature. This installment features haunting tales from Japan, Egypt, America, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with writing by Franz Kafka, Yoko Ogawa, Dean Paschal, and Mansoura Ez-Eldin. Along the way you’ll find a hallucinatory giant, a doll with a mind of its own, a hideously disfigured carrot, and the Statue of Liberty as you’ve never seen her before. Plus there’s a conversation with cultural critic Adam Kotsko about the epidemic of creepiness on our TV screens, from Happy Days to Mad Men to the Burger King commercials. Join us as we continue exploring the questions: What is the uncanny? And why do we enjoy it so much?


This episode is based on the book The Uncanny Reader: Stories from the Shadows, edited by Marjorie Sandor (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2015). Buy a copy of the book to read full versions of all the stories featured here, as well as others by H. P. Lovecraft, Joan Aiken, Steven Millhauser, and many more.

Adam Kotsko is the author of Creepiness (Zero Books, 2015), which is part of a trilogy with two other studies of strange pop-culture obsessions called Awkwardness and Why We Love Sociopaths.


Produced by: Emma Jacobs and Sally Decker.

Featuring performances by: Tim Jensen, Sally Decker, Joy Futrell, Elena Passarello, and Tracy Daugherty.

Music by: Ash Black Bufflo, Garmisch Partenkirchen, Kai Engel, Rod Hamilton, ROW, and Chris Zabriskie.

Special thanks to: Marjorie Sandor; Adam Kotsko; Lee Yew Leong and József Szabo; Eric Gleske and everyone at Oregon State University; all the publishers, authors, and translators who generously gave us permission to use their stories.