Episode 28: Shirley Jackson’s “Charles”


On today’s episode of The Easy Chair:

Shirley Jackson’s “Charles”. It’s got all the classic Jackson elements: foreshadowing, perfect dramatic pacing, a twist ending that you only see coming in retrospect. It’s about a mother and father and their kindergarten-age son, Larry. Larry’s classmate, Charles, is quite possibly the most horribly behaved kid on the planet. Every day Charles commits some crazy atrocity that Larry can’t wait to share with his shocked parents. When the evening P.T.A. meeting comes around, Larry’s mother can’t wait to meet the woman responsible for the notoriously awful Charles. It’s a very short story, a small gem that’s beautifully crafted, hilarious, and suitable for listeners of all ages. Tune in!