We at Audere had a great summer, and it gave us a chance to reflect on our best and most popular stories. Happily, our “stats” app helps, constantly reminding us which stories you, our readers, loved, and which ones you didn’t care for much at all.
The fifth most-read article was our interview with Torsten Krol. The Dolphin People writer has remained stubbornly anonymous (“Torsten Krol” is a pseudonym) and our interview was something of a “get,” his first interview in over a decade. The extremely diverse topics about which he has written books, he told us, “may have created the impression that I’m several people, and in a way I am, but all those people are located inside the one skull. Having asserted that I’m one person, I feel other questions relating to my identity are irrelevant.” It was an interesting chat.
At number 4: In 2018, the Watt O’Hugh novelist Steven S. Drachman reviewed a film weirdly titled Disney Christopher Robin, which he acknowledged that he had not seen, but which in his view told so many extravagant falsehoods about the life of the real Christopher Robin Milne that it deserved a sight-unseen pan. “[W]hy exactly do our totalitarian overlords at Disney need to tell us this lie about the life of a real man?” Drachman asks. “It is because the real Christopher Robin was not a Disneyesque creature at all; he did not believe in eternal childhood and eternal childishness. He grew up.”
In 2020, author Julie Stamm talked to us about Some Days We…., her blunt yet optimistic picture book about being a parent with multiple sclerosis. “I can say wholeheartedly that diagnosis has changed me,” Stamm told us. “I don’t really remember the old me.” The interview is our third most-read article.
In the second most-read article in Audere history, bestselling novelist Donna Levin remembers her grandmother, Rae Stern, a cheerful but secretly depressed rabbi’s widow. “What she needed, I believe, was meaningful work of her own,” Levin writes, “something that was more than just a holdover from the glory days of Rebbetzinhood.”
At #1, A Big Hand for the Raunch Hands, Drachman’s appreciation of the late Mike Chandler, who headed a raucous and popular rock band in New York in the 1980s, and who died of cancer in 2018, having never become world-famous, in spite of expectations all those years ago. “[H]e really did have a lot of great shows and a lot of fans, back then,” Drachman writes, “and not everyone has that, nights when you rule the audience, nights when you are king. I hope that means he would say he had a good life.”
And an honorable mention: Alan N. Levy wrote our seventh most-read article; as a tribute to his deceased best friend, Levy wrote, “I’d like to describe a moment that I’ll simply label, ‘The Funniest Thing Ever Said.’ ” Alan died unexpected and suddenly a few months before his debut novel, The Tenth Plague, appeared in print. We hope wherever he is now, he is enjoying all his posthumous rave reviews.
(For the record, our least popular piece was a digital painting entitled “Autumn in the City,” which depicted beautiful fall leaves puddled around piles of garbage.)
Photo by Sasint / Pixabay