Escape From New York, by Zadie Smith (narrated by Dan Bernard)

“He could not get over how well he was handling the apocalypse so far.”

Zadie Smith’s Escape From New York is the hilarious escape of Michael, Marlon & Liz from New York. No planes are leaving the city and they barely know how to hire a rental car.

Dan Bernard handles the distinctive voices required extremely well. Without giving away any spoilers, the characters need to be recognisable, and they are.

Michael is the linchpin of the trio and has designated himself group organiser. He is relishing his role, feeling he is proving himself for the first time in his life:

Michael did not usually have much call to think of himself in this way, but now, back on the road and speeding toward Bethlehem, he allowed the thought that people had always over judged and misunderestimated him, and maybe in the end you don’t really know a person until that person is tested by a big event, like The Apocalypse.

They make their getaway in a Toyota Camry, stopping for burgers and KFC with Liz in the passenger seat singing “I Dreamed a Dream” on repeat.

It’s an extremely playful, entertaining story with great narration & quality production.

The story starts from 41.15 in The New Yorker episode.

Escape from New York (short story) • by Zadie Smith • read by Dan Bernard • The New Yorker, June 8th & 15th 2015, Part One • 20 minutes • published by The New Yorker • 2015 • available from

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