Eyes All Around: Perspectives in and about Real Life by Brandon Taylor

In Real Life, a coming-of-age novel by Brandon Taylor, readers are presented with the character of Wallace, a graduate student studying Biochemistry and faring the obstacles of his and his friends’ approaching adulthood. In traditional bildungsroman form, Wallace undergoes a series of events throughout the course of a weekend that leaves him searching for answers, demanding “why?” from the various forms of his life. Taylor stages these events using modest language and vivid imagery as a means to shed light on the nuance and complexity of rising to adulthood, shading expectation against reality.  

The process of reading and analyzing this book and creating the podcast from an individual rather than group perspective was an interesting one. I found that, while I missed out on the discussion time that many of the groups had, I was afforded a lot of time to dive into the text, reread sections, and do research. I often searched online and found sections of the book read in different voices, such as here and here, in the author’s own voice. Not having group-mates to share their perspectives with me, I investigated other perspectives on the book, and very often listened to and read Taylor’s own explanations of the prose. This drove the format of my podcast, which, inspired by several other podcasts that cover news stories, used direct clips from interviews with Taylor throughout to introduce another perspective and to share the firsthand insight that I had been receiving while reading the book.

This entry was posted in #PBL #StudentCentered, 2020 Booker Short List novels, Literature Circles aka #litcircles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Eyes All Around: Perspectives in and about Real Life by Brandon Taylor

  1. Emelia says:

    I like how you took advantage of working alone and dug deeper into what Brandon Taylor thinks about his book. I wondered how much of the novel was from personal experience and it was cool to listen to Taylor talk about it.

  2. Eugenie Davis says:

    The style and structure of this podcast are really unique! While we can hear direct and insightful comments straight from Brandon Taylor, we also get to hear from personal takeaways from the novel, which bring the entire podcast together cohesively. Hearing about the silent yet glaringly obvious signs of racism, especially in a field such as biochemistry, allows readers to understand that it still exists today, despite people saying otherwise. Thank you for your podcast!

  3. sarahkurbanov says:

    This is a really well crafted-podcast! Besides being seamless and enjoyable to listen to, I really like how you incorporated the author’s interview with your own insights on the themes of race, personal experience, and being an outsider.

  4. Emma says:

    This was super soothing. I haven’t read the book but you gave a nice, understandable, and short summary so it was easy to follow. The incorporation of the interview was a nice touch as well. I think you really understood the book and how Taylor’s own challenging experiences were incorporated into the book.

  5. jennadaly09 says:

    I really enjoyed your use of the interview and this was a very creative way to make a podcast by yourself. I thought your understanding of the novel is very comprehensive and your explanation was very detailed.

  6. diepk21 says:

    I like your creativity throughout this podcast. Though you worked alone you created depth within structure. You gave a clear summary of the book, I really enjoyed this! (also super soothing)

  7. 21mjk says:

    I love your outro and usage of some pieces of Taylor speaking. It helps to break up the podcast’s structure and help us relate back to his fundamental ideas fostered when writing the novel. Great job, Silas!

  8. mlemza says:

    I like your approach on this podcast! I’m impressed with what you were able to create on your own. You did a great job and I loved how you were able to include pieces from Taylor speaking.

  9. aidenattianese says:

    This was very innovative. I love that you were still able to incorporate Brandon Taylor even though we were never able to get in touch with him. Great work!

  10. daviswarren2 says:

    I thought this was a really fun, exciting way to structure your podcast. I was a little shocked when I first hear Brandon Taylor’s voice but the way you weaved those excepts in with your own thoughts was fascinating. Good Work.

  11. carlylitt says:

    Your approach to this podcast on Real Life by Brandon Taylor was unique and creative. I enjoyed the incorporation of Taylor’s interview as a personal and insightful touch. It is fascinating to learn of the personal connection Taylor has to the book. Great podcast!

  12. Sean Tashjian says:

    I thought it was a great idea to incorporate Brandon Taylor into the podcast and use some of his ideas to help strengthen your thoughts after reading this novel. Very nice

  13. normanslate says:

    This came out great. I like how you incorporated Brandon Taylor’s words–It really made the podcast feel official. You also interpreted his words perfectly, and tied the quote in nicely to the variety of perspectives in Real Life.

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