Ira states in episode 43 that there was a surge of Faustian stories in theater in Chicago in 1996, so they decided to produce this episode. These tales come in five acts and they are all interesting and worth a good listen.
Act one is the story of LuAnne Johnson, who wrote "Dangerous Minds", yes the film with the Coolio song "Gangsters Paradise". She tells about how the movie and subsequent television show were so different from what she put out in her book for the world to read. When she questions people who were making these works from her book, they simply told her that she had sold the story and it was not hers anymore. As a writer, makes me think twice about selling work (but if you're interested in purchasing some of my work...).
Act two is a creepy tape of someone asking about bringing a relative back to life. I'll let you folks listen to it to get the full effect of the story...it's a great story that you just have to hear.
Act three is the tale of Jayna, a student who came to America from Korea at the age of 11 on her own, to study under a very celebrated violinist. She talks about how she adjusted well to American life but after a trip back home to Korea, she had some reservations upon her arrival back in the US. The point of view of this story is what makes it so interesting- to get to hear thoughts on someone who immigrated at such a young age, on her own, is a point of view that is not reported on everyday.
Act four is a somewhat crazy story of how making a deal with the devil started out looking good for a woman, Carmen Delzell, until the repercussions appeared and then she went slightly crazy (atleast that is what it sounds like to me). It's an interesting tale, particularly in its first person perspective and her references to using Haitian voodoo or black magic.
Finally, act five is something I haven't ever heard of on the show- reading of a children's book. Daniel Pinkwater reads his children's book, Devil in the Drain. As the name suggests, the character of the devil is literally in the drain in this story. As a children's literature fan, I really enjoy how the show included this in their regular format, particularly since Ira comments after the reading that the book has been banned by many children's libraries. Clearly if the book is banned, it's gotta be good- that's one thing I learned by getting my English degree, you know.
For this episode, I suggest giving it all a listen. All the stories are engaging and interesting and throw out ideas that can really make you think. Enjoy it!