Hello, fans, listeners, and non-listening readers of this post. This episode of Novel Ideas is about Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, a sort-of-memoir/sort-of-fictional anthology set in and around the Vietnam War. In this episode we discuss classroom books, ambiguity, character archetypes, and unreliable narrators. We also talk about what we carry, lengthy gaps between recording (though maybe not posting? Okay, okay, not ONLY posting) podcasts, all-American girl/sweetheart assassins, and the purpose of second grade girlfriends in a war story.
The music bump is “Memory” by Yoko Kanno because maybe it was like, all dream, MAN.
Not a straightforward war story, so you don’t have to like those to read this book. Another one of those obvious in hindsight why it is studied in school books.
Ben: 7/10. It feels like an example of a certain flavor of war story, usually involving Vietnam, that was probably more original/unique once upon a time. That being said, something about this book affected me a bit, something about the idea of being a young person and having to go to war when you have no interest in doing so.
Gabs: First half 5/10, second half 7/10. Why was there a little girl with cancer in this book?
Gabs was out of town this week, so we’re posting one of our test episodes this week. This was recorded months ago, before we started posting, to see if we could actually do this. It turned out well enough to bank it for possible future use, so here it is. Lord of the Flies is, of course, one of the more commonly assigned readings due to its young cast and the overwhelming amount of symbolism. In this episode, we cover the various charming personalities involved, the probable deaths of several young children, and bring you inside on the “Ralph hates girly things” joke that has appeared in other episodes.
There is no music bump this week because none was added when the episode was originally mixed. If you need an intro, just shout “Sucks to your ass-mar!” before you play the file.