The Subtle Knife
Novel Ideas returns with the first episode of year three, or Season 3, if you prefer. This week we are discussing Philip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife, sequel to The Golden Compass, second book in the “His Dark Materials” trilogy. In this episode we talk about trust, power, corruption, and moral ambiguity. We also touch on trilogy naming conventions, Sir Charles’s creepy vibe, trope subversion, and references to other things we have read and/or podcasted.
This week’s music bump is “Under the Knife” by Kansas because “Mack the Knife” seemed too obvious.
This book contains excellent world building and interesting characters, as well as adding to the universe of the story rather than rehashing what was popular the first time around. Read it. But first read The Golden Compass.
Gabs: 9/10 I love this damn book.
Ben: 9/10 All of those things.
Welcome to a very spooky episode of Novel Ideas, featuring the decidedly not spooky Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This is a book about a monster and the man who created him told in a very romantic style. (I have to mention this now because we forgot to say it in the podcast.) In this episode we cover various tropes, unsympathetic characters, the theme of science v. nature, and the theme of isolation v. acceptance. We also cover the timelessness of teenage behavior, the importance of being genre savvy, and whether Frankenstein’s monster might actually be Santa Claus. Make sure to listen in a well lit room so you don’t get scared!
The music bump is “Night on Bald Mountain” by Modest Mussorgsky because, dude, Halloween. I’m not entirely sure how this piece of music came to by synonymous with that holiday, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the way it sounds.