The Subtle Knife

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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.

The Subtle Knife – EVIDENTLY


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.


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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 themeĀ  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.

29 – Frankenstein – An Eloquent Monster

Jurassic Park

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This week on Novel Ideas, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. The book, not the movie. Did you know that there is a movie? I was shocked too. Join us as we discuss the depths of the various characters, or lack of depths, why 1989 technology is mildly hilarious in 2012, and which character is actually a dick. I mean, aside from the T-Rex or any number of velociraptors. And we have special treat for you this week with guest stars Casey Hanford and Sayeed Khan, two guys who are as qualified to talk about books and dinosaurs as we are.

Music is the Jurassic Park Theme from John William’s excellent score, but I probably didn’t have to tell you that.

21 – Jurassic Park – OMG DINOSAURS