magical negro trope

The Secret Garden

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Welcome to the March edition of Novel Ideas, featuring The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. In this episode we talk about the genre of the children’s novel, colonialism, subversions, and–need I say it?–feminism. We also discuss why Colin is kind of a dick, plot related illnesses, failed attempts at comic relief, and children’s dialogue. Gabs even did some research about the background of this novel. I know, try not to lose faith in us. We hope by the time you get to the end of this one, you’ve learned the secret behind the magic.

The music bump is Don Byron’s version of “The Royal Garden Blues.”

103 – The Secret Garden – Dickon Around the Garden

Our ratings:

An easy classic and an early entry in the non-religious children’s book canon, it’s probably worth your time.

Ben: 7/10. Isn’t bad, definitely won’t change your life. Another classic that is easy to discuss.

Gabs: 8/10. Minus 2 points for Colin.

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The Stand

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In this episode of Novel Ideas, everybody dies. This week we discuss The Stand by Stephen King, a book about the apocalypse, or at least an apocalypse. And surprisingly, not many people survive the end of the world. In the course of our conversation we get around to most of the characters, many of the events, and some of the significance. Fans of the book will recognize that many details don’t get covered because this book was loooooooooooong. But we hit the highlights, including the demographics of the apocalypse (though Ben’s math is not exactly, you know, correct), the likely pathways of social breakdown, the static nature of characters, and whether the final act is necessary.

The music bump this week is “Don’t Fear the Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult. It is referenced in the book and happens to be a celebration of the fact that everybody dies.

12 – The Stand – Now You UnTheStand