revenge

Wuthering Heights

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Welcome to a very special episode of Novel Ideas. This week we join the Minerva podcast network. If you found us through Minerva Magazine, we’re pleased to have you! A quick word of warning: this podcast contains some adult language, so if that concerns you, consider this fair warning. Our spoiler policy generally doesn’t matter as much for classics, but you should also be aware that we spoil anything and everything because we want to be able to discuss everything in the book in detail.

For this episode we read Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, a classic love story that might not be either of those things. We discuss those points as well as 19th century literary devices, the dangers of passion, Victorian values, and (of course) feminism. We also examine why it isn’t okay to hang puppies, weird hate auras, modern adaptations, and the questionable biology surrounding Victorian pregnancy.

The music bump is “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush, which is apparently sung from the point of view of Cathy’s ghost.

95 – Wuthering Heights – Hanging Puppy Love

Our ratings: All of the characters are terrible people, but at least it isn’t very fun to watch them interact.

Ben: 3/10. I didn’t enjoy reading it even a little bit. One extra point subtracted for having multiple instances of puppy hanging.

Gabs: 3.5/10. An extra half point awarded for demonstrating the healing power of reading.

Mockingjay

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Novel Ideas is back! At least for this week. The plan had been to get this episode up around the time the movie was released, so expect a lot of hedging on estimates of when new episodes will be released. Adding context makes comments about having more content up by the end of the year more understandable, more amusing, and a bit more shameful. At any rate, here is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, perhaps you’ve heard of it? If you listen, you will hear discussions about PTSD, the morality of war, weaknesses of characterization, and-dare I say it?-feminism. Not to mention messing with the shippers, different varieties of tridents, the curative power of babies in fiction, and why Gale is the worst.

If the audio quality seems off, we recorded and mixed this on a new rig. So Gabs is present via the power of the internet rather than the power of sitting at a table and may sound like she is present via the power of two tin cans linked by a string. Our apologies. Expect more of it. Eventually.

The music bump is “Back on the Streets Again” by the always timely Tower of Power.

93 – Mockingjay – The Bad Guys Would Eat Its Meat

Our ratings:

Ben: 8/10. A more mature story than the first two with less action, but more interesting discussion points.

Gabs: 7.5/10 Peetas. (And zero Gales because he is terrible.) The book has some issues, but damn it, it’s trying.

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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Welcome back to Draco Malfoy Talk, a podcast devoted to analyzing Draco Malfoy and his hilarious antics. Or maybe it’s just starting to feel that way. This week on Novel Ideas, we discuss Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling, the third book in the Harry Potter series. In this episode we don’t just talk a whole bunch about Draco and his continued status as a dick, we also talk about good teachers, possible metaphors for discrimination, overcoming fear, and holy crap plot twists. We also discuss the logic of divination, alternate universe Snape, ideas for improving the Hogwarts curriculum, and the plight of those poor flobberworms.

The music bump this week is “Seven Potters” by the Remus Lupins, a Harry Potter tribute band. They are nerdy as hell and probably more enthusiastic than talented, but I can appreciate the principle behind them.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Recommendations:

Best of the series so far! Also, if you’ve gotten this far and you’re still not convinced that you like this series, it probably isn’t for you…

The Scarlet Letter

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This week in Novel Ideas, we discuss a classic of guilt and shame. Were I to deliver this explanation in the style of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, the next two thousand words would describe the feel the paper, the alignment of the typesetting, the quality of the ink, and the deeply emotional cover. And then maybe I’d say something about the content, but it would be a bad idea to get your hopes up on that account. Unlike Hawthorne, we like content, so we discuss the characters, the prose, the wisdom of exposing yourself as a witch to your Puritan neighbors, demon-elf children, the difficulties in adapting this story for film, and, of course, feminism.

The music bump is Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in G minor, K. 108. It was chosen because if ol’ Dom was your pen pal, he would send you Scarlatti Letters.

15 – The Scarlet Letter – Let Us Fling Mud At Them