weak characterization

Catch-22

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If we post only one day late because we were a week late with the previous episode, is that a Catch-22? I think it is if you only try to download episodes when they aren’t here. And you don’t read our posts unless they aren’t posted. I’m not sure because I’m not very good at Catch-22 logic. At any rate, this week we discuss Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, the classic satirical war novel. In this episode we discuss characterization, plot, and how to make a movie out of this book. Is that discussion a Catch-22? It might be, because those are three things that are not very likely to be connected to this book. We also talk about war, war stories, and whether or not war is bad (hint: yes). We very carefully do not discuss how this episode title could be applied to our podcast at large. We hope you enjoy this episode, but if you don’t, maybe it can at least extend your lifespan.

The music bump is “Keasbey Nights” by a band called, appropriately, Catch-22.

43 – Catch-22 – A Collection of Jokes With No Plot

A quick correction: The Perilous Gard is by Elizabeth Marie Pope, not Warren. Warren is actually the name of the family in the book.

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The Night Circus

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Novel Ideas returns to spark your imagination, but it only works if you wait until after sunset. This week’s entry is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, a newer book about… a circus. That happens at night. Honestly, I have no idea how to describe this book quickly without being totally glib about it. In our discussion, we talk  about some of the interesting features of the book, such as whether the setting can be the main character, what makes a compelling love story, and monochromatic characters. We also decided that we want to have a midnight dinner. Sounds fun. And despite our best attempts, we were unable to wring any feminist issues out of this book. Tune in for the second half of the podcast where we sit in stunned silence for twenty-two minutes.

The music bump is Britney Spears’s “Circus” as covered by Dirty Loops, the funkiest Swedish fusion trio working today.

38 – The Night Circus – Your Imagination

Watership Down

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We apologize again for taking a week off, but we have returned with Watership Down by Richard Adams, or as he is affectionately known by no one, Dickie. You’ve probably heard of this book and know kind of vaguely that it has something to do with rabbits. I think that’s about as much explanation as it needs. If you crave more, download this week’s episode where we will discuss the parallels with ancient Rome, the lack of female rabbits, and the political implications of warren organization. We also tackle what a stoat is, what a sentence is, and what comic relief is. Actually, between us and Dickie, I’m not sure that we know what any of those three things are.

The music bump is “Watership Down,” a surprisingly catchy song by America, the band. (Not to be confused with the book or the country.)

36 – Watership Down – Insane Death Rabbit

To avoid skipping weeks unexpectedly, we are going to begin skipping weeks… expectedly. If that’s a thing. With longer titles, there will now be a two week delay between episodes instead of one week. We’ll let you know as we go along.

Ready Player One

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After trekking through numerous levels filled with puzzles, monsters, and platforms spaced just so, Novel Ideas returns with Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. This is a book about video games, nerdery, and the 1980’s. Also about corporate interests, environmental disaster, and the 80’s. Also also about friendship, the superiority of real life to virtual life, and the 80’s. But mostly this is a book about the 80’s. In this week’s episode we discuss all of those issues, as well as the 80’s, with only brief intervals to make our own nerdy references. (And don’t forget the 80’s.)

The music bump is “Dead Man’s Party” by Oingo Boingo, appearing in the intro to the book as well as the intro to Jim Halliday’s rather narcissistic posthumous treasure hunt.

31 – Ready Player One – Extreme Nerdery