I Don't Even Own a Television
This is a podcast about godawful books. Each episode, hosts Jay W. Friedman and Chris Collision sit down with some guests to discuss books that all of them wish they hadn't read. Humor, serious talk, progressive inebriation, who could ask for more?

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It's episode one hundred (!) so we knew we had to go big, and it certainly doesn't get much bigger than six hundred pages of New York Times best-seller (nor do podcast episodes get much longer than this one). As the saying goes, "If the tome's got girth, IDEOTVPod brings the mirth!"

PowerBooks, rooms that are locked (until they aren't), repetition, google searches, a dodgy translation of a likely unedited text, repetition, sex-positive male feminism, superpowers based on not-great understandings of people on the spectrum -- we know, we know, it's hard to believe six hundred short pages could contain all of this, but...these pages contain those things. Also other things. Some good things (probably) and a tall mess of bad ones. Slap a little sunscreen on your tattoos, watch out for snipers when you go jogging, and try really hard to avoid offending any vengeful hackers.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Seek 2.0" by Information Society
  • "Computer Love" by Zapp & Roger
  • "Kill Your Television" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin
  • "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul & Mary
Direct download: 10020-20Dragon20Tattoo.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:34pm PST

Enjoy or anyway endure the bucolic splendor of Andrew Mayne's ... The Naturalist. Crisp, clean Montana air. Stars so clear and sharp they perforate your frontal lobes. The faintest tang of pine needles, the subtle rustle of a deer in a stand of trees, a tow-truck driver dressed as a bear strapping claws on to kill people ... Wait. Come again?

If you're ready to get your science on, then tuck your everyday carry into your lumbar satchel and get ready for the woods -- they're bloody, dark, and deep, and there are killers to catch before you sleep.

 

Recommendations:

  • Ursula K. Le Guin, The Dispossessed
  • Jean Merrill, Pushcart War

Music:

  • "Raging River of Fear" by Captain Beyond
  • "I Wanna Be a Bear" by The Descendents
  • "Night Moves" by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Direct download: 99_-_The_Naturalist.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am PST

If the Six Million Dollar Man partnered with a Navy SEAL in a CIA / DEA / Etc. partnership to go around the world assaulting drug-cartel compounds, the results might be a little (a LOT) like ... Robert Cain's Cybernarc. Enticed? Other comparisons await you deep in the bowels caverns of this episode! HINT: if it involves a robot with a human face, we probably talk about it this time around. Our first friend-submitted book in a WHILE, so, uh, Jeremy Fakelastname from Portland ... thanks? for bringing the blood and thunder.

This one is fairly bonkers, as a whole lot of well-described violence butts up against ... not a lot else, if we're being totally honest. Lots of lists of guns, lots of paranoia about the drug epidemic corroding our cities and corrupting our government, lots of meetings with elderly white men talking tough at one another, taking no guff, and preparing to get rough.

If you think you're ready, if you think you can handle it, then get to the chopper and experience the white-knuckle thrills of a narc, except ... cyber.

BONUS BEST LINE WE DIDN'T GET TO IN THE EPISODE*: "Christ, man!" ejaculated the general. "You've created some kind of ... robot hacker!"

*From memory.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters
  • Anne Carson, Short Talks

Music:

  • "White Lines" by Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel
  • "Casey Jones" by The Grateful Dead
  • "Ballad of the Green Beret" by Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler
Direct download: 9820-20Cybernarc.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:03am PST

What, what exactly is Dean Koontz' novel Watchers? A touching love story between ex-Navy-SEAL (and realtor) and hyperintelligent Golden Retriever? A thrilling adventure where an ordinary man (who was in Delta Force) gets caught between the military industrial complex and organized crime -- oh, and a ravenous murdering hellbeast? A sumptuous coming-of-age tale where a sheltered, abused young woman flowers into her full power and beauty? A lengthy catalog of one man's interests, from yardwork to proper roadtrip routing to home furnishing to optimal tunage for tender lovemaking? Well, you're in luck, because Dean Koontz' Watchers is in fact all of these things and more!

Yes, IDEOTVPOD has finally gone ... to the dogs! We take this puppy out for a walk around the block, and if you want to see if it's hard to clean up after it, you'll have to mash that DOWNLOAD button and unleash us!

 

Recommendations:

  • Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Book of Men by Dorianne Laux

Music:

  • "Somebody's Watching Me" by Rockwell
  • "longing / love" by George Winston
  • "Talking to the Dog" by the Obits
Direct download: 97_-_Watchers.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:15pm PST

You wanted the best, you got the best, in the form of the trashiest trash novel we have seen yet, Jackie Collins' Hollywood Wives. Hard sex? Check. Sprawling set of (unlikeable) characters? Check. Spaghetti-like plot that's somehow simultaneously insultingly simple and somewhat difficult to keep track of? Check! And then we get to the third chapter and things really pop off.

The first book we've read that includes a villain sneering an actual playground taunt ("that's for me to know and you to find out" is an actual line of dialogue in this one, people)+ takes us new places in real sleaze and ushers in a new, tawdry age of the podcast, a leopard-print age, an age where NaNoWriMo-level music references somehow don't keep a novel from selling millions of copies, but, regrettably, also an age where every person is an ethnic stereotype and nobody is at all pleasant to be around.

+But, we hope, not the last.

We hope you think this one is worth the wait. We sure think it's worth it's weight in gold -- Golden GLOBES that is!

 

Recommendations:

  • "Cat Person" by Kristen Roupenian
  • "Priest Daddy" by Tricia Lockwood
  • "Magpie Murders" by Anthony Horowitz

Music:

  • "Still in Hollywood" by Concrete Blonde
  • "Passion" by Rod Stewart
  • "Los Angeles" by Frank Black
Direct download: 96_-_Hollywood_Wives.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:48pm PST

Long-dead voices returning from the grave to tell you all about what they think. No, it's not just a description of this flashback to the first episode future permanent co-host Clsn ever showed up on, it's also the plot of Brian Lumley's Necroscope!

Please enjoy this first flight of the Legendary Lions of the Library, the Beach-Read Barbarians, the Trashy-Book Twins, the Hosts Who Hold the Three Rs to be Reading, Writing, and Reaming*, you know them, you love them, you may not have heard this one, so hop on and hold on (loosely) because it's time to get in the van with the skulls on the side and take a wild ride through a spy story in which the spooks are a little more literal than you might be used to.

NOTE: we're sorry for the rerun, but we have had three unexpected glitches in very short order. The next episode is going to be extremely good, so please bear with us.

*The fourth R is Re-Animating.

 

Recommendations:

  • Mary Shelly, Frankenstein

Music:

  • "Graveyard Chamber" by Gravediggaz
  • "Night of the Vampire" by Roky Erickson
Direct download: REPEAT_-_Necroscope.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:47am PST

What do you call a rom-com that isn't funny and ends with the main character alone? Love Monkey by Kyle Smith is at least one of the possible answers to that question. We're joined by the terrific Maura Johnston to talk about living, loving, and working in New York's media scene in 2001, as presented in a book that starts off with Chuck Norris facts and goes downhill from there. As the proctologist said to his dehydrated client, "This is some dark shit, son."

(Joke quality definitely intended to indicate book quality.)

Remember that one line from Heathers, "now that football season is over, these guys have nothing to offer except date rape and AIDS jokes"? This book was written by those guys. So get ready for a book that literally only could have been worse if it were Kevin Smith's instead of Kyle Smith's -- get ready for ... Love Monkey.

Direct download: 95_-_Love_Monkey.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:27pm PST

The nights lengthen, the days grow colder, and our allotted days slough away -- but, on the plus side, we welcome the world's best sportswriter, David J. Roth, to endure the 252 pages of book-like object The Boz, Confessions of a Modern Anti-Hero, attributed to (or perhaps simply blamed on) Brian "The Boz" Bosworth and Rick Reilly. It's time to ask yourself: "Do you like football?" Well, we're talking about it either way.

What's this book like? It's like sitting next to a guy telling you -- lengthily -- about each of his conquering moments as a high school athlete while a sherry-drunk golf dad lazily jumps in to punch up the stories with rejected pitches to Mad Magazine's "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions". The episode, however, is like bathing your ears and very soul with three friends making fun of a guy telling you lengthily about each of his conquering moments as a high school athlete while a sherry-drunk golf dad lazily jumps in to punch up the stories with rejected pitches to Mad Magazine's "Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions".

 

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Space" by Galt MacDermot
  • "Lester Hayes" by Maroons
  • "Smooth Operator" by Sade
Direct download: 94_-_Boz.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:43pm PST

Things get savage in the garden as we enjoy one of the best versions yet of the MORE OR LESS INNOCUOUS FAUNA ARE COMING FOR YOU genre with Shaun Hutson's Slugs. A nasty bit of work that runs the gamut from gory to incredibly gross, Slugs answers the eternal question "What if you gave a huge Iron Maiden fan three weeks to write a horror novel?"—and answers it well! Let us enjoy this slimy slide together! Trail along behind us, because if you weren't afraid of slugs before, you soon will be. This is one episode that will have you searching for that lost shaker of salt... so you can waste your way through the blood-soaked Gastropodville of...Slugs.

 

Recommendations:

  • Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House
  • Elizabeth Drew, Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall
  • Supplemental recommendation: Slugdge

Music:

  • "Slug Line" by John Hiatt
  • "Tend My Garden" by James Gang
  • "The Chapter For Transforming Into A Slug" by Slugdge
Direct download: 9320-20Slugs.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:49am PST

Grab your Dio tape and tug your jerkin into place, because it's time to get extremely barbaric with Robert Aspirin's sword and farcery romp Myth Conceptions -- and, best of all, we're joined by Dan Boeckner, of Wolf Parade, Operators, and others! Eat your heart out as we rock through a book that has more dad-joke density than an episode of Car Talk.

If you're ready for for a sub-epic quest full of military bluster and sexual fluster, then gird your loins, say goodbye to your loved ones back home, and join our party (we could use a healer). But be warned, stranger: 'tis a wild, wicked road we walk, and those who set out 'pon it never come back the same as when first they trod the path of puns, myth, and mirth. Indeed, most come back a little mirth for wear after sojourning in the land where the pun never sets. But if you're strong enough for it, and don't mind mything out when the going gets tough, then this may be the series for you.

 
 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "The Magician" by Return to Forever
  • "Tumbling Dice" by The Rolling Stones
  • "Brave Sir Robin" by Monty Python
Direct download: 9220-20Myth20Conceptions.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am PST