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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Collin Yost's A Shot of Whiskey and a Kiss You'll Regret in the Morning is the book that made Marianne Moore write "I, too, dislike it" about poetry; it's the book that made the rock-and-roll clown from Metalocalypse say "man, this guy talks about cocaine a lot; it's by a writer who undoubtedly has made a number of bartenders mutter "Ah, Christ, not this guy again..." Our first foray into poetry finds us foundering but unflustered.

Choke down another shot and plan out your excuses why you can't hang out with him later—because he's gonna expect you to, guaranteed—but just know that if you read this book, you're definitely going to regret it in the morning.

 

Recommendations:

  • "Tacoma" (a game by Fullbright)
  • "Autobiography of Red" by Anne Carson / Norton Anthology

Music:

  • "Green Corn" by NOFX
  • "Saturday Night" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin
  • "Panama" by Van Halen
Direct download: 9020-20A20Shot20of20Whiskey.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 2:43pm PDT

By a writer who thinks he's hot shit (but is actually just a cold turkey), it's A Million Little Pieces, James Frey's fake memoir slash terrible novel. Lauren Parker drops by to help us get through what may be the worst book we've ever read, full of Man Pain, capitalized Nouns, and long passages about the universal passion of the most boring Americans, boxing.

Thrill to a baffled, hostile trio trying to come to terms with high-school level poetry like "I realize why dawn is called mourning." Enjoy a spirited argument about whether Frey's prose reads more like Evanescence, nü-metal, or youth crew—and if these references don't click for you don't worry: everything comes together by the end. Once we're done, you'll want to buy a copy of the book so you can follow James Frey around shouting his writing at him.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Positive Hardcore" by Good Clean Fun
  • "All Lies" by NoMeansNo
  • "Mistadobalina" by Del The Funky Homosapien
Direct download: 89_-_A_Million_Little_Pieces.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:41pm PDT

Worlds of Power No. 1: Blaster Master: a strange artifact, here, not as clumsy or random as fanfic, an elegant read from a more civilized age. Yes, what we have here is a novelization ... of a video game ... meant for children. But, due to one host's long-standing relationship with the work, we break our normal rules, and craft for you an episode that's chockablock with crackerjack infotainment, including a decided enthusiasm gap between your hosts, a rich vein of fun factage*, and even—yes—a brand-new game with its very own song! Significant blasting; much mastery: that's what you're in for.

So slip into your power suit and check the charge on your laser pistol, because it's time for Baby's First Body Horror. It's time ... for Blaster Master!

*Fun fact: this series of books was listed as by "F.X. Nine" because, depending on who** you believe, the series creator wanted kids to stumble over them when they were looking on the shelves for either Nintendo or Nine Inch Nails, neither of which we recommend you look for.

**whom***

***whomstdve

 

Recommendations:

  • Helen McDonald, H Is for Hawk
  • Adam Johnson, The Orphan Master's Son

Music:

  • "Elephant Riders" by Clutch
  • "Standstill" by Gorilla Biscuits
  • "Hot One" by Shudder to Think
Direct download: 8820-20Blaster20Master.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 1:48pm PDT

Because sometimes there's a man, we won't say a hero, but what is a hero, anyway, who can take skycabs down the mean streets without himself becoming mean, because sometimes we need a hero, are holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night, but we don't need another hero, it's time for William Shatner's TekLab!

Like a cuddly Mike Hammer, or a Mack Bolan who wages a lonely war against evil but still remembers to call his girlfriend at the end of the day, TekLab protagonist Jake Cardigan is just the thing to slip into if you're looking for something comfy. Action! is the name of the game here, but not so much action that you'll get upset or anything. Intrigue! abounds, but is mostly reserved to "Hey, remember when we used to be enemies?" conversations, so don't feel like you have to take notes or pay all that much attention. Wisecracks! are everywhere, but they're not exactly zingers, so relax: you are more than welcome to join this battle of wits even if you're essentially unarmed. It's an enjoyable, easy read, and we hope you'll enjoy loping along with us.

NOTE: Yes, we know Shatner said some stupid things on Twitter recently; No, we don't particularly care. He didn't even write the book, people, and if you really need to take your political cues from an elderly Canadian, might we suggest Margaret Atwood or somebody?

Recommendations:

  • TekWar!

Music:

  • "Back to the Grill" by MC Serch
  • "Pure Energy" by Information Society
  • "Don't Sweat the Technique" by Erik B. and Rakim
Direct download: 8720-20Teklab.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:38pm PDT

From the mind of Rush Limbaugh and four of his closest corporate lackeys comes Rush Revere and the American Revolution, a book in his "Time Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans" series; from across the pond, Kefin Mahon joins us to learn some American history from a book best described as "What if Ms. Frizzle was incompetent and evil?"...

Sneezing, hungry, time-travelling horses, troubled teens in war zones, meat pies with the Continental Congress, custom t-shirts and a history teacher with a disturbing fashion sense: this book has it all! Well, except for a plot, a decent editor, or a discernible reason for existing. But in the end, the real history was the friends we made along the way, wasn't it?

Anyway, enjoy this episode, where a charming Irishman learns about the American Revolution with a couple of revolting Americans and we all endure a book that makes an episode of Carmen Sandiego look seriously sophisticated.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Bloody Revolution" by Warlock Pinchers
  • "Horses in my Dreams" by PJ Harvey
  • "Rush, Rush" by Paula Abdul
Direct download: 8620-20Rush20Revere.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:08am PDT

Answering the question "Wha happens when you try to write a taut horror-thriller but forget to finish it and just publish your initial collection of scenes and scenarios instead?" it's ... You Were Warned, a couple hundred pages of hard and fast incompetence from the minds of James "The Franchise Maker" Patterson and Howard Roughan, "The Freshmaker."

WARNING: this book makes zero sense. WARNING: it's impossible to explain the cliche-per-page rate here. WARNING: it says right on the cover not to look. It's good advice.

Anyway, this is our first experiment with the works of James Patterson, and, without saying too much ... this is now a James Patterson-cast. So please join us as we ignore the warnings and plunge ahead into an unadulterated world of positively portrayed adultery, laughing girlfriends snarking on scarfing sushi, visions of dead dads and pulsing body bags, and trucks named Bob. Sound good? No? Well, anyway, YOU'VE BEEN WARNED.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Girl, We Made a Promise" by Sunday Shoes
  • "Photograph" by Def Leppard
  • "Warning" by Notoroious BIG
Direct download: 8520-20Youve20Been20Warned.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:39am PDT

From we, the podcasters, for you, the listeners, I, the Jury, by Mickey Spillane. Did You Know: Bad books actually have been around for more than 50 years!? This episode, we we dive into the past and journey to the source of a LOT of the kind of books with narrator/protagonists who take great pride in the thickness of their wrists.

Nasty, brutish, and short, this is a book with all the narrative momentum and coherence of a game of Clue, but with all the cruelty and harsh language of a game of Monopoly. It makes for a zesty, pesto-like episode, as your hosts respond to Mike Hammer's rough brand of street justice with their own inimitable blend of wit, talking shit, and spit (-ting hot fire!). Make some coffee and pull off your clip-on tie, because it's time to get judgey with the case of ... I, the Jury.

 

Recommendations:

  • Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale
  • Norman Mailer, The Executioner's Song

Music:

  • "Streets of San Francisco" by Henry Mancini
  • "Flipside" by Freeway
  • "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel
Direct download: 84_-_I_The_Jury.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 2:55pm PDT

Call shotgun, but only if you've got one, because it's time for IDEOTVPOD to hit the open, post-apocalyptic road with our latest men's adventure trip, D. B. Drumm's Traveler #5: Road War. We're under assault from every angle, with buffets of hot first draft prose, torrents of serious horror violence, and dollops of good politics (amongst sprinkles of bad).

So pop the clutch and tell the world to eat your dust, because we're grabbing John Shirley and blasting across the alkali flats in a jet-powered, monkey-navigated hot rod with a book that has everything short of the protagonist finding somebody's keys tucked into the sun visor of their vehicle. Come for the seriously fun pulp satire, but STAY for your hosts talking trash about everything under the sun (and mixing in a couple-three impressions that may (or may not) surprise you). ALSO: this episode has the debut of a great new feature that we're sure to remember to do going forward, a moment where we dedicate the episode to somebody!

Further reading: long, good interview with John Shirley; incredible resource about pulp fiction.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin
  • Meek's Crossing, Kelly Reichardt
  • Schismatrix, Bruce Sterling

Music:

  • "Transmaniacon MC" by Blue Oyster Cult
  • "Highway Star" by Deep Purple
  • "A Rose for Emily" by The Zombies
Direct download: 8320-20Road20War.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:52pm PDT

If you cross a plague of locusts with a parade of nonsense, what do you get? The answer does not lie in Scott "Dilbert Guy"'s bizarre tract God's Debris. Nevertheless, we were delighted to welcome back our resident religious scholar Lauren O'Neal to try to get some meaning out of a work that truly seems intended to make you think... Unfortunately, mostly what it makes you think is "geez, is this book dumb".

Laughs abound as we sit down next to strangers on the bus and get an earful about the nature of time, the essence of probability, the "women be different than men" problem, and the Deliveryman's Code. No, it's not a season of Futurama; it's infinitely worse than that. (Even the last couple seasons. Yes, this book longish pamphlet is that bad.)

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Know It All" by Lagwagon
  • "Tight Like That" by Clutch
  • "Blow Your Mind" by Ohana Bam
Direct download: 82_-_Gods_Debris.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 8:35am PDT

For Mothers' Day, the mother of all hanging-out-with-the-band books, I'm with the Band, brought to us by star of page, screen, and earbud, Mara Wilson! It's the book that ties together pretty much every trashy rock book we've done. Ties into a big, skeevy bundle, suitable for the landfill, incinerator, or truck stop book shelf.

Lizard kings, heavy metal wizards, iron butterflies, this one's got it all! Including crabs. :(

Grab your all-access pass for fun, and hop on board the rock and roll train, bound for ... somewhere in California, I guess? The '70s? Backstage? Anyways, whereever we're going, you won't need ... robes. Get comfortable, because it's about to get pretty ... intimate. Turn the incense up to 10, set lights to "seduction" and crank the tunes loud enough to cover the sounds of furry boning. And then listen to this podcast!

Recommendations:

  • Almost Famous
  • You Must Remember This
  • Play It As It Lays
  • Clothes Clothes Clothes Music Music Music Boys Boys Boys Viv Albertine

Music:

  • "Against the Seventies" by Mike Watt
  • "This Ain't the Summer of Love" by Blue Oyster Cult
  • "Valley Girl" by Frank Zappa
Direct download: 81_-_Im_With_the_Band.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 5:34pm PDT