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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The Girl on the Train

Ah, the rhythmic clickety-clack of rail travel, the chuggety comforts of trains, the suburban father's hobby! At least that's what we assumed we were going to experience when we took on the recent publishing sensation, Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train.

However, what we discovered was a real Rashomon, a real jigsaw puzzle of multiple perspectives and realities, a real, real set of girls, but gone, daddy, real, real gone. Okay, that wasn't true. This was NOT a book about ladies who ought to be described with any hipster talk; that was a misleading lie and we apologize. Anyway, this semi-successful account of man's inhumanity to women and the toxic effects thereof turns out to be good fodder for us to get off track, even if the book is freighted with stuff that got us steamed (as though it had been engineered for us). We conducted ourselves well, we think, and were stoked to take on this boiler.

Grab your tickets, keep an eye on your luggage, and enjoy the ride. (Honestly, that's good advice for life, not just for listening to this episode.) All aboard!

Recommendations:

  • Lost Signals
  • Seriously anything, Patricia Highsmith

Music:

  • "Train in Vain" by The Clash
  • "Jump Around" by House of Pain
  • "Locomotive Breath" by Jethro Tull
  • "Tootsie Roll" by 69 Boyz
Direct download: 6920-20Girl20on20the20Train.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:59pm PST

NANOWRIMO Special Bonus Episode

We asked for it and you gave it to us, one fairly brutal paragraph at a time, and now here it is: your friends J. and Clsn reading more than 30 (!) entries for our First Ever National Novel Writing Month contest! No notes could do this one justice, so just slip into your favorite podcast-listening mask and don't forget that you've got that bowl of soup in the microwave, because it is time to hear what the minds of the IDEOTVPOD Community can come up with when asked to write bad paragraphs. This time, we're all winners!

Direct download: 69.520-20NANOWRIMO.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:23pm PST

The time has come, and it won't stand still: after a couple years, we finally go for the big money, put Rush into the limelight, and turn the camera eye to Clockwork Angels by Neil Peart and Kevin J. Anderson. Our first novelization of a concept album -- yes, you read that right -- this fly by night book-like object had us losing it. (Literarily, it's not exactly a high water mark. In fact, each time, it required substantial freewill to turn the page. Even if you're in the mood for something like this book, most of this book isn't working, man. If only we'd had some distant early warning that would have prevented us from making memories about this stupid thing.) Our grand designs to leverage our lifetimes of Rush fandom (one of many of our open secrets) to go on a witch hunt at Rush's expense end up revealing many lessons, and some tears.

Anyway, please enjoy this podcast that we made for you, no strings attached: it's something for nothing. Also please enjoy the two thousand, one hundred twelve hidden Rush references we packed in beneath, between and behind every available cranny and nook. In the end, it's our mission to inspire all of you to force ten of your friends to listen to this episode. But do it gently, with kid gloves, and don't rush things; observe life's mystic rhythms and subdivisions, and remember that getting smarter isn't a sprint, it's a marathon.

 

Recommendations:

  • Blood Red Turns Dollar Green, Paul O'Brien
  • Certain Women

Music:

  • "Rush" by Big Audio Dynamite
  • "Roll the Bones" by Rush
  • "Meat Grinder" by Madlib
  • "Rush, Rush" by Paula Abdul
Direct download: 6820-20Clockwork20Angels.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Tori Amos: Piece by Piece

This Halloween, put down your flying broom and pick up the pieces -- Piece by Piece, by Tori Amos and Ann K. Powers! With special guest and Tori Amos expert Lauren Parker, J. and Clsn take a magic carpet ride through a wonderful patchwork tapestry cauldron, bubbling with diversity, myths, magic, big business, the sacred feminine, Robert Plant, the circus, hair metal, football (which is what they call soccer in England, it turns out), and a whole heaping pile of goddesses.

Not your usual rock book, and definitely not the book version of a making-of DVD extra for a long-forgotten album, except exactly, precisely that, Piece by Piece just might rock you -- to sleep! Come: tune your piano; tend your moistest garden; and tour the seething volcano of Piece by Piece with us.

 

Recommendations:

  • Love Is a Mixtape, Rob Sheffield
  • Emma Ruth Rundle, Marked for Death
  • Violet is the Color of Your Energy, Nadia Bulkin

Music:

  • "My Piano Horror", a Youtube Video of a Piano Recital
  • "Lush Life" by Stan Getz (with elements of "The Guys Get Shirts")
  • "Witchy Woman" by The Eagels
  • "White Girls" by The Mighty Casey
Direct download: 6720-20Tori20Amos.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:05pm PST

The Rats

Stowing away in your earbuds, gnawing at your stores, and leaping from your dark corners at your tender ears, it's James Herbert's The Rats! A verminous return to the kind of bad book that's always the best: the kind where, every couple pages, somebody nearly has sex and absolutely gets eaten by giant rats.

If you ever wanted a book about mutant rats invading the slums of London, then The Rats is for you — and if you didn't, what are you doing listening to IDEOTVPOD, anyway? It's time. Grab your flashlight, pull on your heaviest gloves, and come with J. and Clsn on an exploration of two hundred of the rat-infestedest pages anyone has ever seen. It's time for ... The Rats.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Rebecca Solnit, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas
  • Helen DeWitt, Lightning Rods

Music:

  • "Rats in the Cellar" by Aerosmith
  • "Rats" by Clutch
  • "Hot Rails to Hell" by Blue Oyster Cult
  • "Rat Bait" by The Swimming Pool Q's
Direct download: 66_-_The_Rats.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Forever Pucked

As voted on by our supporters on the IDEOTVPOD Patreon, this episode we're strapping on our pads and skating around the tough issues posed by Forever Pucked, by Helena Hunting. Ice-cool customer Rachel Millman fleshes out our team as she and J. and Collision try to score on this ribald tale of work, marriage, family, violence, hockey, and raunch. A lot of raunch. More raunch than we've ever confronted (or, in some cases, enjoyed) before.

Yes, this is a novel of romance — hockey romance — with a comedic bent. So, as the nights grow longer harder and the days trend colder, it's time for us all to cozy up to our best, longest, largest hockey sticks and start slapping ... shots.

Extra thanks to great friend of the show A. A. Freeman for bringing this raucous ride to our attention, and it's probably worth noting that this particular episode brings more than a soupçon of naughty from the first second, so, uh ... headphones? Headphones.

Recommendations:

  • Slap Shot
  • Atlanta
  • The Goon

Music:

  • "You Sexy Thing" by Hot Chocolate
  • "Pony" by Ginuwine
  • "Detroit" by Rancid
  • "My Game" by Hanson Brothers
Direct download: 65_-_Forever_Pucked.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:17pm PST

Level 26: Dark Origins

What lurks beneath the bottom of the barrel? Well, we checked. Turns out that beneath the barrel's bottom slithers Anthony Zuiker's Level 26: Dark Origins. This episode, we're sneaking into the villain's dungeon, conveniently located in 2009, when it, apparently, seemed like a good idea to let the guy who made up CSI get together with his buddies and make this exceptionally book-like object, supplemented with zero-budget video clips, high-school-notebook-level drawings, and an attitude towards sex and violence best described as HOLY CRAP THIS IS AWFUL WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE.

Episode highlights include: A PATENTED DIGRESSION! Clsn failing repeatedly to learn how to pronounce "Zuiker"! A book that includes the description "sick son of a bitch"! Book highlights include: when civilization collapses (next Tuesday), you can probably cook a pigeon over it, if you can catch a pigeon. And start a fire. You know what? Nevermind. Eat a potato instead; much easier to catch than a pigeon.

NOTE: this book is truly bad, and contains a lot of material about violence, including sexual violence. If you are sensitive to material like this, you may want to avoid this episode. (We certainly wish we'd avoided this book.)

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "New Level" by A$AP Ferg
  • "Cut Self Not" by Faraquet
  • "Cheesecake Truck" by King Missile
  • Theme from "Law & Order"
Direct download: 6420-20Level2026-20Dark20Origins.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

Dragons of Autumn Twilight: Dragonlance Chronicles Vol. 1

As foretold in ancient scrolls, Clsn and J. fulfill the grim prophecies and embark on a quest most dire: get somehow through the dullest book we've seen in ages: Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's Dragons of Autumn Twilight: DragonLance Chronicles Volume One.

Like listening to somebody misexplain the plot of a movie you've already seen, while pretending the plot is something they made up, getting through this book is a tall dang order, but we made it. And so will you. Brush up on your magic words and get ready to laugh at a book that purports to Chronicle DragonLances, but that actually contains somewhere south of a half-dozen dragons and literally zero actual lances. Grip tightly your ocarina and prepare to raise your voice in the songs of your people (particularly if your people, like our people, are partial to Pony). The roads are dusty, and your leathern saddle is no doubt cracked, but a few ales and some spicèd potatoes will soon have you ready for adventure with your friends.

Our party awaits! Come with us and we guarantee one thing: you're em fail your saving throw against having fun!

 

Recommendations:

  • "The Door Into Fire" by Diane Duane
  • "Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan" by Jake Adelstein

Music:

  • "Roll the Dice" by PAC DIV
  • "Rumpshaker" by WRECKX-N-EFFECT
  • "Timorous Me" by Ted Leo & the Pharmacists
  • "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest
Direct download: 63_-_Dragons_of_Autumn_Twilight_-_Dragonlance_Chronicles_vol_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

62 - The Da Vinci Code (w/ Lauren O'Neal and Niko Bakulich)

Renowned author Dan Brown's renowned book The Da Vinci Code provides a renowned topic for renowned podcasters J. W. Friedman and Chris Collision, along with renowned guests Lauren O'Neal and Niko (from renowned podcast Sunday School Dropouts. An extremely popular book yields an extremely long episode, with enough jokes to make anyone enough of a believer to found a secret society devoted to hiding the truth about the show ... or maybe to hiding the truth about the show while pointing out that actually all of popular culture is about the show. It's all a little confused. Anyway, if your Grail is L A F F S, then this episode is for you!

Note: This is an extra-long episode because J. is not feeling well enough to edit it down to a shorter length. But it's very good and you will enjoy every minute, we promise.

Extra credit reading: Geoffrey Pullum's legendary eviscerations of Dan Brown's prose style.

 

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "The Rose" by Mudhoney
  • "Les Invisibles" by Blue Oyster Cult
  • "Catholic Dress" by Dahli Seed
  • "Holy Grail" by Jay Z
Direct download: 62_-_Da_Vinci_Code.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:33pm PST

Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good

Prepare yourselves for true depravity, because this time around, we're taking on Corey Taylor, vocalist of Slipknot and Stone Sour, and his book Seven Deadly Sins. Two men alone could never take on such a large number (to say nothing of the seven newly proposed sins or the main one he admits he forgot to add), so J. and Collision welcome back juicy guest Lemon!

We laugh, grimace, yell, and learn as Corey Taylor spools out a deeply failed attempt to be a stand-up comedian (inexplicably in written form) as he attempts to answer the question "What does Corey Taylor think about things" and actually just answers "What would happen if a Hot Topic got hit by magic lightning and turned into a really talkative guy on the bus".

Episode highlights include the most successful Plot in 60 Seconds of all time, J. and Collision slowly succumbing to Bud Lite Lime-A-Rita poisoning, and the amazing contortions required to find high points in this book. Episode lowlights include the prose and ideas of Corey Taylor, a man who would very much like you to know that he has Had Sex. A lot of times, and in all of the ways.

NOTE: if you believe you have heard a word mispronounced on this show, please take it up with your podcatching software, as we have checked and we assure you that everything is correct on our end.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Boy Looked at Johnny, Julie Burchill and Tony Parsons
  • Our Noise, John Cook
  • Our Band Could Be Your Life, Michael Azerrad

Music:

  • "They Come in Gold" by Shabazz Palaces
  • "Mandy" by Barry Manilow
  • "You Deserve It" by Future
  • "Whistle While You Work"
Direct download: 6120-20720Deadly20Sins.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:41pm PST

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