I Don't Even Own a Television
This is a podcast about godawful books. Each episode, hosts J. W. Friedman and Chris Collision sit down with or without some guests to discuss books that all of them wish they hadn't read.

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Homefolks, we came to party, and your eyes were looking at ... Nöthin' but a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion by Tom Beaujour and Richard Bienstock and it is well and truly time to push the opening acts off the stage and get ready for the *looks down at padded codpiece under spandex trousers* main event, if you know what our book's subjects are talking about AND I THINK THAT YOU DO.

That's right: we're heading to the Sunset Strip of Los Angeles, California, USA, circa 1985, and we're just investigating the plain HECK out of the local flora and fauna. Or at least asking the local flora and fauna to tell us what was on their minds 'way back when. And when it gets boring we set off flash pots and / or whang the switch that makes the drum kit start chugging down a long set of railroad tracks it's attached to—it'll all make sense by the end, we promis, so please! put your lighters in the air and get ready for two hard-rocking slabs of hard-rocking rock, followed by one semi-explicably emotional slice of ballad action, because it's time for us ALL to tease our hairs and enjoy (?) the power and passion of rock and roll, '80s style!

Recommendations:

  • No One Is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood
  • Shit, who knows, read a classic or two, IDK, Wuthering Heights and My Antonia both ruled...

Music Pairings:

Direct download: 168_-_Nothin_But_a_Good_Time.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:32am PDT

Since it's been a while, and we're currently slogging through a very long book for the next episode, we decided to give ALL of our listeners a chance to hear the new episode we just released for our patreon donors. It's not about a book. Most of our bonuses episodes aren't, really. But it is a lot of fun!

This isn't going to be a common occurrence, but we missed you. And we hope you missed us, so here it is --

We ease back into the podcasting game with the early-aughtsiest slice of cinema we could find, the unexpectedly successful film Resident Evil!  But is it merely a box-office success, or is there artistic success there as well?  MASH THAT PLAY BUTTON AND FIND OUT, WHY DO YOU NOT?

A movie so early-2000s you expect it to have stories about Woodstock '99, Resident Evil is a serious-faced attempt to honor the, ah, let's call it a "mythos" of the games, with plenty of atmosphere, some not entirely expected pacing, and some brutal moments, some of which it turns out we've seen before. So hitch up your JNCOs and grab some nü-metal off of Limewire, because it's time to see what lies beneath the surface ... of human skin ... of that spooky mansion outside Raccoon City ... and, best of all ... of the business practices of the strangely popular Umbrella Corporation!

(if you enjoyed this episode, and would like to hear an extra episode per month about books (rarely) and other media products (more frequently), check us out at http://patreon.com/ideovpod

Direct download: 167b_-_FREE_BONUS_EPISODE_-_Resident_Evil.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

It's time to get what an old boss of Clsn's used to call "choiceful" in these all-too-choice-free times, so we break format a little bit (and break out laughing a lot) with a "Which Way" book, in which we try and mostly fail to become the titular Champ of TV Wrestling.

Do the elegant diversions of a more innocent age hold up in today's bustling, hugger-mugger world of screens and Tik-Tok and whatnot? We invite you and all your friends to choose to find out! Click on in and try your luck with the champs of ... The Champ The Champ of TV Wrestling, that is!

Recommendations:

  • The Murderbot Diaries, by Martha Wells
  • Enjoy the things that make you happy!
Direct download: 167_-_Champ_of_TV_Wrestling.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:24am PDT

We live in a world that has hippos, and those hippos have to be ridden by people with weapons. Who's gonna do it? You? These people have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for victims of hippos, and you curse the hippo riders. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know. That hippos eat people, but that probably saves lives. And our existence as a podcast, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves time. You don't want the truth, because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want us reading these books, you need us reading these books. We use segments like "High Points, Low Points", "Dramatic Readings", "What Would They Do". We use these segments as the backbone of lives spent reading stuff and talking about it. You use them as a way to kill some time between other activities, or during them. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to listeners who rise and grind under the blanket of the very entertainment that we provide, and then questions the manner in which we provide it. We would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, we suggest you hop up on top of your OWN hippopotamus and ride!

Anyway, yeah: what we have here is an (apparently well-regarded!) alternate history answering the question "What if a Western but hippos not horses?" It also asks—and answers!—"What do we need a white boy for, anyway?" so you can probably tell already that it rules, and we definitely had a hell of a lot of fun reading it, so grab your traveling clothes and get ready to get seriously amphibious with us and our hippo pals.

Recommendations:

  • A Libertarian Walks into a Bear: The Utopian Plot to Liberate an American Town (and Some Bears) by Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling
  • Normal People by Sally Rooney
Direct download: 166_-_River_of_Teeth.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:37am PDT

For SO many reasons, it's time to get out of town, and so we're hitting the road to check out some of those hot Atlanta Nights we've been hearing so much about! Atlanta Nights is a truly bizarre artifact, so strange that it forces us to break our own rules and stretch our own format, as we take a deep dive into the churned-up waters of "bad on purpose" and find ... well, okay. Look. You know that one friend of yours, here, deep into 2020, who still thinks "my pants are suddenly tighter" is still a funny way to describe an erection? (In local podcast terms, we call that one friend "The Clsn".) This book has probably five of those jokes.

Accompany us, won't you, as we step into restaurant after restaurant to indulge our ... appetites—but ONLY after dark, because this is not a daytime affair, friends, no, no, no. This is an affair of ... Atlanta Nights.

Want to check out Atlanta Nights for yourself? You can do it so at HERE. We love you!

Recommendations:

  • Sun Don't Shine movie
  • The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells
  • Pen15 show

Music:

  • "Oh Atlanta" by Little Feat
  • "Sex and Dying in High Society" by Japandroids
  • "Warm Leatherette" by The Normal
Direct download: 165_-_Atlanta_Nights.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:51pm PDT

It's a tradition like no other, as our friend Stef Gray joins us to discuss our second consecutive book entitled...Dachshund Through the Snow! This time through, we get substantially increased Dachshund quantities, more flashbacks than is probably reasonable, and an amiable lope of a story of a few women passing through some extremely family-friendly challenges.

Regardless of the challenge, however, we're pretty sure these Dogmothers are down for anything and up to the task!

If your dogs are barking, come on in and take a load off! Pound that download button, because it's time for Greek to meet Irish and this is the episode that will finally let you get your Yia-Yia's out!

Recommendations:

Music:

EDITOR'S NOTE (JWF): Apologies for the audio quality, the late release, and the lack of a letters segment this time around, things got pretty out of sync and difficult and editing this episode became a real trial. So I salvaged what I could.

Direct download: 164__-_Dachsund_Through_the_Snow.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:51pm PDT

Here on IDEOTV, it's Christmas in ... okay, August, but still it's time for some wintry festivities as we read—and talk about!—Dachshund Through the Snow: An Andy Carpenter Mystery!

It's a murder mystery, a searing portrait of small-down power, corruption, and lies, a thrilling tale of corporate malfeasance, and a legal procedural, but really what it is is a story about a guy who doesn't want to do anything except watch ESPN with his buddies, who similarly want only to watch ESPN. "Dudes rock", in book form!

Grab a shovel and prepare yourself for the ultimate in tension and the premier in punny titles, because like a cake out in the rain or an actor out on loan, our minds are squirming like a toad because it's time for ... Dachshund Through the Snow.

Music:

  • "By-Tor and the Snow Dog" by Rush
  • "Child's Christmas in Wales" by John Cale
  • "Rich Man's World" by Immortal Technique
Direct download: 163_-_Dacshsund_Through_the_Snow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:29pm PDT

Lighters are clicking and flicking, wheels are rolling, and badasses are extremely American this time around as we climb into our *checks notes* LandMasters and take off across the blasted countryside of ... Damnation Alley.

Tuff-guy posturing meets clouds of suspiciously sweetly scented smoke and maybe a few more descriptions of the sky than you were expecting, and the IDEOTV men have to have ANOTHER on-air strategy session to address WHY do all these books have damn' PLAGUES in them, anyway.

We can't exactly give this book a ringing endorsement, we're not clappers in its audience, but we're not on Team Pull 'Er from the Shelves, either. If you'd like to know more about what we ding Damnation Alley on, press the button and maybe grab your bong!

Direct download: 162_-_Damnation_Alley.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:05pm PDT

Oh my goodness, this is gonna be a wild (broomstick) ride, as the all-time oldest friend of the show, Jeb "@mobute" Lund comes back to help us live deliciously and handle the weirdness of The Coven, by second-tier Watergate figure E. Howard Hunt, writing as "David St. John". And, in a way, aren't we all writing as David St. John?

We should note that this is a pulp novel of the early 70s, and, as such, blasts casual slurs, offensive stereotypes, and wide-spectrum ignorance and hostility onto basically every page: We work hard to skirt this garbage, but it's there throughout. If you want to skip this ep, we'll understand, and we certainly suggest you skip this book.

But if you're in a mood for a two-fisted, many-piped Washington lawyer with some controversial opinions about young, handsome senators and, eventually, witchcraft, then fire up some incense, polish your cauldron and iron your hair, because you've just been granted access to ... The Coven.

 

Recommendations:

  • L.A. Quartet by James Ellroy
  • Perry Mason, remake by HBO
  • L.A. Noir by John Buntin
  • Jennifer's Body movie
  • The Hotel of the Three Roses by Augusto De Angelis

Music:

Direct download: 161_-_The_Coven.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 5:30pm PDT

We can hear you already, you're saying "Oh, A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning, eh, what are you talking about, COLLISION'S LIFE haw haw haw", but the joke's on you, because ... he already knows. He knows. In any case, we picked this because we thought we'd try to keep on keeping things light, but ended up in one of our more contentious episodes, as Clsn kept holding things up and saying "This is a fun bit of mall goth writing for kids!" and J. kept saying "Sure fine whatever but also it's dumb and bad" and ... well ... it's not like J.'s wrong, so.

Anyway, you're laughing at us because we're different, but we're laughing at YOU because you're all the same and you'll be laughing at this EPISODE because it's funny! This one is also a fantastic way to hear our direst schemes for bilking orphans, if that's your thing. NOTE: bilking orphans is NOT our thing. Allegedly. "Allegedy" is a word that here means "even if it turns out we do bilk an orphan or two, we can't be sued because we weren't planning it beforehand". Stay well, everybody, and don't forget to wear all black all summer long. And don't forget to wear your mask, either: we love you and want you to stay well.

Recommendations:

  • The Young Visiters or, Mr. Salteena's Plan by Daisy Ashford
  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Music:

  • "The Legionnaire's Lament" by Decembrists
  • "Communist Daughter" by Neutral Milk Hotel
  • "Mad World" by Gary Jules
Direct download: 160_-_Lemony_Snicket.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:02pm PDT

Sometimes we need to retreat to the porch with some kind vibes and mostly harmless advice, and that's why this time around, we reached into the past for All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. It's a thick slice of I'm okay and you're okay so let's talk about dinosaurs and space with youth pastor slash weed dad Robert Fulghum.

So grab a cold drink and some comfortable clothes, because we're going to go forth and jump in puddles! NOTE TO SELF: Check to see if jumping in puddles is actually fun. Seems kinda cold and wet.

Also, Jay would like to see that chicken-fried steak is the best thing to write an essay about.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "I Don't Wanna Grow Up" by Tom Waits
  • "Kindergarten" by Faith No More
Direct download: 157_-_All_I_Needed_to_Know_I_Learned_In_Kindergarten.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:53am PDT

'E's a (hairy) wizard, is 'arry ... 'arry Dresden, that is, Chicago's only professional wizard and the protagonist of a book entitled Storm Front: Dresden Files Volume 1. On the plus side, a book called Storm Front featuring a dude named "Dresden" somehow manages not to go to objectionable places. On the minus side, this book is such a bland mess that even the climax explicitly having a wizard fight his foes by magically making a broom sweep those foes away, Sorcerer's Apprentice style, actually registers.

Anyway, sub-Moonlighting flirting, a portrayal of lesbian vampires that would embarrass a Cinemax executive, and a narrator in a duster, cowboy boots ... and sweatpants. Yes, this book has "it" "all" for some very particular values of those terms, and it is our absolute pleasure to be able to escort you through the mean streets and magic-scorpion-ridden elevators of Harry Dresden's Chicago, so grab your slicker and get ready for some heavy weather, because what's moving in ... is a Storm Front!

Recommendations:

  • The Lady Killer by Masako Togawa
  • It Felt Like Love

Music Thots:

Direct download: 157_-_Storm_Front_Dresden.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 5:32pm PDT

Because timing is the essence of success and entertainment, we're kicking off our latest huge crossover with Kait & Renata from Worst Bestsellers by taking on Resident Evil Volume II: Caliban Cove, an original novel about ... a horrible virus.

We promise, however, that the episode is a lot of fun even if the book was a little too close to our current moment! Cool hangs with four of your bad-book buds: what more could you ask for?

Oh! You want to ask for more? Okay, how about "sweaty ghosts"? Flight-preparation kibitzing? Subtle grenade foreshadowing that isn't very subtle? This one has everything up to and definitely including probably the most savage Karen-centric action in any book we've ever seen. If you're ready for a classic Resident Evil experience (prowling through an abandoned laboratory waiting for the monsters to show up), and a classic Worst Bestsellers / IDEOTVPod experience (cracking jokes while waiting for the monsters to show up) then this should be an infectious good time!

 

Recommendations:

  • Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
  • The Magnus Archives podcast
  • Jewball by Neal Pollack
  • River of Darkness: The First John Madden Mystery by Renny Airth
  • Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
  • The Surprising Return of Old-Ass Satellite High by Satellite High

Music:

  • Got nothing this time, sorry
Direct download: 157_-_Resident_Evil-_Caliban_Cove.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 5:32pm PDT

You've all hit the trifecta, because this episode your long shot has finally come in and we take on our first Dick Francis book, the slightly disappointingly not-horse-dense-enough sorta-thriller The Danger. (Still enough horses in the book that one paragraph in the book runs "Horses. So many horses.")

What should be a cracking good adventure, with exciting locations (Italy! London! the English seaside! where/whatever the heck "Lambourn" is...Washington DC...hmm. Starting to see the problem) and interesting characters (erm) running around and doing fun work (preventing and resolving kidnappings) somehow collapses into a mostly forgettable affair with the occasional pleasant surprise and a whole lot of opportunities for a nice nap. But that's the bad book business for you: sometimes the books just aren't very good. The episode, however, is good cranky fun, with plenty of rosé flowing and the next digression never waiting for the starting gun.

So strap on the feed bag of ... sound, and enjoy the hooves thrumming 'pon the turf as the punters in the stands go mad and the only things flying more gaily than the racing silks are the betting slips being torn up and thrown away, because it's time for the most exciting two gents in podcasts to get into ... The Danger. Stay safe, everybody.

 

Recommendations:

  • Night Moves (2013, Kelly Reichardt)
  • Gravity Falls
Direct download: 156_-_The_Danger.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:36pm PDT

Money, power, respect: Lenny Dykstra doesn't really have any of those things (allegedly, but he does have a passel of stories about rock star L I V I N and a World Series ring (and a couple felony convictions), and that's pretty much why we sought out the dubious charms of Mr. Dykstra's book House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge.  (We think.  We can't really remember, and after reading this, nothing makes sense anymore.)

NOTE: This isn't really a baseball book, at least not the way we talk about it (the bulk of the book itself actually is pitch-by-pitch recountings of baseball games, but even we have our limits), so don't be afraid.

NOTE 2: We hope this episode finds you well! These are tough times for all of us, so please keep your chin up the best you can.

NOTE 3: This is our first-ever "social isolation" podcast so please bear with us through the occasionally rough sound quality. We'll get better at this.

Recommendations:

  • The Sentence Is Death by Anthony Horowitz
  • Emma.
  • I Love Dick
Direct download: 155_-_Lenny.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:16am PDT

So it's come to this: at long last, we follow up on a long-buried tip and try to get to the bottom of men's adventure's most underwhelming series, The Penetrator # 15: The Quebec Connection. Folks, we got the shaft!

Turns out, this book is less "fun insane romp through zesty prose and reactionary 70s politics" and more "bordering on hate speech" with brief interludes of incredibly detailed bus routes and descriptions of ... driving in Buffalo. Safe to say this book will neither grow on you nor show you anything you particularly want to see, but the episode finds some decent veins to work on.

NOTE: because of Clsn's screw-up, we were NOT able to record with Iain McIntyre this time around, but you should still check out the book he and Andrew Nette edited, Sticking It to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction, 1950 to 1980.

NOTE 2: We bought our copies used, and got the cover you see above. Apparently, and upsettingly, there are new copies available (Clsn was wrong AGAIN!), which you should absolutely avoid, but which do have a cover that really plays up the Quebec and really plays down anything having to do with the book.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

Direct download: 154_-_The_Penetrator.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43am PDT

Sick as two dogs, your pals take on the most bizarrely and possibly wonderfully gratuitous book to make the papers in a very long while, Gibby "Butthole Surfers vocalist" Haynes' Me & Mr. Cigar. It's a slow, shaggy, rambling tale of a young man getting weird, and we probably forgot to mention this, but: about 30 pages in, that young man gets slipped a large dose of mind-altering drugs, and is under their influence for the remainder of the book.
 

The kind of book that makes J. ask Clsn off-air, anxiously, "You...you didn't like this book, did you?", and the kind of writing that makes a reader shriek "IT IS ACTUALLY OKAY TO DROP A PERIOD IN THERE EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE", it's safe to say that this does NOT break the streak of books by rock stars that make us resent the fact of our own literacy. So slam a handful of whatever pills you have closest to you* and get ready to hit the road!

*Note: don't do this.

Recommendations:

  • Master Key by Masako Togawa
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
Direct download: 153_-_Me_and_Mr._Cigar.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:45pm PDT

Tick, tock, tick ... doot doot doo-doo ... time keeps on ticking ticking ticking ... into the future! And, luckily, in the future, nobody has to read any slightly-above-average Crichton-grade semi-thrillers with one science idea and zero character or plot ideas along the lines of Tim Tigner's The Price of Time.

If you're ready for super-sharp insights about the nature of commodified time in a heavily ruined-by-capitalism world, try the movie In Time, but if you're ready for a frequently okay but very dumb book about What If Rich People But Immortal, try The Price of Time but if you're ready for The Only Podcast That Loves You to take on a Burn Notice-grade narrative that actually includes a sentence like "It hadn't occurred to him that the ex-CIA agent and the triathlete might have teamed up to take down the Immortals", then oh golly have we got an episode for you!

Side note: the insights about the nature of commodified time in a world ruined by capitalism expressed in the film In Time are not in fact super-sharp. Clsn regrets the hyperbole. (All power to the people and ban the fucking bomb.)

Recommendations:

Music Pairings:

  • "People Who Died" by Jim Carroll
  • "Birth School Work Death" by The Godfathers
  • "Time Is Money (Bastard)" by Swans
Direct download: 152_-_The_Price_of_Time.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 1:10pm PDT

FINALLY a raisin that won't ruin your day, it's an echt cozy mystery by M.C. Beaton, first of a long series, Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death! The first thing to say here is "Yes, this book features a character named Agatha Raisin," and the second is "Yes, this book features a plot in which a person dies after eating a quiche." For other things, however, you'll have to listen to the episode!

Recommendations:

Direct download: 151_-_Agatha_Raisin_and_the_Quiche_of_Death.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:01am PDT

For our milestonest episode yet, big number hundo-fitty, we break significant quantities of new ground by ... first, taking on our first-ever work of urban fantasy, one Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green!

We also waited until Clsn was sick as a dog and incredibly exhausted (Editor's Note: Me too --JWF) and took on a book so deeply unengaging that it had us talking at length about Clsn's new wireless mouse, dongles in general, and more or less everything else under the sun. But that's not important. You know what is important? What's important is that one thing that ISN'T under the sun ... is ... the Nightside.

Anyway, happy 150, everybody! We love you! (Seriously, it really is a cool new mouse.)

Recommendations:

Music Thoughts:

Direct download: 150_-_Something_from_the_Nightside.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 8:41am PDT

We finally had to do it, so we skipped a couple showers, got real, real mad at our parents (and, probably, yours) and went out on the road to discover (how much we hated) America, and to do all of that, we had to start with one simple step: We had to Get in the Van. Henry Rollins' van!

It's two men confronting formative influences and finding them ... hoo boy. Everybody's got to come from somewhere, anyway, and if you look back and DON'T think you've grown some, well, that's just a damn' bummer and a shame. As are a lot of the sentiments expressed in this book, a bunch of journal entries from a young man far from home and thoroughly convinced that what the world needs from him is, like, TOTAL AGGRESSION or something (as though the world needs more young white men delivering aggression).

Anyway. The style? is run-ons; the content? is Being Real Mad; the effect? is mostly extremely tiring. However, the episode is lots of fun, so grab your journal and your angst and make sure your safety belt is low and snug across your hips, because it's time to ... get in the van.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Agatha Christie's Marple
  • Salt Fat Acid Heat by Samin Nosrat

Music Thoughts:

Direct download: 149_-_Get_In_the_Van.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:22am PDT

 

Because YOU demanded it (several years ago), and because this is our annual special rule-breaking holiday episode, we finally whip out our wands and make appear an episode about one-time YA teapot tempest Handbook for Mortals! Rock and roll, hair dye, motorcycle rides, dads, moms, tarot, magic, magik, and ... typos, cliches, and what may well be literature's first-ever love octagon.

Probably the worst prose since Eye of Argon, the most all-italics pages since Wild Animus, and the overall harshest toke we've taken in a long, long time.

Recommendations:

  • Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad
  • The Future Is Here and Everything Must Be Destroyed by Colette Arrand

Music Thoughts:

Direct download: 148_-_Handbook_for_Mortals.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:11am PDT

A more elegant fiction from a more civilized age is John Boorman and Bill Stair's novelization of John Boorman's film script (for) Zardoz. It's a truly crazypants vision of a post-apocalyptic (and mostly pantsless) future, crafted by a couple men so laser-focused on breasts that you could well call them set adrift on mammary bliss.

NOTE: this was brought to us by the F Plus' inimitable Lemon, who couldn't join us for this recording session because life is a savage wasteland patrolled by brutes, beset by beasts, and plagued by ... plagues. We hope all's well on his end and that his lack won't won't reduce your zest for the episode. So if you're ready to delve within and achieve enlightenment the Zardoz / IDEOTV way, snug up your singlet, prepare yourself for skin-to-skin knowledge transmission (not really), and mash that DOWNLOAD button to access the far-off and mustachioed lands ... of Zardoz (really).

Supplemental hate reading: Gary Shteyngart on Zardoz.

Thanks as always to our new sponsor, American Slide Whistle, Inc.!

Direct download: 147_-_Zardoz.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:31am PDT

If you ever watched Riverdale and wished that the events of the pilot were explained in greater (?) detail, then you, my friend, are in for a treat in Micol Ostow's The Day Before: A Prequel Novel! Fizzier and frothier than a freshly shaken bottle of Topo Chico, this book lets you spend time with all your favorite Riverdale characters from Archie's gang: Jughead, Veronica, Dilton Doiley ... Archie's dad ... Betty in full Nancy Drew mode ... Also Archie is in this book.

Possibly our most digressive episode ever, we go deep (again) on "Steal My Sunshine" but by the end you and Andrea True will BOTH be calling for "More, more, more!" We guarantee it.

 

Recommendations:

  • Play More Pokémon
  • Be Friends with People in the Party Pit!
  • The Plot Against Common Sense, by Future of the Left
  • Sorry, everybody: Clsn is a dummy and lost his notes while recording: what he had MEANT to recommend was the incredible, and incredibly intense, new Azar Swan record The Hissing of a Paper Crane, which will annihilate you and goes surprisingly well with Riverdale and that is NOT a diss.  He'll talk about this next ep.

Music Pairings:

  • "Fourth of July" by Galaxie 500
  • "Down by the River" by Neil Young and Crazy Horse
  • "Rich Girl" by Hall & Oates
  • "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something
Direct download: 146_-_Riverdale_the_Day_Before.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:52am PDT

Grisly, gory, gruesome, and far, far too long, it's Robert Galbraith's Career of Evil, a five-hundred-page career unto itself, even if it's little more than a footnote to the career of JK Rowling, who we mention for ... some reason. (The reason is that Galbraith is a Rowling pseudonym.)

It's the episode that airs Clsn's eighth-greatest shame, as this is a book with more than one reference to Blue Őyster Cult in literally every single chapter, which he had to be physically restrained from explaining, at some length, in lieu of having anything else to say about this tremendously turgid tome. (Fun roundup of one way to read the connection between the two can be found here if you're so inclined. And tune in next episode to hear us talk, and talk at length, about why Patti Smith gets credited by name when Michael Moorcock and John Shirley (and others!) do not.) (NOTE: we will not be talking about this.)

A real monkey's paw: we wanted to read a thriller with some connetions to music, and, for our sins, we got a sub-Patterson doorstop where every character's regional dialect is carefully presented on the page (and, lamentably, in the audiobook, particularly lamentably when it comes to the Thai runner of a massage parlor) and every single negative stereotype about poverty and mental illness is given a couple of chapters (of BŐC references). Enjoy! because we sure didn't.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch
  • Desperately Seeking Susan movie

Music Thoughts:

Direct download: 145_-_Career_of_Evil.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:40pm PDT

A story, nay, a tale so big we had to have help to handle it, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu: Story of the Movie is a novelization slash transcript of the recent film, which Kotaku's Gita Jackson (@xoxogossipgita on Twitter) was kind enough to join us to discuss!

Roughly ninety minutes of giggling then ensued.

The book's very first page includes the phrases "secret science lab", "dark minds at work" and "Legendary Pokémon", so you know what you're in for right from the beginning: Pokéaction, and plenty of it. The episode is ... basically the same thing, what's-on-offer-wise.  Whether you're the kind of person who's long felt they "have to" "catch all of them" or are more on ol' Chris Collision's level of Pokéknowlege (Pokéfamiliarity?), this is one downloadable that will make you the very best, like no one ever was!

 

 

Recommendations:

Music Pairings:

  • "Basket of Masks" by DTCV
  • "Dose of Thunder" by The Replacements
  • "Big Balls" by AC/DC
Direct download: 144_-_Detective_Pikachu.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:16am PDT

Cue the music and lift your voices in song with us, because it's the mo-st won-der-ful time ... of the year: it's time to get back on the Guy N. Smith train with an absolute banger entitled Killer Crabs.

You know how last time we took on a Smith-crab joint, we thought "Wow, this one has EVERYTHING"? Well, it turns out that that one had a lot less than this one, because this one has everything. Everything is what this one has, at least if by the word "everything" you understand "just a whole LOT of sex and a briefcase-full-of-cash ménage à trois subplot that just screams "late '70s made-for-TV movie" and, of course, extremely invulnerable giant crabs eviscerating humans all over the beach.

Is there any defense against this scuttling menace? Have the crabs developed military tactics? Will any of our major characters have enough sex to say "You know what, that's about enough sex I've had right there"? Friends, allies against the crabs, secret lovers, there's only one viable path to an answer, and that path runs straight through the pages of ... Killer Crabs. Up Guy N. Smith, up the Irons, up IDEOTVPod and up the giant crabs!

 

Recommendations:

  • A Human Algorithm by Flynn Coleman
  • Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay

Music:

  • "Shellburn" by The Spinanes
  • "Sideways" by Dinosaur Jr.
  • "Dead Meat on the Beach" by Sonny and the Sunsets
Direct download: 143_-_Killer_Crabs.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 8:17am PDT

Ever want to hear what we get up to in our extra-special episodes over on Patreon dot com slash IDEOTVPod? Often, it's rad stuff like this, where we go deep into and thickly through a magazine aimed* at ... well, it's complicated, but the magazine is called Skillset and it's about being a hecka T U F F dude one hundred percent of the time. Which, full disclosure, includes an interest in collecting vintage video games, and has way less information about knives than you might expect. :(

If you want to learn about how to fix a blown-out tire, this episode will teach you how NOT to handle the situation. If you want to know more about things you can buy that will make everybody say "WOW WHAT A MAN", then this episode is absolutely for you. So please enjoy this special break from format while you find some ways to expand your ... skillset.

*You'll get that one on the way home.

IMPORTANT: Here's a giant pdf with a bunch of hi-res scans of various pages from this magazine so you can follow along. It's a MULTI-MEDIA EXPERIENCE.

http://www.idontevenownatelevision.com/media/Best%20of%20Skillset.pdf

 

Direct download: 142_-_Skillset_Magazine.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:13am PDT

When you're scouring the shelves for some hot new Jack, sometimes you reach, er, farther, and thus might you happen upon L.T. Ryan's Noble Beginnings: A Jack Noble Thriller (Jack Noble #1). Anyway, that's pretty much what happened to us!

This semi-taut sorta-thrill quasi-ride introduces us to Jack Noble, a man who one-punch breaks jaws at least two separate times and gets caught up in a conspiracy to ... it's not clear. We think the conspiracy is to perpetuate and expand the war in Iraq after 9/11, and a lot of the conspirators seem Ripped From the Headlines (we see you, homage to Paul Wolfowitz!), but, again: it's not super clear. It's probably fine.

If your idea of fun is a taciturn Jack Reacher drinking coffee and punching evil all silent but deadly, this series may tickle your fancy, even if the chatty/sassy Jack Noble gasses on now and again. Squad up and get ready to drive up and down I-95, because it's time for ... beginnings ... noble beginnings.

 

Recommendations:

Direct download: 141_-_Noble_Beginnings.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:01am PDT

No Regrets by Ace Frehley? More like "No, Regrets"!! For the first time in a LONG time we hop back on the rock bio train, and find that it treats us ... well, this isn't really the first one we'd recommend you read, let's just say that. Basically a guy throwing in his perspective on stuff he expects you to be incredibly familiar with and interested in, long after the shouting has ended and the confetti has all been swept up (and away), this book is an essentially narrative-free pile of anecdotes about fast cars and ... mostly it's just about fast cars, honestly.

So, you know: VROOM! Pop the clutch and tell the world you wanted the best and you GOT ... well, this episode!

Side note: both of us spend a LOT of time shrieking about "cold gin" and "owl ka haul" and at some point Clsn mutters "We'll explain this later", but we never did: what that's about is this legendary collection of Paul Stanley stage banter, commonly known as "People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest".

Side note two: no-one alive knows more about Kiss than Jon Wurster, and everything I (Clsn) personally know about Gene Simmons comes from this call he made to the Best Show some years back. Highly recommended.

Recommendations:

Music Thoughts:

Direct download: 140_-_No_Regrets_-_A_Rock_N_Roll_Memoir.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:20am PDT

Bouncing off the walls with at least one too many cups of coffee, it's the IDEOTV squad (-ron) chasing after Ricochet Joe! This is a prime blast of classic Dean Koontz, which means it's literally impossible to dislike or have a bad time with.

We hope you'll enjoy our dogged efforts hereby unleashed! So fix your collar and keep your eye open for evil grandmothers, chambers of commerce, and Corvettes.

 

Recommendations:

Music Recs:

Direct download: 139_-_Ricochet_Joe.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:32am PDT

Coming at you faster than a stretchy missile off of a young boy's outstretched finger(s), it's Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe's The Rubber Band! What is it? Why, it's a classic mystery of the old school, with armchair detection aplenty, two-fisted shoe-leather gumshoeing (?), gals, dames, dudes, orchids, bankers, and crime cases no cop could ever crack!

There's also no shortage of sizeist and sexist horseshit, straight out of the 30s and glued onto the page, so it's not all fun and games. But where else are you going to get a narrator who drinks maybe six glasses of milk and eats a dish of lamb kidneys and green peppers? Probably nowhere. Or anyway, possibly nowhere else.

No magnifying glasses needed for this caper, but we warn you: this plot MAY require a flow chart (or two). You need not fear, though, because we promise that we'll be able to hold it all together—with the help of The Rubber Band, anyway!

 

Recommendations:

Music Recs:

Direct download: 138_-_Nero_Wolfe.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:09pm PDT

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! And so does Doc Savage. This is just one of the things that makes the two of them rivals, tentative opponents, uneasy collaborators, and, the reader continuously hopes, cautious lovers in Doc Savage: The Sinister Shadow!

(Alas, this may be an "all-new WILD" adventure, but it's not quite wild enough for that last development, so calm down.) This is a super-enjoyable team-up in the old style, as our two favorite pulp heroes team up to take off a very thoroughly self-branded villain who's been blackmailing criminals (uhh, Season 3 Jessica Jones?) but makes a mistake and makes it a big one when he runs afoul of New York honestly, basically just Manhattan and occasionally upstate or parts of New Jersey's most two-fisted and twin-.45'd (Doc & Shadow, respectively) bad-punishers.

Anyway, this one was a lot of fun, so set your hearts and minds on a course for adventure and settle down with ... Doc Savage: The Sinister Shadow!

Side note: these lil' toys are incredible.

 
 

Recommendations:

Music Recs:

  • "Dark Shadows" by EMA
  • "No Face" by Savages
  • "Together Again (live)" by Linda Thompson & Richard Thompson
Direct download: 137_-_Doc_Savage_Meets_the_Shadow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:03pm PDT

Picked out and up at a literal airport bookstore, it's the greatest fight we've ever had: J.A. Jance's Duel to the Death: An Ali Reynolds Mystery. Will this supposed thriller bring the techno-chills, delivering A.I.-derived Bitcoin by Bluetooth? Or will we spend most of our time at the DMV?

(Sorry for the short notes this time around: time pressure!)

 

 

Music Recs:

  • "Pure Energy" by Information Society
  • "http://mmouse.albndy.coolio.myass.dot.com" by Donuts N' Glory
  • "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford
Direct download: 136_-_Duel_to_Death.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:47pm PDT

One journal you won't want to take a bullet for, it's Nicholas Sparks' rain-drenched kayak epic The Notebook! The gothic tale of a war veteran alone in his ancient house, yearning for the rekindling of a long-gone love affair, crossed with an empowering journey of a young woman fighting to make her own choices and investigate her artistic talents ... would have been better than what we read, probably.

Big themes, big feelings, big-time sincerity and a bigger commitment to sex scenes than we were expecting, all packed into a most slim form factor, so is this one gonna force us to replace "Ride the Crab!" with "Jot THAT Down in Your Notebook"? There's only one way to find out, and that way is to mash that download button

NOTE: Clsn badly misquoted the great Mara Wilson during this episode, for which he apologizes. What she really said was 'way funnier than what he remembered.

Recommendations:

  • The Great Successor: The Divinely Perfect Destiny of Brilliant comrade Kim Jong Un by Anna Fifield
  • Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall by Elizabeth Drew
Direct download: 135_-_The_Noteook.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:39am PDT

Swords? More than a couple. Sorcery? Some, but not so much that you'd get upset about it. Sandals? Probably not, but we can't swear that weren't any in ... The Wurms of Blearmouth.

Probably the highest quantity (and quality!) of funny voices in any episode ever, and DEFINITELY the longest list of purportedly funny names we've ever endured (and subsequently shared with you). Anyway, this is evidently what passes for high fantasy with comic elements and it doesn't even have a map at the front so there's absolutely nothing right with this brief document except that it got J. all fired up and inspired an episode that will deffo tickle your fancy!

Brush the road dust from your fanciest cloak, tuck away your coin purse, and keep a weather eye out for brigands, for we set out this day 'pon the teeming mountain path that will lead us (all) to the village where dwell the golems, sheriffs, lizard cats, walking dead and ... uh ... also the wurms. Of Blearmouth.

 

Recommendations:

  • Deadwood finale
  • Fleabag season 2

Music Recs:

Direct download: 134_-_Wurms_of_Blearmouth.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 5:18pm PDT

Just in time for J.W.'s birthday, we crack the spine on Tamra Baumann's Plotting for Murder. Full disclosure: this breaks a few of our rules, in that we (a) mainly focus on bad books and (2) rarely read anything that wasn't published by a major house, but sometimes we just want to read something we know we're going to enjoy, and this was one of those times. So hop in the car with us and take a trip down south—45 minutes south of San Francisco, that is!—and browse the groaning shelves of a mystery-themed bookstore that serves up hot, flavored coffee, fresh, flaky croissants, and, if you're a member of its book club, the occasional MURDER.

The heroine? Plucky. Coffee drinker (bigtime). Puppy recipient! The sheriff: hunky; devoted to the heroine; willing to use her to accomplish extra-legal surveillance; possibly going to run for mayor down the road (check back!). Her mom: big heart, a little flaky. Her best friend? Does a lot of dating. The murder victim? Did a little TOO MUCH dating, possibly! But let's not uncover the mystery too quickly, eh?

NOTE: J. would like everybody to know he thought he was a little less "vocally enthusiastic" than usual, but that's only because he had been helping our pals over to the F Plus help raise SEVENTEEN THOUSAND FRIGGING DOLLARS for abortion rights all night before we recorded. Clsn would like everybody to know he feels really bad for not mentioning one of the best things about this book, which is that it has an expansive, enjoyable sense of family, with adult children coming to respect their parents in new ways and inviting people into new networks of care, and he doesn't even have an excuse, he just forget to bring it up.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Killing Eve TV series
  • Destroyer movie (Karyn Kusama, director)

Music Recs:

Direct download: 133_-_Plotting_for_Murder.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:34am PDT

This episode, we ask you all to take us down to Raccoon City, where the herbs are green and the ammo's scanty -- Take. Us. Home. We sneak into a supposedly disused mansion to investigate a branded spinoff and read Resident Evil: The Umbrella Conspiracy, by S.D. Perry, a (completely rad) novelization of the first Resident Evil video game. If you haven't had the pleasure, or if you've only seen one or five of the recent movies, never fear, for we're part of a crack task force and we'd never leave one of our own behind.

Check your pockets, and keep your eyes peeled for shiny things -- and always, always, watch out for snakes! Because this book has E V E R Y T H I N G: zombie mutants of several different kinds; traps; puzzles; betrayal; blackmail; claws; indoor sharks and skinless dogs; unattended boiler rooms; switches Barry definitely shouldn't have touched; full bladders needing attention. Leave your flashlights behind for some reason and come with us to hydroplane into fame, and see if we can find any safety, living under ... the Umbrella ella ella (Corporation).

Extra Special Bonus "Paradise City" Lyrics Rewritten to Be About Raccoon City:
I'm just a hell beast tearing up all the street
Got a long tongue, looking for some faces to eat

Sorry, kind of ran out of steam at that point.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Resident Evil 7 game
  • High Life movie (Claire Denis, director)

Music Recs:

  • "I Don't Wanna Go Down to the Basement" by The Ramones
  • "Zombie" by The Cranberries
  • "Umbrella" by Rihanna
Direct download: 132_-_Resident_Evil.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:23am PDT

Just in time for Mother's Day, or maybe early for Halloween, it's just flat-out time to get extremely spooky, so we're bringing you the PG-est horror out there, slithering like a fat white worm and jutting upsettingly from a long-dug grave, Eric Morse's epoch-defining Friday the 13th: Mother's Day.

Grab your backpack and get ready for a road trip with all your most stereotypical high school pals: the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess, and the criminal, but keep your eyes open and your running (-away) shoes laced up, because THIS Mother's Day, Camp Crystal Lake is being plagued by more than just the Voorhees family. Canoe even believe it!? there's more than one killer on the loose!

 

Music Recs:

  • "Bring Me the Head" by Operators
  • "Let's Go Down to the Woods" by Screaming Blue Messiahs
  • "Blow Ya Mind" by Nicki Minaj
Direct download: 131_-_Friday_the_13th.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:45am PDT

A book that will leave you sleepy, but a podcast episode that will leave you ... in stitches, it's Robin Cook's quasi-classic Coma, a medical thriller more frightening than anything except a hospital bill.

A thick slice of 70s anxiety, where women in the workplace crash up against the commodification of, uh, organ "donations" and the frustrations of laws presuming to encroach upon the sure natural rights of innovators to innovate, this little tome is yet another data point illustrating Clsn's thesis that It Is Never Not the Seventies. There's even a hacking scene! And probably the best last line we have ever seen a protagonist have in one of our books—and if you want to hear about those two things, keep an eye on our public Patreon feed, because we didn't talk about them on the main episode, but there may well be some extras coming down the pike for you, absolutely free.

Laughter is the best medicine, so no matter how you're feeling, you owe it to your future to just wail on that DOWNLOAD button and get healthy the old-fashioned way: by laughing at Coma.

 

Recommendations:

  • The After Party by Jana Prikryl
  • Sekiro game

Music:

Direct download: 130_-_Coma.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:29am PDT

Just poppin' in your feed with an advertisement for our extremely free live show that is happening, here in San Francisco, in just a matter of days.

Tickets are free, but you do need to reserve them in advance. Here's a link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/betabrand-podcast-theatre-i-dont-even-own-a-television-tickets-59068469382

And for those of you who can't make it, please enjoy this incredibly smooth west coast g-funk beat in the background. Okay, later!

Direct download: 04112019_--_IDEOTV_Live_Ad.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 10:26am PDT

It's the greatest crossover of all time—again!!—as the delightful Kait & Renata from Worst Bestsellers repay our James Patterson guest spot with one of their own, joining us for James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet's Witch & Wizard. Yes, it's dude magic and lady magic together again for the very first time, in a Frankensteined-up teen-centered dystopia slash ... record scratch noise Holocaust metaphor? And the blandest title ever committed to print, with a prophecy naming the brother-and-sister team who will save the world after second-tier Disney semi-hit The Rescuers?

Look, we're just as confused as you are, and we do this all the time. Anyway, this is a book (probably?) for modern-day teens (we think?) that includes an incredibly up-to-date reference to (racist caricature) Ming the Merciless on like page two, so it's safe to say that it's real James Patterson hours around here, folks. Anyways, Renata & Kait are great, this book is definitely not, and this episode is more fun than anybody can have without an heirloom drumstick and a leather-bound book.

 

Recommendations:

  • Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
  • Gravity Falls on Hulu
  • Into the Spider-Verse
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • Bluets by Maggie Nelson
Direct download: 129_-_Witch_and_Wizard.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 8:32am PDT

Is that a parrot on your shoulder or are you just glad to see ... Pirate Latitudes, a supposed novel supposedly found in Michael Crichton's files, complete and entire, after his death?

Slow-moving nautical action, a slow-motion rock-climbing heist with a basically super-powered team of what are over and over again described as not pirates, some of the most boring witchcraft scenes ever written, and probably the worst sex scenes we've ever read: whoever was responsible for these pages should probably be forced to walk the plank. But since we're all about the booty here at IDEOTVPod, we hoisted the sails, made fast our lines, tucked our shiny-ass cutlasses into our finest sashes and set sail for fresh latitudes. Sassy latitudes. Pirate latitudes.

Recommendations:

  • Six Months, Three Days, and Five Others by Charlie Jane Anders
  • The Seven and One-Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton

Music:

  • "I was born on a pirate ship (holdyourtongue)" by Dillinger 4
  • "Golden Years" by David Bowie
  • "Frigging in the Rigging" by the Sex Pistols
Direct download: 128_-_Pirate_Latitudes.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:50am PDT

Helmet, jumpsuit, maybe a catheter: these are the things we needed to hop behind the wheel of Alistair MacLean's The Way to Dusty Death, and it's at the very least possible that they are the things you'll need to have in place before you pop your clutch and try to slip behind the fastest cats on the track (that's us) as they (we) set track records, lap after lap.

The big bells are ringing and the tight pants are clinging, because this tale of speedy intrigue on and around the tracks of Formula 1 Grand Prix racing is probably the 70s-est artifact that ever slid through Europe's hotels. A few pit stops may be in order, so that you don't get too tired. Anyway, if you're like Racer X Johnny Racecar Harlow's accelerator, then you're ready for this episode, because you're ready to get ... floored.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Jesus Built My Hotrod" by Ministry
  • "Racer-X" by Big Black
Direct download: 12720-20Dusty20Death.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:54pm PDT

Throw us a bone, here, people, and don't unleash a pack of "IDEOTVPod has gone to the dogs" jokes, just because we've finally managed to collar a couple copies of Spencer Quinn's entirely endearing, even fetching novel Dog On It: A Chet and Bernie Mystery.

You'd have to be one sick puppy to be mean about this good-natured book about a moderately hard-boiled desert detective and his loyal pooch, who serves as our narrator, and trust us: if you come to say bad stuff about Spencer Quinn, you're barking up the wrong tree and will definitely end up in our doghouse.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Baby Ice Dog" by Blue Őyster Cult
  • "Get at Me Dog" by DMX
  • "Talking to the Dog" by Obits
Direct download: 126_-_Dog_On_It.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:42am PDT

What is the sound of a skull batting again and again at the hardest wall any coconut failed to crack? Why, it's the sound of your pals reading Harry Stephen Keeler's When Thief Meets Thief!

This legendary underground author works through his obsessions (skulls, coincidences) and takes us through a long tour of his racial attitudes—and one of those two things is, depending on your patience levels, fun/acceptable. The other is a firehose of awful. (This book comes with a content warning for racist slurs and attitudes, self-harm, and one very cartoonish act of violence against an animal, very little of which is discussed in the episode.) But, whether or not you can get past the difficult to digest subject matter, you can always confront the difficult to parse timeline, or just wallow in the difficult to understand prose. This one, it's safe to say, isn't like anything you've read before.

Extra bonus illustrations! If you want to see what it looks like when one tries to summarize the entire plot of a Keeler book, read this effort by William Poundstone. NOTE: it's like 2,500 words long. If you want to see what a Keeler-style "webwork" diagram looks like, feast your eyes! (Also from William Poundstone.)

Harry Stephen Keeler Webwork Diagram

 
 

Recommendations:

  • Wandersong game
  • L'Avenir / Things to Come (Mia Hansen-Løve)

Music:

Direct download: 125_-_When_Thief_Meets_Thief.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:26am PDT

It's real original yacht rock time over here, folks: Belly up to the groaning board and get ready to pig out, because the buffet we've got ready for you, courtesy of Jimmy Buffett, is called Swine Not! Buffett hams it up as our eyes glaze over, and the porcine puns have, lamentably, just begun.

It's a deeply inoffensive text, but Clsn spends the entire time peevish and grumpy, so that's fun, and we completely forgot to mention during the episode that there's a very, very real possibility that, in the world of Swine Not, Noah's Ark was a real thing. (It's true! Page 34!) If that's not enough, J. springs the biggest surprise the show has ever seen! If you're pining for some portions of porky plotting, hungry for some ungulates, or just in a mood to hear a LOT about a young boy's soccer season(s),adjust your chef's hat and get ready for a book that's nothing but ... truffle.

BONUS TEXT-ONLY SHOW SEGMENT! Imagine you're hearing the song "Rippin' It Off" right now. Uh, okay, what is this book-like object about some pig trying to find its way in New York City, ah, shall we say, reminiscent of? Yup, that's right: we've got a little bit of Charlotte's Web, a tiny bit of Babe: Pig in the City, and just enough of both to make us wish we were encountering those. And not, and I repeat, NOT, this.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Pigs" by Aesop Rock
  • "Burn Pigs Burn" by Pitchfork
  • "Pigs in Zen" by Jane's Addiction
  • ACTUAL CLOSING TUNE: "Idiot Control" from MST3k
Direct download: 124_-_Swine_Not.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:13pm PDT

In the far-flung future, faster-than-light "skipships" carry soldiers in "hibo capsules" and our hero "Scur" needs to save what human knowledge she can in everybody's titular ... Slow Bullets, and even if you're not already overloaded on made-up words and silly names, you'd be forgiven for muttering "hooo booooy" when you get to the part where Scur is on a spaceship and is puzzled and excited by the existence of a public address system.

It's the kind of science fiction where nobody has wireless, so most of the action consists of people carrying tablets and thumb drives around, the kind where religion gets a pretty savage sneering-at (so take THAT, belief systems!), soldiers cuss a lot (a LOT), and one quiet IT man can save the entire day, if only he can get people to listen to him.

All this spurs and stirs what might be our most digressive episode yet. There's much, much more than the usual amount of cape and cape-adjacent talk, and the moment where Clsn inexplicably can't remember the name of Peter Schilling is sure to have a central place in this year's Poddies podcast award show. Also! the long-awaited return of talking about Do Robots Do the Nasty (yes) and How.

 
Direct download: 123_-_Slow_Bullets.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:30am PDT

In the far-flung future, faster-than-light "skipships" carry soldiers in "hibo capsules" and our hero "Scur" needs to save what human knowledge she can in everybody's titular ... Slow Bullets, and even if you're not already overloaded on made-up words and silly names, you'd be forgiven for muttering "hooo booooy" when you get to the part where Scur is on a spaceship and is puzzled and excited by the existence of a public address system.

It's the kind of science fiction where nobody has wireless, so most of the action consists of people carrying tablets and thumb drives around, the kind where religion gets a pretty savage sneering-at (so take THAT, belief systems!), soldiers cuss a lot (a LOT), and one quiet IT man can save the entire day, if only he can get people to listen to him.

All this spurs and stirs what might be our most digressive episode yet. There's much, much more than the usual amount of cape and cape-adjacent talk, and the moment where Clsn inexplicably can't remember the name of Peter Schilling is sure to have a central place in this year's Poddies podcast award show. Also! the long-awaited return of talking about Do Robots Do the Nasty (yes) and How.

 
Direct download: 123_-_Slow_Bullets.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:30am PDT

For this holiday season, we've got a gift for you! It's a box with a cat in it—but you will never know if kitty lives and breathes or not, because this time around, we're schlepping up the hills and through the pages to get to Stephen King's mammoth Pet Sematary.

Semi-appealingly dickish young doctor Louis Creed takes us on a tour of Stephen King's Carnival of American Anxieties! Is my cat less of a man if I get him fixed? Am I? Is it okay if I like my son more than my daughter? Everybody cheats on their spouse, right? Can I just run away from my family? Is my cat super creepy all of a sudden? If I try to climb that fence, am I going to fall on a spike and ruin my balls? Should I tap ancient magic to create abominations in the face of all-conquering death?

It's all very relatable. Maybe. In any case, it's Stephen King, it's slow-building, and it's extremely, extremely gory. So grab your favorite shovel and get ready to bury what you can't let go, because it's long past time for us to take a trip through the works of our Maine man...

 

Recommendations:

  • Detective Pikachu (Nintendo 3ds)
  • The Girls, by Emma Cline

Recommended Music:

  • "Chesterfield Kings", by Jawbreaker
  • "Diamonds and Rust", by Judas Priest
  • "Here Comes the Gravediggaz" by The Gravediggaz
Direct download: 122_-_Pet_Semetary.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:24am PDT

Long nights, impossible odds, keeping your eye to the keyhole, that's what it's like to spend your nights within Nights at Rodanthe. Our first encounter with the redoubtable Nicholas Sparks has our home fires burning bright, with our tightest, least-digressive episode ever!*

An oft-told tale, this, in which a nice woman snaps her daughter out of a funk by telling her of her semi-tragic and fully doomed love story of years gone by. Hurricanes, estrangement, bad food, illicit, even forbidden, wine, these jam-packed Nights you won't soon forget. Probably. Anyway, this one's got more than just breakfast in bed, if you know what we're saying.

Head to the lighthouse and get ready to give us a hand with the storm shutters, but forgive us if you end up thinking that strong winds aren't the only thing that blows around here, because it's time to shake off your daze and enter the pulsing, dryer-sheet scented night...Nights of Rodanthe, that is.

Also! Bonus grumpiness and us coming as close as we ever will do to handling an often-requested book that we wouldn't check out with your library card. Also also! J. references Clsn's jam; Clsn possibly nearly completes the Plot in 60 Seconds challenge; food saftey and cooler packing is discussed at longer length than you'd expect.

*Note: Not guaranteed.**
**Note: Not even particularly likely.

Direct download: 12120-20Nights20in20Rodanthe.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:36am PDT

Feel a glory in so rolling on the human heart a stone entitled The Czar of Fear* as IDEOTVPod lives out a long-term dream and finally hops on the running board with the Man of Bronze himself, Doc Savage, as he and his Good Friends in Adventure go forth to right the wrongs of ... predatory capitalism. (Seriously.) (Evidently not every win ol' Doc racked up was a win of the perduring variety.)

When an industrial town upstate goes on strike to protest slashed wages by factory owners, and strikebreakers are driven mad by unseen means, when the radio programming you know, love, and depend upon, is broken in on by malevolent bells, when your city is overrun by masked men doling out intimidation and murder to the tolling of those bells, only one man, with five helpers, can save the day, widely escaping significant peril and narrowly escaping marriage, and that man, of course, was the dry run for The Rock (although he is described as looking more like John Cena, come to think of it), and that man is Doc Savage. Millionaire, surgeon, inventor, firecracker enthusiast, and not exactly a philanthropist, but somebody willing to make you a payday loan at a reasonable rate, Doc is a dude with a lot going on, and also this book has a lot going on. As Clsn stumbles through a story he can't really reconstruct, and as our own "Doc" Friedman lays out the principles undergirding that story, it may seem like "a lot" has become "jeez, too much", but if you're ready to soak in a tale where "'Judborn Tugg!' donged the Green Bell." isn't even one of the top ten sentences, then perhaps you're ready to infiltrate the Green Bells and confront the Green Bell, a sinister force who never needs to be asked to clap.

SPECIAL THANKS to Richard Fakelastname, who sent us a squall of these for our, and, we hope, your pleasure!

*No, it's not about Lee Ving.

Direct download: 120_-_The_Czar_of_Fear.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:06pm PDT

Just in time for Thanksgiving, a heartwarming tale of fleet-footed deliverers of Native American corn, it's The Maize Runne—I'm being told that that's incorrect, and what we actually read was derivative semi-hit The Maze Runner, which doesn't really have anything to do with Thanksgiving. But we are thankful we only had to read it once. Also, it is pretty corny. And filled with turkeys.

Stuffed to the brim with moments like "what Thomas felt was an inevitable barf," and "despite the terrible crappyness of it all, Chuck smiled," this one's a veritable cornucopia of...uh...well, there's a lot of maze running, anyway. Well, a fair amount. More maze running than most books, that's for sure.

You'll need your running shoes, and your best underpants for a day of fast moving, and your graph paper (for mapping), so if you dare, and if you're swift enough, head for the Griever Hole and see if you can keep up with ... The Maze Runner.

NOTE: From now moving forward, we will be using bespoke little pieces of music of our own creation for our segment breaks instead of popular (and unpopular) tunes from other artists. There are many reasons for this, but most of them revolve around copyright law, and a general feeling of skeeziness about using other peoples' work without explicit permission to do so. Don't worry, though, we'll still provide a "suggested soundtrack" for you to listen to while you do absolutely anything but read this book.

Recommendations:

  • Kate Morton, The Clockmaker's Daughter
  • Marissa Brostoff, "Missing Time"

Suggested Music:

Direct download: 119_-_The_Maze_Runner.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:12pm PDT

John Steakley's Vampire$ stakes out territory we have seen before, but nobody would dare bite this book's remarkable style. Pitting vampires against the Catholic church might have been done before, but never with belt buckles quite this big, nor blues guitar quite so searing!

We're heading to Texas, to clean out vampire nests one hometown at a time, and if we have to dress like dang-ol' crusaders to do it, then that's what we're by gxd gonna do. Polish up your skull ring(s) and get ready for some segments we haven't done in a WHILE, because it's time to confront the ancient evil most prevalent in smalltown Texas: guys in leather pants.

NOTE: we did miss a couple things, so before you run out to your local bookstore to camp out in front of its doors to demand your own copy of Vampire$, you should know that this paperback does feature: a deeply misogynistic "joke" about a sex worker; the phrase "outgunned and terrified police" working in a predominantly black neighborhood; and the following passage: "What women needed. What women craved. What they had to have. Release. Abandon. Wantonness. Penetration."

Not balancing this out, but still worth mentioning: there is an explicit moment where a character advocates no-platforming the vampire menace, which is pretty funny; there's also one of the first documentations of trolling we've ever seen, involving one character yelling at another "Hey! Tell me about your dick.". Definitely didn't see that one coming. Anyway, it's all a rich tapestry.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Hereditary movie
  • Mandy movie

Music:

  • "Fearless Vampire Killers" by Bad Brains
  • "Possum Kingdom" by Toadies
  • "Love Bites" by Def Leppard
Direct download: 118_-_Vampires.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:39pm PDT

It had to happen eventually: The world turns, the back issues pile up, and the opinions, the opinions just have to find release, and no place has more opinions per page than the oeuvre of Mr. Chuck Klosterman, as evidenced by the fairly representative collection hilariously named after a Led Zeppelin album, IV.

From the magazine rack to the record store, this Chuck Tract drops truth bombs you probably aren't ready to handle, so it's a good thing we're here with you to dilute the intensity of a middle-aged white guy strenuously telling you "That thing you already like? it's good, and you're good for liking it already." So dig out your Ratt tapes, dust off your remote, and get ready for a long, long episode discussing the living embodiment of the Onion article about the guy at the bar who's a little too into Stevie Ray Vaughn. If you're the kind of person who says "pop culture takes? HELL YEAH HOOK THAT SHIT TO MY VEINS", then this IV might just be for you.

NOTE: F Plus Live 7 (!) approacheth! Get you there!

NOTE TWO: We mention a couple of Scharpling & Wurster bits that probably encapsulate Klosty better than he does. Here are a few: Rock, Rot, & Rule (on absurd Record Store Dudepinions) (for which also see: The Music Scholar); Pudge (on endless fearful, trembling hedging, available maybe only on the Box Set); and Terrence from Billyburg (on an early sort of irony damage and inability to develop new interests after the age of majority, available here at May 27, 2013).

EDITOR'S NOTE [JWF]: While editing this show, I googled the lyrics to The Smiths' "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" and discovered that neither "perhaps" NOR "maybe" are used in the song -- the actual is "but that joke isn't funny anymore." So, now that I've written this, I can safely assume that if you write in to correct us about this tiny piece of music trivia, you are not reading the show notes and that you are also probably Chuck Klosterman.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "You Talk Too Much" by Run-D.M.C.
  • "Get in the Ring" by Guns N' Roses
  • "There's Nothing Wrong with Hating Rock Critics" by of Montreal
Direct download: 11720-20IV.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:15am PDT

It's time...for us to take on one of the pale male faces surely adorning everyone's Bad Book Rushmore, but for complicated reasons we explain at no little length, we enjoy or anyway endure one of L. Ron Hubbard's lesser-known book-like objects, a...collection of described events entitled Spy Killer.

No matter how bad you think this thing is going to be, it's worse than you can easily imagine. It features a main character who actually snaps back at his captor "I'm laughing out loud," because being captured by the spy he is supposed to kill is actually funny to him, he can't believe you thought this would upset him. This 1936 action (?) / adventure (?) is jam-packed with racist descriptions of non-white characters, MANY scenes of our rugged, uh, protagonist, being captured and locked in rooms, and a scene that's supposed to be happy denouement description but that includes the words "brutal kiss". On the plus side, it also includes things we somehow didn't even get to, like "The man was riddled." (Yes, with a full stop. No, not riddled with anything, like every other time you've ever seen the word "riddled".) "Even a decanter couldn't be trusted."

Short story shorter: this old Hubbard? It's a real mother.

 

Recommendations:

  • The Outsider, by Stephen King (NOTE FROM JW: I was very wrong about the lack of supernatural stuff here, it just takes a while to kick in. Don't @ me.)
  • The Mars Room, by Rachel Kushner

Music:

  • "One Night in Bangkok" from "Chess"
  • "Scenario" by Tribe Called Quest
  • "The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World" by Sammy Davis Jr.
Direct download: 11620-20Spy20Killer.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 9:58am PDT

It took a while, but the world finally made us go back to Lee Child, so here we are: Make Me. Yes, down these manicured streets a man must go who is not himself manicured, who is neither wearing cologne nor designer clothes. The detective in this kind of story must be such a man. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man (pauses, sips coffee, explains joke).

So it's another long walk with Jack Reacher, full of long descriptions of diners, short rants about leg room on airplanes, and a whole lot of bottomless cups of coffee. Oh, and bone-splintering acts of violence. Lots and lots of those. Mostly those, actually. Not a whole lot of anything else that I can remember, actually. But I'm certain that for a certain kind of reader, it's just a non-stop ride of thrills and chills. For us, it's an occasion for bellyaching. So all aboard the IDEOTV Train -- next stop, fun!

CONTENT WARNING: This book's plot revolves around self-harm and suicide and people's plans to take their own lives, and includes some descriptions of torture. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number is: 1-800-273-8255.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Wild Mountain Nation" by Blitzen Trapper
  • "Travellin' Man" by DJ Honda (feat. Mos Def)
  • "Train Song" from MST3K
Direct download: 11520-20Make20Me.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:33am PDT

You wanted the best, you've got the best, because we're joined byHow2Wrestling's tremendous Jo Graham to discuss sexy pirate outfits, smart, sad horses, and love quadrangles, because that's what we've got when we've got Anne "Quinoa" Bishop's Daughter of the Blood.

Light S&M, sexy vampires, sexier vampires, sexier still demons, and, at the center of it all, a girl who ages from 7 to 12, so it's safe to say that very strong content warnings apply.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "This Corrosion" by The Sisters of Mercy
  • "Ride the Wind" by Poison
  • "Hot Blooded" by Foreigner
Direct download: 11420-20Daughter20of20the20Blood.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:30am PDT

We're not trapped in a maze with you, Who Moved My Cheese?—you're trapped in here with us! After some more or less satisfying mysteries, we're returning to the self-help / motivational genre, with 1998's mystifyingly world-conquering clip art for the soul extravaganza, supposedly based on a story previously immensely successful business-book writer Spencer Johnson used to tell people. The story? Sort of a blend of Hellraiser and I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, in which limited beings of uncertain creation are subjected to torment and deprivation at unknown hands.

It's horrifying, for sure. It also gets a little hairy—and maybe even...a little bit...cheesy. Bait the trap and bate your breath, because it's time to learn how to win the rat race. As an Extra Special Bonus In Celebration of Summer, we have a brand-new theme song, as demanded by our many, many fans who are also huge fans of Mungo Jerry. So hoot on that jug with the ONLY podcast that loves you, and you'll never get cheesed off.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Protect Ya Neck" by Wu-Tang Clan
  • "Mice Race" by Rudimentary Peni
  • "Cats, Mice" by Big Business
Direct download: 11320-20Who20Moved20My20Cheese.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:11pm PDT

The book so nice, we had to record it (the episode) twice, straight out the Pacific Ocean and packing both nearly a million strands of hair per square inch AND a cell phone telephone, it's The Otter of Death!

Our new direction, where we talk All Lighthearted Mystery All The Time, encounters serious challenges, including technical difficulties, a plot neither of us can quite follow, and a massive heap of animal facts. If you really want to be able to school somebody on the difference(s) betweens puffers and penguins, this may be the book for you! (NOTE: you will almost certainly be asked to leave the store after said schooling.) But if you want to take a ride through a lightly fictionalized version of Santa Cruz, located slightly annoyingly near the actual Santa Cruz, for some reason, and try to get to the bottom of just exactly who could have murdered the guy everybody hated, while not interrupting the dog-walking schedule, then come with us! Any otter choice...would be madness.

Recommendations:

  • The Word Is Murder: A Novel, by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
  • The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

Music:

  • "America We Stand as One" by Dennis Madalone
  • "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes
  • "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
Direct download: 11220-20The20Otter20of20Death.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:26pm PDT

The book so nice, we had to record it (the episode) twice, straight out the Pacific Ocean and packing both nearly a million strands of hair per square inch AND a cell phone telephone, it's The Otter of Death!

Our new direction, where we talk All Lighthearted Mystery All The Time, encounters serious challenges, including technical difficulties, a plot neither of us can quite follow, and a massive heap of animal facts. If you really want to be able to school somebody on the difference(s) betweens puffers and penguins, this may be the book for you! (NOTE: you will almost certainly be asked to leave the store after said schooling.) But if you want to take a ride through a lightly fictionalized version of Santa Cruz, located slightly annoyingly near the actual Santa Cruz, for some reason, and try to get to the bottom of just exactly who could have murdered the guy everybody hated, while not interrupting the dog-walking schedule, then come with us! Any otter choice...would be madness.

Recommendations:

  • The Word Is Murder: A Novel, by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
  • The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

Music:

  • "America We Stand as One" by Dennis Madalone
  • "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes
  • "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
Direct download: 11220-20The20Otter20of20Death.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:26pm PDT

The book so nice, we had to record it (the episode) twice, straight out the Pacific Ocean and packing both nearly a million strands of hair per square inch AND a cell phone telephone, it's The Otter of Death!

Our new direction, where we talk All Lighthearted Mystery All The Time, encounters serious challenges, including technical difficulties, a plot neither of us can quite follow, and a massive heap of animal facts. If you really want to be able to school somebody on the difference(s) betweens puffers and penguins, this may be the book for you! (NOTE: you will almost certainly be asked to leave the store after said schooling.) But if you want to take a ride through a lightly fictionalized version of Santa Cruz, located slightly annoyingly near the actual Santa Cruz, for some reason, and try to get to the bottom of just exactly who could have murdered the guy everybody hated, while not interrupting the dog-walking schedule, then come with us! Any otter choice...would be madness.

Recommendations:

  • The Word Is Murder: A Novel, by Anthony Horowitz
  • The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey
  • The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

Music:

  • "America We Stand as One" by Dennis Madalone
  • "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" by Rupert Holmes
  • "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette
Direct download: 11220-20The20Otter20of20Death.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 11:26pm PDT

It's not Death by Chocolate, it's Murdered by Wine: A Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery! Folks, we took a look at our recent offerings: presidents, borders, sharks, spies, Dungeons and Dragons...lobsters...and we realized one thing hard and fast and deep and true: it was getting pretty dude-centric around here, so it was time for COZY MYSTERY MONTH! And you know what Cozy Mystery Month means. It's time to drink precisely one glass of wine and poke around and maybe help solve a murder.

So come along with our plucky, level-headed hero, as she active-listens and asks all the right questions to get strangers to open up to her, pounding out notes on her iPhone so she doesn't miss any details! Take some side trips so her husband can golf! And make sure you try every good restaurant in town, because you never know what kind of clue will turn up...or what kind of recipe inspiration you might get! The weather is fine, the Bed and Breakfast is waiting, and there's a mystery to solve, people, so let's get a good night's sleep, eat a light breakfast, and get to the bottom of just who was Murdered by Wine—and why—and we better do it soon, because Mike has an early-morning tee time and Kelly just confirmed our reservation for dinner, and it's a little bit on the early side, oh and we have to make sure we call Julia to check in on the kids' fever, oh and I should do a little shopping, it would be so nice if we could bring back a little something from our trip an—.

Recommendations:

  • Murdered by Wine: A Cedar Bay Cozy Mystery (No.13), by Dianne Harman
  • The Dublin Trilogy, by Caimh McDonnell

Music:

  • "Drinking Wine Spo-Dee-Oh-Dee" by Jerry Lee Lewis
  • "Madman (1992 Remix)" by Ugly Kid Joe
  • "At Home He's a Tourist" by Gang of Four
Direct download: 11120-20Murder20by20Wine.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 1:14pm PDT

The country's in dire straits indeed, even when not listening to Dire Straits, and it's clear that only two men are literarily capable of breaking down the situation and empowering the masses with knowledge bullets to fell their foes, and those men are ... second-or-maybe-third-tier action protag dude Steven Segal and his pal (?) Tom Morrissey, who wasn't in any movies with DMX.

For this roughest of rides, only one man could show up and help us through the deep thickets of paranoid dog-whistling about a version of the Deep State (sic) that lurks just beyond every border, and also in our nation's capital, and also in TV stations and we could go on like this for some time, but luckily (?) Messers. Segal and Morrissey have gone ahead and gone on like that for us, and that man? Why, it's Jeb Lund!

Somehow, we make it through a couple hundred pages of magnificently clunky prose, pseudo-positive stereotypes bashing against horrifyingly offensive ones, head shots, manly banter that's torture to read, snake-heavy torture scenes, and more glancingly mentioned right-wing conspiracy theories than was probably healthy. But it's all fun, we promise. So if you're ready to step into the shadows and enter a state that's most deep, please: join us.

Keep in touch with Jeb's work here, and listen to his rad podcast, which just may soon feature a guest spot from some fellas you know, here!

 

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Work the Angles" by Dilated Peoples
  • "Apache Rose Peacock" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • "Cherry Coke" by Karate
Direct download: 11020-20Way20of20the20Shadow20Wolves.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 8:20am PDT

"The president is missing," you say? "Christ, I wish!" Sorry, that's not what this book is about, though. This episode drops the bucket down into the ever-reliable well of James Patterson and when we pull it back up we find that it's also got a few viscous droplets of ol' Bill Clinton mixed in. In The President Is Missing, we encounter a red-blooded, two-fisted kind of President of the United States, the kind of rugged leader who isn't afraid to...call terrorist leaders on the phone...or...go to a baseball game in disguise to meet with a possible source of information, the kind of guy with exactly two friends: a movie star who doesn't need anybody's help to resolve sexual harassment issues, and a venture capitalist who got rich on tech companies he brags about not understanding.

Look, we're not going to pretend this one makes a whole lot of sense. But hey, at least when this president drones on and on, it doesn't end up costing anybody their lives. If you're ready for a president who writes poems to square off against bad guys who thought of everything, but one thing they forgot: the United States has helicopters and knows how to use them, then you just might be ready for ... The President Is Missing.

 

Music:

  • "Funky President (People it's Bad)" by James Brown
  • "Adrenaline!" by The Roots
  • Theme from "Bad Dudes vs. Dragon Ninja"
Direct download: 10920-20The20President20Is20Missing.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 2:41am PDT

We continue our trip around the world by following Amsterdam with a jaunt to Palo Alto, or anyway James Franco's grimdark version of Palo Alto. If you're still thrilled every time somebody says "Hi kids! Do you like violence?" this book may contain the pages you've been waiting for. If Sammy Hagar singing "you're like rock candy, baby—hot, sweet, and sticky" is how you like your descriptions of the act of physical love, this book may deserve a place on your shelf. Or, maybe, if you just have a serious thing for the products of creative writing programs, Palo Alto may satisfy. Otherwise, come along if you care—come along if you dare—take a ride to the land inside of Silicon Valley.

NOTE: this book contains serious quantities of objectionable content, including teen sex, not all of it consensual, violence, and racism and other forms of bigotry. Also, the author has been accused of inappropriate and exploitative sexual behavior, which we were not aware of at recording time: we apologize for not being aware of this. Had we known, we would have likely been much more critical of the book's content, or maybe not have discussed the book at all.

 

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Less Than Nothing" by I Hate Myself
  • "Suburban Home" by The Descendents
  • "What's Up Doc? (Can We Rock)" by Shaquille O'Neal ft. The Fu-Schnickens
Direct download: 10820-20Palo20Alto.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 6:23am PDT

Who's the guy who made the Cold War ... cool? Why, the American James Bond, Nick Carter, of course! And it doesn't get much cooler than Nick Carter, Killmaster: Amsterdam, a plot-light traipse through some of the more scenic parts of the Netherlands—and not a few excursions through some rather gratuitously described nether regions.Actually, it does get much cooler than Nick Carter, Killmaster: Amsterdam. What it doesn't get is much more tepid or forgettable. But when a vacation isn't going well, it's time to make your own fun! So we do, ranging from Gorilla Biscuits to Gorilla Unit and trying to gin up some suspense of some kind in a book that drops foreshadowing hints like this: "Nick noted that she kept the big flat artist's case with her, as she had on the plane, where she even carried it to the powder room. Its contents might prove interesting, or they might just be ad proofs and sketches of jewelry settings; it was not worth a move on his part—yet." Riveting, riveting stuff. Please feel free to mention everything that isn't worth a move on Nick Carter's part yet.

If you want to read more about Nick Carter, that's seriously weird. But we can recommend the Glorious Trash blog on that front. So. If you're ready for a trip, put on your red light, grab your wooden shoes and prepare to plant tulips right on ... Nick Carter.

 
 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Uniform" by Faberyayo
  • "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers
  • "Amsterdam Squeeze" by The Bonobo Project
Direct download: 10720-20Amsterdam.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:25pm PDT

The latest entry in the ever-popular "Actually, Focusing Exclusively on Yourself Is the Best Thing for Everybody" sweepstakes is Jordan Peterson's lengthy tome 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which doesn't promise to unlock the life-changing magic of tidying up, but does tell you what to do if you have snakes in your closet. (Not a joke. Actual quote. If you have snakes in your closet, maybe take a quick look at the tidying up one before you take on dosing rules to medicate against chaos...)

Come along as we pull our pants up—as doth the mighty lobster scuttling—and investigate this all-conquering best-seller and YouTube sensation. Disney movies, a lot of anxieties about infidelity, not nearly enough about dragons, and the most inexplicable references to Cain and Abel since Aerosmith's "Lord of the Thighs". J.'s mad, Clsn's taking some extremely long walks, and Peterson is flexing on chumps in the comments and welcoming them to his straw man slaughterhouse. So keep your head and arms inside the car at all times, sit up straight and OH MY GOD ARE YOU CHEWING GUM WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU YOU SPIT THAT OUT RIGHT NOW MISTER.

Note 1: Yes, the cold open is actually from the book. No, we don't know why it sounds like the first draft of the theme song from Friends.

Note 2: Yes, this is a self-help book. No, we didn't apply our usual rule for judging a self-help book: is this more helpful or less helpful than Ice-T's twitter account. Is this book more helpful than Ice-T's twitter account? LOL FOH

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "First Failure" by Gorilla Biscuits
  • "Father Figure" by George Michael
  • "Nothing Can Stop Me" by Heavens to Betsy
Direct download: 10620-201220Rules20For20Life.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:45pm PDT

Watery but not quite grave, it's Steve Alten's Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror that we're sinking our rows of nine-inch teeth into this time around. Giant prehistoric sharks known as megalodons butt themselves into ships throughout, making them, we guess, megs of ram, and oh boy do our heroes have a hard drive escaping these mighty predators.

It's a classic monster story, with all the trimmings: sad hero, back-stabbing friends—and enemies!—things going wrong one after the other, and terrible threats gaining a taste for the best blood of all, human blood! In the finest tradition, it includes the phrase "gouts of gore" and more jawsplaining than anyone could have expected. Grab your spyglass and prepare to shout "Hark! It's a shark!" This shark week, it's time ... for the brine.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Baseball" by Michael Franks
  • "Moby Dick" by Led Zeppelin
  • "My Name is Jonas" by Weezer
Direct download: 10520-20Meg.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 2:52pm PDT

Straight out of 1979, with a cool glass of white wine and an extremely wide collar, comes Rona Jaffe's disturbingly fictionalized account of a disturbing apocryphal tale, Mazes and Monsters.

What promises to be a stirring exploration of the dangers of role-playing games quickly pivots into a fairly detailed account of ... divorce being hard. With a morality derived from TV for children and a sense of mental illness that would leave an X-Men comic shaking its head and muttering "Jeez, that ain't how that works", Mazes and Monsters brings the disappointment from some unusual angles. Even though it's extremely short, it's worth noting that we never talk about some parts of it, like the fact that after a while, they stop playing Dungeons and Dragons in a dorm room and start acting it all out in some nearby steam tunnels, because those parts literally don't matter. Finally, if you want to get up to speed on the book without having to read it, knowing that we strongly recommend you do not read it, you can do so by reading a Chick Tract (but please don't give them any money).

NOTE FROM J TO EX-BOY SCOUTS: Yes, I know it's actually called a "Totin' Chit" and not a "Woodsman's Chit". I was very tired. Please forgive me.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Shirley Jackson, FSG CLassics: The Lottery + Stories
  • Joan Didion, South and West
  • Frederic Wertham, Seduction of the Innocent

Music:

  • "The Game (HHH Theme)" by Mötorhead
  • "Maps" by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • "Renaissance Lute" - John Dowland
Direct download: 10420-20Mazes20and20Monsters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:43am PDT

There's a few ways to get ready for The Bible Code, a giant hit from a bygone era that finally—finally!—solves the ancient puzzle: what if there were a conspiracy theory that was all Easter eggs but also absolutely no fun at all? Set the controls for the late 90s, just before the end of the world, and set your expectations to nodding politely while the crazy man tells you about the letters he wrote to a wide variety of world leaders.

Get ready to turn into Han Solo, because when this one is over, you will absolutely never want anybody to tell you the odds ever again. But you'll still have a good time exploring the book that turns the Old Testament into the BOLD Testament! Trust us, this is one episode you won't want to pass over.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Channel Zero" by Canibus
  • "End of All Things" by Nomeansno
  • "Nuclear War" by Sun Ra and his Arkestra
Direct download: 10320-20Bible20Code.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 4:20pm PDT

For Part One of our Big Podcast Crossover Event, we bring in Kait and Renata from the Worst Bestsellers podcast to help us out with a bestseller that is, in fact, Just The Worst: James Patterson's The Angel Experiment: Maximum Ride.

It's supposed to be something like The X-Men crossed with Twilight with hints of Frankenstein and family drama, but it ends up much more like 1982's non-blockbuster film Six Pack with moderately less Kenny Rogers slash stock car racing and significantly less charm. Luckily, the Cheersome Foursome helping you come to terms with this eventful yet plotless morass deliver more charm than you can probably handle! If you're ready for six urchins, countless henchmen and somewhere between zero and one parents, you just might be ready to go on this wild slow minimum ... Maximum Ride.

 

Recommendations:

  • S. E. Hinton
  • Judy Blume, Superfudge
  • Hercule Poirot stories first published in Sketch, by Agatha Christie
  • Ghost Quartet, Dave Malloy
  • Animorphs
  • Runaways, Brian K. Vaughn & Rainbow Rowell

Music:

  • "Fly Like an Eagle" by The Steve Miller Band
  • "Call Me Mother" by Rupaul
  • "Scatman" by Scatman John
Direct download: 10220-20Maximum20Ride.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:01am PDT

Our first episode to be scored entirely by harp, harpsichord, and ocarina, it's the oft-requested short side story The Slow Regard of Silent Things, a book that would describe itself as "twee as twee" and that features a character who "smiles" twice, "grins" every third paragraph, and once sweeps a staircase...up. It's a fun read, like hanging out with a friendly goth who's happy to share their cloves and lots of handy tips about getting red wine stains out of velvet cloaks.

Snatch up your gathersack, because this episode is brimming with amiable whimsy that you won't want to leave behind, make sure you've got your best copy of The Crow soundtrack with you, and prepare yourself for ... a quick glance at noisemakers? No, silly! It's time for a rhyme that's quiet as a mime with a twist of lime: it's time ... for The Slow Regard of Silent Things.

 

 

Recommendations:

  • Line Hollis, "Line On Sierra"
  • Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House

Music:

  • Joanna Newsom, "monkey & bear"
  • Clutch, "the soapmakers"
  • Radiohead, "Everything in Its Right Place"
  • A YouTube Genius, "Seinfeld/Bizkit Mashup"
Direct download: 10120-20The20Slow20Regard20of20Silent20Things.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:30pm PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

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 PDT

Take your broken wing(s) and learn to fly again, not with Mr. Mister but with Mr. Jonathan Livingston Seagull, by Mr. Richard Bach, in close formation with your friends Messrs. Friedman J.W. and Collsion Chris. This episode is certain to crack you up, as we scramble to lay out the metaphysical scheme Bach hatches for us—and, best of all, you won't have to shell anything out for our yolks!

For longime listeners who have been waiting for us to go Full Weed Dad, this should satisfy your darkest fantasies (assuming your darkest fantasies are lit by blacklight and prominently feature wizards holding bongs). If you're a new listener, no, we're not always this happy and positive. But yes—we do always love you this much.

 

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister
  • "Above my Butts" by Gang Starr
  • "Lesbian Seagull" by Engelbert Humperdinck
Direct download: 9120-20Jonathan20Livingston20Seagull.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:55am PDT

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

Valley of the Dolls spins a tale as old as time: three young women meet, attain world-spanning prominence and fame as, respectively, the world's greatest singer/actress, the prettiest model alive, and a, ah, "European art movie" star, then develop various addictions (including cruelty, attention, and good old-fashioned pills and booze), with various, mostly very sad, outcomes. There was no way we could have handled this one solo, and we were incredibly lucky to have the legendary Maura (@maura) Johnston join us to try to make sense of this hot mess.

Like the movie says: fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night! But a grand one, very grand, with axes to grind, and scores to settle, and unflattering portraits of our friends to paint! Pop a 'doll and get ready to experience the ultimate high, as The Only Podcast That Loves You hops in the candy-pink convertible (with a dog painted on every door), picks up Our Pal Maura, and heads for ... the Valley of the Dolls.

 

Recommendations:

  • The One-Eyed Man, Ron Currie
  • Girls on Film, Julie Burchill
  • Borne, Jeff Vandermeer

Music:

  • "Purple Pills" by D12
  • "Adult Books" by X
  • "Feelgood Hit of the Summer" by Queens of the Stone Age
Direct download: 80_-_Valley_of_the_Dolls_1.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:24pm PDT

We don't normally do this, but given current events, we figured there'd be no better time to dig back through the archives and re-release a classic episode, Bill O'Reilly's batshit thriller "Those Who Tresspass", with special guest Jeb Lund.

Please, join us in 2014; a time before Collision, before segments and fun little jingles. Listen to me Jeb crack each other up talking about what may be one of the most widely distributed pieces of self-insert fan fiction ever created.

And also, fuck Bill O'Reilly now and forever.

(Don't worry, new episode will still be coming out in two weeks as usual, this is just a supplemental bonus.)

Direct download: 13_-_Those_Who_Trespass_Flashback.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:06pm PDT

This episode, we're hitching a ride on up to Boston to tag along with a sassy, tough-guy grandpa private eye, as he attempts to get to the bottom of a mystery involving real estate fraud, a dead gay banker, the dead gay banker's young widow, her boyfriend, a lot of ancillary characters that don't make any sense unless you've read the other 30-odd books in the series, and a lot of looking at women's butts. Alternate title for this episode: Death Comes for Dadventure. Widow's Walk, by Robert B. Parker.

NOTE: this is an older episode from the secret vaults, so please excuse any awkwardness. Life intervened this week, and made it impossible to record a shiny new episode.

 

Recommendations:

  • Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon
  • Burning Fight, Brian Peterson

Music:

  • "Alpha Centauri", At the Drive-In
  • "Telephone", TTC
  • "MMMbop", Hanson
  • "Roundball Rock", John Tesh
Direct download: 79_-_Widows_Walk.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:03pm PDT

In the second leg of our ICP saga, our grease-painted patron points us past the platinum peaks and into the valleys of his following, less successful, records, and walks up to the precipice of admitting "I started smoking weed and found god" but in the end sticks with "we had this all planned out from the beginning and never changed anything about ourselves." Along the way, he describes both putting on weight and losing weight in the most off-putting ways possible, has a few extremely boring feuds with nü-metal musicians and burns some bridges in pro wrestling, and describes it all in the vaguest ways possible. Then the book just sort of ... stops, and we're all very relieved and grateful.

MASSIVE THANKS TO our truly wonderful pals Bill (@sundownmotel) Hanstock and Lemon of the F Plus Podcast for running in, guesting hard, and bringing the ICP heat!

Note from J. W.: Sorry this is late. Editing this episode almost drove me, quite literally, to a nervous breakdown. I'm going through some other shit right now, of course, but the sudden realization that I have now spent more than three hours of my life critically discussing a book about clown rappers was hitting me pretty hard.
I'm better now. And this episode rules. So enjoy it. Enjoy it EXTRA hard with the knowledge that it almost cost me my sanity.

 

Recommendations:

  • Three-Headed Shark Attack, Netflix
  • Six Feet Deep / Niggamortis by The Gravediggaz
  • What We Eat When We Eat Alone, Deborah Madison

Music:

  • "S.O.S." by Abba (the Bill Hanstock theme)
  • WCW Monday Nitro Theme
  • "Something For You" by David Rolfe
  • "Rock Lobster" by The B-52's
Direct download: 78_-_Behind_The_Paint_pt_2.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 12:23pm PDT

It had to happen, and it had to happen in exactly this way: I Don't Even Own a Television meets the juggalos, as we sit down with with a clown and read Violent J.'s Behind the Paint. Be forewarned, this one goes places we rarely go; and be advised, this is our first ever two-part episode!

Here in part one, IDEOTV prepares an ICP primer. We enjoy endure wallow in the band's early days, ranging all the way from suburban Detroit to slightly different parts of suburban Detroit, described with all the deft language you'd expect (or maybe demand) from the "musicians" responsible for "songs" like "I Stuck Her with My Wang" and "Beverly Kills 50187". Grab a well-chilled two-liter bottle of store-brand soda and prepare to return to a time when you still thought flipping somebody off counted as a revolutionary act. 


Recommendations:

  • "Heads and Straights" by Lucy Wadham
  • "Occultation" by Laird Barron

Music:

  • "Here Come the Gravediggaz" by Gravediggaz
  • "Malpractice" by Redman
  • "Tru Master" by Pete Rock w/ Inspectah Deck
Direct download: 77_-_Behind_bthe_Paint.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 3:22pm PDT

You're guaranteed to get a kick out of retired pro football placekicker Jason Elam (and his ghostwriter special writing pal Steve Yohn)'s taut Riley Covington thriller Monday Night Jihad! Well, unless things like grade-7 sexuality and Steve-Bannon-grade Islamophobia somehow impede your enjoyment of pulp literature.

Anyway, come with us and meet the team that stands between us and those who would ruin our football games! No, not medical professionals: the terrible terrorists who lurk among us ... on our football teams. This will make some kind of sense eventually. We hope.

Recommendations:

Music:

  • "Madden 2002 Theme" by Pharoahe Monch
  • "Official" by Pharoahe Monch
  • "Lyricists Lounge Freestyle" by Pharoahe Monch
Direct download: 76_-_Monday_Night_Jihad.mp3
Category:comedy -- posted at: 7:08pm PDT