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I Don't Even Own a Television

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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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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: Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts by Kate Racculia "Ted Leo's Life with Rush: Closer to the Heart" by Ted Leo Music Thoughts: "On the Dark Side" by Rush "House of Suffering" by Bad Brains "Private Eyes" by Hall & Oates
Get in the Van

Get in the Van

2020-01-0501:43:371

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: "Pigs" by Aesop Rock "Venom Live at City Gardens, New Jersey" by Venom "Roast Beef's Workout Tape" by Achewood
Handbook for Mortals

Handbook for Mortals

2019-12-2201:59:04

  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: "Red Vines" by Aimee Mann "The Final Countdown" by some kids "Black Magic Woman" by Santana
Zardoz

Zardoz

2019-12-0801:48:05

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.!
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
Career of Evil

Career of Evil

2019-11-1001:44:431

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: "Rollin'" by Rush "Career of Evil" by Blue Őyster Cult "Stanky Legg" by GS Boyz
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: Dirk Gently TV Show (2010, BBC) The Outer Worlds video game (Gita Jackson's review of The Outer Worlds is here) On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger Music Pairings: "Basket of Masks" by DTCV "Dose of Thunder" by The Replacements "Big Balls" by AC/DC
Killer Crabs

Killer Crabs

2019-10-1301:45:191

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
Skillset Magazine

Skillset Magazine

2019-09-2901:31:04

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     Music Pairings: "Guns (Now)" by Negativland I Can Make You a Man, from Rocky Horror Picture Show
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: "Take the Way Home That Leads Back to Sullivan Street" by Chavisa Woods A Wind in the Door by Madeleine l'Engle Music Recs: "Jawbreaker" by Judas Priest "Noble Stabbings!!!" by Dillinger 4
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: Telling Lies game by Sam Barlow "The Adults in the Room" by Megan Greenwell Music Thoughts: "Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar" by Frank Zappa "Fast Cars, Danger, Fire and Knives" by Aesop Rock
Ricochet Joe

Ricochet Joe

2019-08-1801:28:33

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: "Solidarity and the Labor of Writing" by Toni Morrison "The Work You Do, the Person You Are" by Toni Morrison A Goddamn Impossible Way of Life by The Paranoid Style They Live Frankenstein's Monster's Monster, Frankenstein Music Recs: "Little Joe" by Soundgarden "Don't Turn Your Back" by Blue Őyster Cult "Ordinary Average Guy" by Joe Walsh
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: "Proust's Madeleine, But for People Who Grew Up With a Single Dad" by the great Mara Wilson Alita: Battle Angel American Truck Simulator (game) Music Recs: "Stretchin' Out (In a Rubber Band)" by Bootsy Collins "I Wanna Be a Cowboy" by Boys Don't Cry "Friggin in the Riggin" by Sex Pistols
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: Stranger Things Season 3 America by Garrett Bradley Music Recs: "Dark Shadows" by EMA "No Face" by Savages "Together Again (live)" by Linda Thompson & Richard Thompson
Duel to the Death

Duel to the Death

2019-07-0701:28:312

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!)     Recommendations: "World Without Men: The Wisdom and Weirdness of Feminist Utopian Novels" by Lyta Gold "Love Poem to Oakland" by Leila Mottley Music Recs: "Pure Energy" by Information Society "http://mmouse.albndy.coolio.myass.dot.com" by Donuts N' Glory "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford
The Notbeook

The Notbeook

2019-06-2301:10:071

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 Music Recs: "Photograph" by Nickleback "Turn the Page" by Metallica (WILDLY NSFW)
The Wurms of Blearmouth

The Wurms of Blearmouth

2019-06-1301:40:421

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: "Brave Sir Robin" by Monty Python "The Wizard" by Black Sabbath "I'm Dead" by Würm
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: "Murder" by Monster Magnet "Admiral of the Sea" by Nova Mob "Mystery" by Wipers
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
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!   Recommendations: "To Keep a Sluttish House" by Katie Prout "Ghost in the Cloud" by Meghan O'Gieblyn "Glenn Danzig Gets Knocked the Fuck Out" by Some Beefy Dude Danny Marianino 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
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Comments (5)

Keyur Adhyapak

Why don't they combine Russian roulette with dramatic readings?

Mar 18th
Reply (1)

Keyur Adhyapak

That Jay-Z diss was uncalled for. lol

Feb 18th
Reply

Skinflint

awful book, excellent episode

Apr 14th
Reply

Nicole Richwine

I've been waiting for IDEOTV to tackle some Misery Lit, so the arrival of the A Million Little Pieces episode was a great pickup for my midterms week.

Oct 12th
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