Episode 119: Violence - HUH! GOOD GOD, YA'LL! What is it good for?
(With guest Robert Pobi)
Violence is a tool used in many of the books discussed on the podcast, and the pair sit down with bestselling author Robert Pobi to discuss violence as a tool in storytelling. When is it violence for its own sake, and when does it serve a richer purpose? Can a book be "too violent"? Is there a point to relating violence against children beyond shock value, and does that shock value serve its own purpose? The trio discusses all of this as more, with Pobi contributing much to the conversation as an author who has had strong reader reactions to the violence in his books. In addition, the three discuss a book about Jim Morrison, some books by perennial favorites Lee Child and John Connolly, and a short story collection both Josh and Dietrich adore releases its newest iteration to rave reviews. Finally, they wrap up with discussions of 70's pulp horror and giant robots in one of the stranger "Off the Bookshelves" to date. You can send questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What We've Been Reading
0:00 to 38:23
Before we get into the notes for the week, it's worth knowing that we've been joined this week by author Robert Pobi, a friend of the show who also happens to be an absolutely spectacular author. Rob joins us for all three segments this week, so buckle up for an interesting ride!
· Steven Davis, Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legend
· Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Doomsday Book
· Lee Child, A Wanted Man
· John Connolly, The Wanderer in Unknown Realms
· R.P. McCabe, Thick Fog in Pacheco Pass
· Scott William Carter, Ghost Detective
· Ryan North, David Malki, and Matthew Bernardo, This is How You Die
The Use of Violence
38:23 to 1:17:03
This week, inspired in no small part by our upcoming Blood Meridian episode, we take a look at violence as a tool of writers. When is it violence for its own sake, and when does it serve a richer purpose? What makes a book "too violent"? Is there a point to targeting children beyond shock value? We talk all of this and more, with Robert Pobi contributing much to the conversation as an author who has had some strong reader reactions to the violence in his work. And although this conversation tends to flow a bit away from our main topic, that doesn't make it any less rich or interesting; if anything, it's a window into some much deeper issues that literature is only a small aspect of.
Off The Bookshelves
1:17:03 to 1:44:14
It's a somewhat more chaotic than usual "Off the Bookshelves" this week; while it's true that we talk about a Brad Pitt serial killer film, give some love to the under-appreciated Pacific Rim, and try to summarize one of the weirder 70's horror films I've ever seen, that in no way really sums up this rambling, conversational, off-kilter section. Not that that's a bad thing, mind you. It's more just an observation.