Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 80: Nathan Rabin, You Don’t Know Me But You Don’t Like Me

Leave a comment

This week we’re joined by returning guest Dave Housley (author, most recently, of the story collection If I Knew the Way, I Would Take You Home) to discuss this 2013 book by the former editor of The A.V. Club, in which he investigates the cult fandoms of both Phish and Insane Clown Posse. Rabin went to several Phish shows and the annual Gathering of the Juggalos to figure out what makes these bands so popular. He also had a bit of a breakdown, during what sounds like a pretty rough year.


We talk about what separates mediocre writing about pop culture from great writing about pop culture, and how we make those distinctions when choosing essays for Barrelhouse. We also talk about constructing a narrative arc out of your own experience, and how to write about personal trials and tribulations. Oh, and aliens. We talk a bunch about aliens, because Dave is a pretty big fan of aliens, or rather alien-related television programming. It’s even led him to online friendships with several members of the group MUFON (the Mutual UFO Network).

Links! We’ve got links! To all sorts of stuff we talked about during this week’s program. First off, here’s a link to Dave’s story involving aliens, “How We Got From There to Here,” on the website of the now-defunct Pindeldyboz. And here’s a link to Dave’s website, where you can find everything Housley-related.

If you’d like to read the recap of the Two and a Half Men finale Tom talked about during the show, you can do that here, via Vulture. You can read the Roy Orbison stories we talked about here (spoiler: they’re great!). And you can read Joe Bonomo’s craft essay here, on the Brevity site. Finally, Dave’s book of paranormal erotica–which he wrote along with Barrelhouse friends Matt Perez and Becky Barnard–is available via Amazon, for the low low price of $1.99.

Oh, and we’re in the last week of our annual fund drive, so if you haven’t yet, please kick in a few bucks. As of this posting, we’re 85% of the way funded, and we just need one final push to get us over the top. If we hit our goal, we’ll do a bonus episode–available to everyone–chosen by you, the listening public.

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on what we talked about during the show. You can email us, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. If you like the show, please consider writing us an iTunes review, and tell your friends about us! We rely mostly on word-of-mouth to reach new listeners.

You can stream the episode below, by clicking on the little player thingy, or you can download the mp3 file. Or find us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode.

Thanks for listening!


Download Episode 80 (right-click, save-as)


Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s