Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 151: Halloween Spooktacular 2016


In celebration of Halloween, we’re talking this week about two spooky stories: Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” (read for free here) and Joe Hill’s “Abraham’s Sons” (read for free here). The former is a classic of the genre, though somehow Mike had never read it before, and didn’t even really know what it was about. The latter is a newer story, from a collection that’s received much praise from fans of literary fiction and people who like being scared.

We talk about what scares us–in stories, and also in life. We also talk about what makes a good horror story, and whether the really memorable ones always feel somehow old-fashioned and archetypal.

It’s still the Fall of Food, so we also devote some time in the second half of the episode to a discussion of Halloween candy. What are the best candies? The worst? And what’s the deal with those weird candies that seem to only exist on Halloween? Mary Janes, Sixlets: we’re looking in your direction here.

As always, we’re happy to hear your feedback. Did we get Halloween candy wrong? Do you have opinions about the stories we talked about? Do you want to give us your own All-Time Desert Island Top 5 list of candy bars? You can email us, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook, or just leave a comment here on the site.

You can stream this week’s show right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. Or check us out in the iTunes store–or in basically any of the available podcast apps–where you can always download back episodes and subscribe (for free) so you’ll never miss a new weekly installment.

Thanks for listening!

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Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

2 thoughts on “Episode 151: Halloween Spooktacular 2016

  1. I pretty much _have_ to respond to this episode…

    1. You guys mentioned Ursula K. Le Guin. Have you considered doing one of her books at some point? I borrowed “A Wizard of Earthsea” from the library when I was in my twenties because I’d heard about it, and immediately bought my own copy after reading so I could push it onto other people.

    2. Smarties in Canada (and, from what I can tell, the rest of the world) are completely different from what you have in the States. They’re like M&Ms, but a little bigger, and with a thicker sugary shell. As the font of all human knowledge says, “Smarties are not distributed in the United States … because the American rights to the brand belong to the Smarties Candy Company, which manufactures its own hard tablet sweet under the registered trademark name Smarties. (In Canada, these are sold using the brand name Rockets.)” The stuff you call Smarties… yeah, those are a Hallowe’en sweet to me, too.

    3. I still remember the experience of reading “The Lottery” in high school twenty years ago. The twist comes in the final line, yeah? I recall vaguely catching on that no-one seemed excited that they were close to winning, then being shocked.

    Cheers, eh!

  2. Yeah, I suffer the non-U.S. Smarties over here in Australia. My kids love ’em, but only because they don’t know any better.

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