Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

Episode 217: Winter of Wayback, 1956!

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This week we’re continuing our exploration of the 1950s in both literature and popular culture. And you can’t talk about the 50s without talking about science fiction. We checked out three stories by Isaac Asimov, including one –“The Last Question“–that he would later describe as his favorite.

We looked at two other stories, as well: “Gimmicks Three,” about a man who makes a deal with the devil and then tries to escape it, and “Someday,” about a machine that’s maybe just a radio? Honestly we were both a little confused by the “futuristic” machine called a Bard, but maybe we’re just dumb.

Regular listeners know that Mike tends to not like science fiction all that much, so this week provides a good test: can he be swayed by one of its best practitioners?

In the second half of the show, we move on from science fiction to tell the story of Grace Metalious, author of the best-selling–and scandalous!–novel Peyton Place, which came out in 1956, sold tons of copies, and angered nearly everyone in Metalious’s small New Hampshire town. We talk about the critical response to her book, and why it might be getting a reappraisal, all these years later.

Plus, all kinds of other 1956 goodness, including: Mister Softee! Jello shots! Ant farms! And rock and roll!

As always, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or in just about any app you might use to listen to podcasts.

If you like the show, please consider subscribing to our Patreon, which helps offset our costs and allows us to keep doing the podcast each week. In exchange for $5, you’ll also get access to a monthly bonus episode, Book Fight After Dark, in which we discuss the wide world of romance novels.

Stream Episode 217:

Download Episode 217 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!

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Author: mikeingram25

writer, editor

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