Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


Episode 89: Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

This week’s book is a bit outside our usual reading habits, but it was chosen for us by a donor to the show during our last fund drive. Neither of us had read anything by either Gaiman or Pratchett before, though we were both aware of their reputations, and we knew this book in particular was something of a cult classic. So we gave it a read, and then tried to figure out what it was, exactly, that made it so beloved to so many people.


During the episode we talk about the book’s humor, and whether it’s appropriate for adults. We try to decide if it’s a satire and, if so, what exactly it’s satirizing. We contemplate the possibility we’re both just a couple of grumps. Oh, and we shit on The Goonies a little, too, just for good measure.


Here’s a link to the Tom Robbins episode we mentioned a couple times. Here’s a link to Philip Hoare’s The Sea Inside, and his previous book The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea. Speaking of our recommendations, you can follow Mike on Instagram @mikeingram00.

As always, we’re happy to hear what you think about the stuff we discussed. You can email us directly, hit us up on Twitter, or just leave a comment here on the site. Also: we’re now on Facebook! So come visit us over there, where we are slowly getting better about posting candid studio photos and links to stuff we’ve talked about on the show.

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Writers Ask: Katherine Hill

This week we’re welcoming back our friend Katherine Hill, author of the novel The Violet Hour, out this year from Scribner and endorsed by Oprah! Katherine helps us answer questions about low-residency MFA programs (she went to Bennington) and working a writing-related job while trying to write a novel.


We also talk about YA novels, perpetual adolescence, lightning strikes on Amtrak trains, offensive mascots, Philly vs. Princeton, and why we can’t get more ladies to join us in Tom’s basement.

Please help support the show by clicking on any of the Powell’s links on our page–including the cover image of Katherine’s book above. If you use our site to get to theirs, Powell’s will donate a percentage of any money you spend to our show, helping us keep the metaphorical (and literal) lights on. We’re also gearing up for our annual fund drive, kind of like NPR but with much lower stakes. So get ready for that. We promise not to be too annoying.

As always, you can download the episode here on our site, or stream it by clicking on the little player thingy below. Or check us out in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode. Thanks for listening!


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