S4E1B – Altered States (book)*


Wherein Wilk (former co-host) compared reading this book to attending an art show by actor Gary Busey, not purchasing a painting by novelist Clive Barker (whom we covered in our episodes on “The Hellbound Heart” and “Hellraiser“), and reading the novel “Tarantula” by musician Bob Dylan. Things were further clarified when Wilk recalled some sagely advice given by his father regarding Herman Melville’s famous novel “Moby Dick” (Bob Wilkinson joined us for our review of “Starship Troopers“). Dustin Decline (from the heavy metal act “I Decline“) expressed and encapsulated the group’s general frustration with this author’s one and only attempt at writing proper prose due to the novel’s overabundance and general saturation of uninteresting technical terminology.

– Ryan

Ryan, Wilk, and Dustin ready to record.

Ryan, Wilk, and Dustin ready to record.



“Altered States (1978)” by Paddy Chayefsky (book)

Ryan: 3 Stars “…Urgent and practical prose bolstered with dialog, that at times, feels weighted with jargon while fully acknowledging the supremacy of story, and at other times—stabs right into the heart of humanity…”

Wilk: 2 Stars “…Drugs will make you a superhuman until they don’t…”

Dustin: 1 Star “….A pretentious convoluted look at the human conscious…”

(Click the links to read full written reviews on Goodreads.com)


On the show we talked about the trend of early mankind films that were coming out around the time of the release of this book and film. One such notable movie that came out in 1981 was “Quest for Fire” which starred: Everett McGill, Rae Dawn Chong, Nameer El-Kadi and Ron Perlman. It also featured special language features by previous podcast author subject Anthony Burgess, who we discussed on our episode on “A Clockwork Orange.”

The father and son Dungeons & Dragon’s style game play podcast Ryan brought up during the discussion is called “The Adventure Zone” and it can be found here: https://www.maximumfun.org/shows/adventure-zone.

We also mentioned that this author was a renowned and highly celebrated script writer for Hollywood. He is probably most famous for a speech in the award-winning 1976 film “Network” directed by Sidney Lumet. In that movie one of the main characters (played by Peter Finch) is an anchor for a network news show. He goes live on the air working himself into a frenzy imploring that the audience join his frustration with the current state of affairs by opening their windows and screaming out into the streets: “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” You can watch a clip of this compelling scene here:


Not necessarily a “fun” factoid, yet it is worth noting (as we did not discuss it on the show) that Paddy Chayefsky was sued over this novel by one of his scientific advisers whom helped him research the book. Apparently the lawsuit was dismissed, but this would set the stage for future personal frustrations surrounding this project as the film adaptation was developed (see Paddy Chayefsky Papers: http://archives.nypl.org/the/21778).



Wilk and his wife Laura Valle started a true crime podcast called, “How to Avoid Murder …and other awkward situations,” which he talked about on the show. The website for their podcast is: http://www.avoidmurder.com/. Please note that the recording of the episode took place some time ago, and Wilk’s true crime podcast is on indefinite hiatus as of the date of the release of this episode.


Dustin is the lead singer for the heavy metal outfit “I Decline.” Long-time NDIOS contributor Dole plays drums in this band. Check out their on their website: http://www.i-decline.com. We also mentioned that it’s available for steaming on such platforms as iTunes, YouTube, Amazon, and Spotify. Please note that as of the release of this episode the band’s long-standing unreleased project tentatively known as “The Galaxies” is still in a state of incompleteness. Many of the songs have been recorded and mixed, but final mastering and other administrative decisions remain. There is currently no set release date scheduled for this project, but we are hopefully that it will eventually see the light of day in the future at some point. Until that time, you can view some live videos for earlier versions of a few of these spacy sci-fi like songs on the band’s YouTube channel: Galaxy 1 and Galaxy 3.


* DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that the views and opinions of the hosts and guests of NDIOS are completely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views and beliefs of the other hosts and guests or that of NDIOS.

  1. Reblogged this on Ryan Sean O'Reilly and commented:

    New Podcast Book Review !!

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