Posts Tagged ‘book review’

PODCAST:

S3 – Wrap-Up Episode (finale)*

Listen to the podcast here (click to play/right click and select “save target as” to download):

SHOW NOTES:

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Ryan in his “robot” mode.

To wrap things up this year we attempted to do a season Wrap-Up Episode. Unlike last year, the conversation quickly devolved from review of the entire Season Three line up and turned more circuitously to reflections on the entire history of the podcast and the trials and tribulations of the hosts as they tried to keep this beast afloat. The discussion is more celebratory and, at times, nonsensical. We brought back two past guests: Mike O’Reilly and John (a/k/a Dole) Doyle to bring in some outside perspective.

Occasionally we did manage to get into the art of literature and film and there were some coherent thoughts that managed to squeak thru. All in all, we hope our jovial spirit puts a nice cap to this podcast and provides some reflective laughter along the way. Apologies for the general absurdity and thank you again for checking us out!

-Ryan

The NDIOS crew: Wilk, Rick and Ryan.

*** * ***

RELATED LINKS:

Hosts:

Ryan Sean O’Reilly

David Wilkinson a/k/a “Wilk”

Rick

 

Guests:

Dole’s band’s website and links to videos of the band: (www.i-decline.com)

Click here for other episodes with Dole.

Click her for Mike O’Reilly’s YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheMoreilly318

Click for other episodes with Mike O’Reilly

Wilk’s other podcast with his wife Laura Valle: “How to Avoid Murder …and other awkward situations

 

RELATED EPISODES:

“Roadside Picnic (1972)” by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (book)

“Stalker (1979)” by Andrei Tarkovsky (Alexander Kaidanovsky) (movie) – Russian with English subtitles

“Dune (Dune Chronicles #1) (1965)” by Frank Herbert (book)

Film: “Dune (1984)” by David Lynch (Kyle MacLachlan) and SyFy: “Frank Herbert’s Dune (2000)” by John Harrison (William Hurt)

“I Am Legend” by Richard Matheson (book)

“True Detective” by Cary Joji Fukunaga (Matthew McConaughey) (miniseries)

“The Body Snatchers (1955)” by Jack Finney (book)

“Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury (book)

“The Devil Rides Out (Black Magic #1) (1934)” by Dennis Wheatley (book)

“Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell (book)

“Watchmen” by Alan Moore (writer) / Dave Gibbons (artist) (graphic novel)

“Naked Lunch” by William S. Burroughs (book)

“Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut (book)

 

* 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.

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PODCAST:

S3E12B – Dune (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Please join us in a disjointed conversation about the greatest story ever told. 

– Rick

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “Dune (Dune Chronicles #1) (1965)” by Frank Herbert

Ryan: 5 Stars “…f**king Dune, nuff said…”

Wilk: 5 Stars “…I recognize why people love this and like it and its overall concept, but you kind of gotta stick with it to get that out of it…”

Rick: 5 Stars “…quintessential intergalactic space opera…laden with a lot of political intrigue and a lot of great ideas…”

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

iron-maiden-piece-of-mindDuring the show, Ryan talked about Frank Herbert using omniscient point of view. A technique not commonly used in modern literature. He cited an article about this that can be found here: http://www.shmoop.com/dune/narrator-point-of-view.html. An interview conducted years about by Dalton Books with Frank Herbert and director David Lynch, was also cited by Ryan, which can be found on YouTube in multiple parts here:

Rick mentioned that hard rock group “Clutch” has a song called “Prison Planet,” from their eponymous album “Clutch.” While the lyrical contest doesn’t seem to be directly inspired by the book “Dune” it is about aliens and other good science fiction type content. Plus it’s just a great rock tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53qeiAVjHQU. Another well-known thrash metal act did take direct inspiration from the book for a song. The English band “Iron Maiden” released a song called “To Tame a Land” which can be found on their album “Piece of Mind.” Check out this tune on Youtube with lyrics at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_y3o4okKXMU. Ironically, the author refused to let the band use the title “Dune” for this song because he wasn’t a fan of their type of music — check it out: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2348.

 

* 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.

PODCAST:

S3E11B – The Devil Rides Out (book)* 

*** This episode was also filmed live in High Definition with the help of our special guest, Dole. So if you wish to see the fireplace crackling in the background and watch us slog down make-shift snifters of dark craft brewery while Wilk rants on a tiny monitor via Skype–click the video below or visit our YouTube channel. ***

 

SHOW NOTES:

Ready to podcast!

Dole, Rick and Ryan

Craft Brewery!

Barrel-Aged Old Rasputin Russian Imperial Stout, 3 Floyd’s Russian-Style Imperial Stout Dark Lord (vanilla bean), Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout

This month I had Ryan and Dole over to record. They are great guests. I estimate they brought in $150 worth of craft beer. First time I ever tried the “Dark Lord,” from 3 Floyds Brewing Co.. It was aged a few years and bottle 175 of 800, or something like that. Very special, so much so, I was compelled to ceremoniously place my goat statue on the mantelpiece for the evening’s events. If only my Wiccan cloaks were back from the dry cleaners, I believe we might have conjured the Dark Lord himself. The recording almost didn’t happen as Wilk threatened to prematurely go to bed or watch a movie with Laura (his wife) or something. The technical difficulties Ryan and Dole had were colossal and postponed our start time by about an hour, but they persevered. Despite the late start time and a black hole vortex on the other end of the Skype call in Michigan, we managed to have a quality recording. Come back any time fellas. We need to practice the occult more often!

– Rick

 

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Devil Rides Out (Black Magic #1) (1934)” by Dennis Wheatley

Ryan: 4 Stars “…Why I’m not giving it five stars is because that…I thought the ending–it wraps up things a little bit too conveniently…

Wilk: 3 Stars “…I liked the audiobooks…it was kinda entertaining it felt like I was watching a Tarzan movie…with Satan in it…

Rick:  3 1/2 Stars “…I do appreciate the fact that it was grounded in a lot of research and facts…

Dole (special guest): 4 Stars “…I felt creeped out by it just because there was so much real stuff in the book I felt like dirty reading it…

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

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

aleister_crowleyDuring the episode we talked about the author doing extensive research to add an element of realism to this work. As part of his studies Wheatley interviewed none other than the infamous occultist, Aleister Crowley who had previously gained notoriety with his interest in black magic and residence at the “Boleskin House” (later owned for a time by guitarist Jimmy Page  of Led Zepplin). Rockstar and metal icon Ozzy Osbourne would later have hit a song about this man called Mr. Crowley (here’s a link to a live version on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3LvhdFEOqs).

One of the interesting bits of research in the book that was mentioned by Wheatley, was the act of hypnotizing chickens by simply drawing a line in the ground. You can watch demonstrations of this strange phenomena on YouTube videos such as this one: https://youtu.be/sqZZ95L2n7o

Dennis Wheatley was a part of the war effort during World War II when he was engaged to use his creativity to write various war papers including a treatise on how Britain could be invaded. He was a member of the London Controlling Section which worked on secret coordinated strategic military deception and cover plans (see Wikipedia article on Dennis Wheatley). One such famous plan that came out of this department was “Operation Mincemeat,” which involved planting fake invasion plans in a corpse and letting it be discovered to divert Germany’s attention from the real battle plans.  The BBC produced a special (A Letter To Posterity) on Wheatley’s life that discusses a letter written by the author that was sealed in a time capsule and left for the world to discover at a later date. You can check this out on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeXEj2_v6i4&app=desktop

Returning special guest, John Doyle (a/k/a Dole), came on the show and talked about some recent studio time with his metal band, “I Decline.” They continue to work on their epic, space trilogy project known as “The Galaxies,” which is being produced by Sandford Parker. Find their music on iTunes and their website: http://www.i-decline.com.

John wrote and composed the theme music for the podcast, helped on our video special (Video Special: Culver Indiana and Vonnegut: a documentary), and has joined us on other past episodes including: “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell (book) and “Something Wicked This Way Comes” by Ray Bradbury (book).

 

* 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.

PODCAST:

S3E10B – The Golden Compass (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

We were so excited to cover this material over the last few months, I just couldn’t contain myself during the show. As a matter of fact, I grew increasingly relieved that I didn’t bother to read the book as the evening proceeded. Ironically, I was the asshole who suggested we read it as we started organizing this season. Guess the book served as a valuable lesson solely for Ryan and Wilk.  Now, they are in a better position to realize organized religion is a bane of the world. With that, I leave you with this; the wise Maud’Dib famously remarked, “There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

– Rick

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Golden Compass a/k/a Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) (1995)” by Philip Pullman

Ryan: 4 Stars “…A tale told by a crackling, comforting fire while the bitter northern winds gust dangerously against the window panes outside…

Wilk: 3 1/2 Stars “…If you’re reading this review you’re too old for this book…

Rick: 1 Star “…just a bunch of blither aimed at children…” (Caveat: please note the disclosure in Rick’s Show Notes for the book episode.)

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

 

FUN FACTOIDS:

On the episode we mentioned that one of the characters is named Lord Azrael, not to be confused with sinister cat named Azrael on “The Smurfs” cartoon: http://smurfs.wikia.com/wiki/Azrael.

In The Golden Compass, the characters have familiars which are psychically tethered to their bodies and function a bit like an inner conscious, companion and soul. These animals are referred to as “Daemons” — not to be confused as “Demons” although they are pronounced the same. Here is a short article on the pronunciation: https://www.quora.com/In-Golden-Compass-how-do-you-pronounce-daemon. Here’s a Wikipedia entry on Daemons in Philip Pullman’s fantasy world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A6mon_(His_Dark_Materials)

lord-of-the-rings-six-booksSome of the conversation on this episode were about the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Rings trilogy was originally turned into the publisher in the form of six smaller works with suggested titles. The publisher repackaged the manuscripts into the now-famed trilogy, however a few years back a version of the books was bound in the way Tolkien had originally suggested. If you want to know more about this check out this website: http://www.mytolkienbooks.com/books-by-tolkien/middle-earth-related/lord-of-the-rings/complete-sets/the-lord-of-the-rings-millennium-edition/.

how-to-avoid-murder-logo

Lastly, Wilk and his wife Laura Valle started a true crime podcast called, “How to Avoid Murder …and other awkward situations,” which he plugged at the end of the show. You may remember that Laura Valle joined us (with our former co-host Beam) for discussion on The Hellbound Heart and Hellraiser during our special torchlight recordings.

The website for their podcast is: http://www.avoidmurder.com/. You can also find it on iTunes here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-avoid-murder-other/id1187366565?mt=2

 

* 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.

PODCAST:

S3E9B – The Man in the High Castle (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

If you got a hankering for some discussion on PK Dick and his “Man in the High Castle” in the month of November, this is your podcast. When you are finished you could very likely be more confused than when you started. Good luck.

– Rick

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Man in the High Castle (1962)” by Philip K. Dick

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “A story of subtle nuances containing picturesque fables that compound reality in philosophic deep strokes

Wilk: 4 Stars “A chilling look of what could’ve been told through the eyes of people looking at things as they could have been which in fact is what it was

Rick: 3 Stars “…If you are a big fan of PK Dick you should read this book- not the greatest but good…

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

FUN FACTOIDS:

divine-invasionsOn the episode Ryan made reference to a biography written about the author. That book is called “Divine Invasions: A Life of Philip K. Dick.”

We also talked about the ancient Chinese oracle known as the “I Ching,” which the author consulted to write this book (and indeed the characters in this book also consulted). An online translation by Gregory C. Richter for Truman State University of this work can be found bring-the-jubileehere: http://grichter.sites.truman.edu/files/2012/01/yjnew.pdf. You can find video demonstrations and explanations of how to use the I Ching on YouTube.

Rick mentioned that Philip K. Dick also took some inspiration for writing this book from a previous work of alternate history in which the South won the American Civil War instead of the North. This was written by Ward Moore in a book called “Bring the Jubilee.”

 

* 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.

PODCAST:

S3E8B – The Hellbound Heart (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Prior to this recording, Ryan, Beam, and I danced and frolicked in a pentagram of fire deep in the Illinois woods with aching hopes to summon the Cenobite priests from the netherworld.

Ryan, Beam, Wilk & Rick

With eyes rolled back, Ryan drooled on our sacrifice as he mumbled sacred text from ancient alien scripts. At the conclusion of Ryan’s prayer, Beam pulled a lever actuating tension to the hooks surgically fastened deep within the creature.

Laura & Wilk

The moment the animal was devoured, we felt the presence of Wilk and Laura and commenced to record a podcast about Clive Barker’s “Hellbound Heart” that transformed and enhanced our Earthly senses and perspectives.

-Rick

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Hellbound Heart (1986)” by Clive Barker

Ryan: 3 1/2 Stars “… A carnal visage of thrill-based plotting that is both fast and to the point…that being the tip of a meat hook…

Wilk:  4 Stars “…There is really no reason not to read this book. It’s very accessible, it’s a quick read, and it’s overall enjoyable…

Rick: 2 Stars “…Not a real horror tale because it is corrupted with righteous vindictive retribution…

Laura (guest): 4 Stars “…The characters…they don’t go into a lot of detail, but it’s scary, it’s haunting, it gives me the heebie jeebies…”

Beam (guest): 4 Stars “…I think he was still learning how to write at that time and he kept it really short, but there is a lot of depth there…

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

FUN FACTOIDS:

abaratOn the show Rick talked about Clive Barker’s brief foray into the world of Disney. The two entered into an option agreement for a young adult fantasy series titled “Abarat.” Check out this article by Witney Seibold, “Clive Barker’s ABARAT: The Epic Disney Movie that Never Was” found here: http://www.blumhouse.com/2016/01/07/clive-barkers-abarat-the-epic-disney-movie-that-never-was/. We also mentioned a recent podcast interview with Clive Barker where he discussed going into a coma after contracting Toxic Shock Syndrome. That interview was conducted by Chris Hardwick for the Nerdist Podcast and can be found here: http://nerdist.com/nerdist-podcast-clive-barker/. Another great recent podcast interview with the author was conducted by David Barr Kirtley for Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy here: https://geeksguideshow.com/2015/05/10/ggg151-clive-barker/.

leo-valentinClive Barker cites the death of famous skydiver, Leo Valentin, as having an affect on his life. Valentin was a modern “birdman” who fashioned wings for himself in an effort to create human flight, which ultimately ended in his own demise. Barker has stated that when he was very young he watched the performance which led to Valentin’s death. Later in Barker’s life, Valentin inspired some of the author’s stories.

grizzly-man

The infamous stars of this book (and later the movie “Hellraiser”) might be the actual villains, the Cenobites. Much discussion was had on this episode about the motivations of these other-worldly beings and their motivations. The hosts and guests compared the seemingly savage disinterest of these unique baddies to that of wild animals (sharks and bears). During the podcast Ryan recalled an interview of director Werner Herzog who discussed the bears that were the real-life subjects of his documentary film “The Grizzly Man“. That interview was by Marc Maron for his podcast WTF:  http://www.wtfpod.com/podcast/episode-733-werner-herzog-godfrey.

Lastly, Wilk mentioned Clive Barker answered questions on Goodreads.com (like the scariest book he ever read) which can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10366.Clive_Barker?from_search=true.

 

* 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.

PODCAST:

S3E7B – Lathe of Heaven (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Three intrepid men journeyed to the depths of what they thought their friendships could tolerate and came up with the unthinkable: a consensus of the willing.

We read and discussed the “Lathe of Heaven.” It was a surprisingly uncontroversial show in that all three hosts actually agreed that it was a good book, enjoyed it, and kept personal attacks to a minimum. And by minimum we mean three.

The controversy tied to Dave Wilkinson’s courageous stand against the tyranny of Rick and Ryan was discussed briefly, and he accepted their non-apologies. A brief discussion of the author delved into her other works mostly. She has kept her private-life private and we did not seek to violate that. Yet.

The actual book itself was well received by everyone, as stated above. While each host had a slightly different take on the role of the antagonist and protagonist, they overall agreed on the quality of the book, if not the definition of “evil.” For those tuning in, this discussion should be interesting and hopefully eye-opening. As always, we welcome your thoughts on our review in the comments sections.

So, until next time, cut off your arms at the shoulder because there is no deodorant in outer space!!!!

-Wilk

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Lathe of Heaven (1971)” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Ryan: 4 1/2 Stars “A refreshing philosophical exploration into high-concept esoteric questions draped in all the brilliant colors of science fiction

Wilk: 4 Stars “…A kaleidoscope of tributes to science fiction greats, this novel takes the gloom of the 1970s and intersects with the folklore of monkey paw stories…

Rick: 4 Stars “Great tale of a Buddha inspired hero

 

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

FUN FACTOIDS:

On the show Ryan mentioned an article written by Jo Walton titled “Effective dreaming: Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven” for Tor.com, which can be found here: http://www.tor.com/2009/09/23/effective-dreaming-ursula-k-le-guins-the-lathe-of-heaven/.

As discussed on the show, Ursula K. Le Guin very publicly resigned from the Author’s Guild in 2009 due to their settlement with Google. You can read her open letter “Google (Un)Settlement” on the subject on her website here: http://www.ursulakleguin.com/Index-GoogleSettlement.html.

We did not mention this on the show, but there was a fairly recent kick starter campaign that exceeded its goal to raise funds for a documentary about the author (with her participation) which is directed by Arwen Curry and titled “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin“. You can learn more about the film (which is due out in 2017) here: www.worldsofukl.com.

 

* 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.