09-22-12 UPDATE:Podcast Update:Time to Read Episode 65: David Rich, 'Caravan of Thieves'
Click image for audio link.
Here's the sixty-fifth episode of my new series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. The podcasts/radio broadcasts will be of books worth your valuable reading time. I'll try to keep the reports under four minutes, for a radio-friendly format. If you want to run them on your show or podcast, let me know.
My hope is that in under four minutes I can offer readers a concise review and an opportunity to hear the author read from or speak about the work. I'm hoping to offer a new one every week.
D. T. Max's first book, 'The Family That Couldn't Sleep' hit home for me; I'm an insomniac from a family of insomniacs. I'd be on the look out for anything he wrote, and in the case of 'Every Love Story is a Ghost Story,' the title had me and of course, the subject — 'A Life of David Foster Wallace,' had me as well.
I managed to get D. T. Max on the phone to talk about his new book, and Wallace, as a man, a writer and a mystery. Max's book reads like a novel; and his main character is so incredibly complex and fascinating, it's easy to see how much Wallace was always the main character in his own books. He was a storyteller whose own story was very much a subtext for everything he wrote.
When I sat down with Tad Williams at KUSP, my intention was to talk to him about the upcoming adaptation of 'Tailchaser's Song.' I didn't know about 'The Dirty Streets of Heaven' until he handed me a copy before the conversation.
I was going to keep things pretty short and snappy. But it didn't take long for me to see that Tad and I were going to have another fabulous, in-depth conversation about 'Tailchaser's Song,' the universe and everything Tad Williams. There was, I suppose a bit of kismet about. There are definite similarities between 'Tailchaser's Song' and 'The Dirty Streets of Heaven' in terms of perspective.
Tad and I talked over a month ago, but I waited until readers and listeners could actually buy the book to run this interview. I often work too far in advance, I am told. I'm trying to correct this; I hope this catches readers just as the book is showing up.
'The Dirty Streets of Heaven' is in most ways quite different from the rest of Williams' oeuvre. I really enjoyed his use of first person and the prose voice he found. And his use of his own world-building skills is really intriguing, because he incorporates them into the mystery plotline.
Talking with Tad about his writing is fun because he's very self-aware and self-analytical about his process. He seems to shine a light on himself as he works, which is unusual. But it certainly makes an interviewer's job easier. I have to say I was truly thrilled to hear the planned release schedule for these novels. Suffice it to say that we won't be aging noticeably before we're able to finish reading the first three. I suspect there will be more. I do plan to go back to the well and bring Tad in again soon. In the interim, here's a link to the MP3 audio file of our conversation.
New to the Agony Column
09-18-15: Commentary : William T. Vollman Amidst 'The Dying Grass' : An Epic Exploration of Simultaneity
08-21-15: Agony Column Podcast News Report : Senator Claire McCaskill is 'Plenty Ladylike' : Internalizing Determination to Overcome Sexism [Incudes Time to Read EP 211: Claire McCaskill, Plenty Ladylike, plus A 2015 Interview with Senator Claire McCaskill]
Agony Column Podcast News Report : Emily Schultz Unleashes 'The Blondes' : A Cure by Color [Incudes Time to Read EP 210: Emily Schultz, The Blondes, plus A 2015 Interview with Emily Schultz]