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Podthoughts: Other People

Vital stats:
Format: the literary WTF
Episode duration: 1h-1h30m
Frequency: weekly

Damn, are ever there a lot of novels to read. I get this mixed rush of excitement, gratitude, incredulity, and hopelessness whenever I plug into an outlet of contemporary literary culture. In one hour, I’ll hear of dozens of authors and hundreds of books I might want but will never have the lifespan to read. How did this Jenga tower rise? When will it fall? Imagine what a comparable situation in the auto industry: respectable, productive new car companies appear every week; comfortable, well-built new models enter the market every day; lots teem with more vehicles than the entire driving population could reasonably buy and use, let alone fit onto the roads at once; time-tested old cars, some of the finest ever produced, remain abundant and far cheaper than their curiously pricey modern counterparts. Yet automotive design and engineering schools continue pumping out waves of expectant graduates each year, and everyone else seems less and less eager to drive.

From Other People [iTunes] [RSS], a literary version of Marc Maron’s WTF, I get vibrations of this same psychodrama. Host Brad Listi, a novelist-interviewer/novelist interviewer to Maron’s comedian-interviewer/comedian interviewer, sits down with the very people who write all these worthy recent novels to compare notes about growing up, pulling a writing career together, and physically doing the work, in sessions spiced with various opinions and anxieties. After having heard a sizable chunk of the archive, I can assure you that these episodes all have much of interest to offer: rich stories, sudden laughs, ponder-worthy observations, memorable strategies for living. The show’s conversations deliver just what I confidently imagine their participants’ actual books do. But where to start listening?

Read the whole thing at Maximum Fun.

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