Rank #1: Ready Player One (w/ Mike Sacco)
HOLY SHIT. People like this book. SMART people like this book. The New York Times liked this book. The problem is that this book is a piece of crap that basically functions as a checklist of nostalgia items from the 1980's.
Join game designer Mike Sacco and I as we yuk it up over the text of this reference-packed slog through a future world that seems like it was conceptualized in 1985. Highlights include: Aerosmith's "Revolution X" video game, misidentifying this author as the guitarist of Wilco, and probably way too much on-mic laughter.
P.S. Did I mention that this book is BAAAAAAD? Cuz it is.
Bumper Music: "Video Games" by Lana Del Rey, "Pac-Man Fever" by Buckner & Garcia, and "Before Baywatch" by Donuts N' Glory
Jun 09 2014
Rank #2: Five Nights At Freddy's: The Silver Eyes
Your dynamic duo, J. W. Friedman and Chris Collision, take on the terrible twosome of Scott Cawthorn and Kira Breed-Wrisley in Five Nights at Freddy's: The Silver Eyes. You'll need to hop into the Mystery Machine and load up on Scooby Snacks to solve the mystery of what the hell is going on in this novel of PG-13 horror, non-existent intrigue, and multiple trips to a diner to hang out. But what Cawthorn and Breed-Wrisley don't understand is that ... we're not locked in a pizza place / arcade featuring terrifying animatronic beasts with iron grins and red (red, not silver) eyes ... the terrifying animatronic beasts with iron grins and red (red, not silver) eyes ... are locked in here with US. (SPOILER: what's going on in this novel of PG-13 horror, non-existent intrigue, and multiple trips to the diner to hang out is, mostly, a thesaurus-humping answer to the eternal question: "What if Frankenstein, but stupid?"...)
Also! We announce the winners of the NaNoWriMo Bad Writing Contest! We reference interviews! We look at pictures of dogs on air! J. trolls Clsn by recommending something! Plus all the gamified hijinx you expect — and deserve! It's a pre-holiday present that we hope you'll enjoy.
- Neal Stephenson, Seveneves
- Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
- "Freddy's Dead" by Fishbone
- "Fred's Mood" by Milt Jackson
- "Mr. Roboto" by Styx
Dec 12 2016
Rank #3: Super Sad True Love Story (w/ Poncho Martinez)
Wow, this is a creepy book by a creepy man. There's not much else to say about it. Please enjoy as Poncho Martinez and I deconstruct "Nabokov for man-children."
Aug 28 2014
Rank #4: The Alchemist
Some years back, Paulo Coelho transmuted bad advice and a child's sense of story into a massive bestseller. And today, Collision and J. magically transform a terrible book into a good podcast as they tackle...The Alchemist! If you liked Wild Animus, but were all like "Hey, this would be great if we could some more sheep in the mix!" then this may be the book for you. Topics addressed this time around include t-shirts, voiceover technique, anime as an adult, project management, and men who leave. Extraordinarily special run-in at the very end by Centa Schumacher, as the voice of reason!
- Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit
- Workshop of the Telescopes, Blue Öyster Cult
- Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- "Hold You Down", The Alchemist
- "Positive Hardcore Band", Good Clean Fun
- "Dopesmoker", Sleep
- Some Teens' School Project About The Alchemist That I Found On Youtube
Nov 25 2015
Rank #5: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Well then. Here's a book that probably blew your dad's mind back in the day. Sorry about your dad's mind, really and truly. Join our unnamed narrator and a cast of characters including our unnamed narrator's secret personality, his son, and a bunch of people who don't really matter, as they travel across the country and have very trite thoughts about the nature of reason. Whee!
Recommendations:"Fury Road""The Dead Mountaineer's Inn" -- Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
Music:"Just the Two of Us" -- Will Smith"Hippy Dippy Do" -- Rocket From the Crypt"Wild Mountain Nation" -- Blizten Trapper"Powdered Water Too" -- Eyedea & Abilities
May 22 2015
Rank #6: The Da Vinci Code (w/ Lauren O'Neal and Niko Bakulich)
Renowned author Dan Brown's renowned book The Da Vinci Code provides a renowned topic for renowned podcasters J. W. Friedman and Chris Collision, along with renowned guests Lauren O'Neal and Niko (from renowned podcast Sunday School Dropouts. An extremely popular book yields an extremely long episode, with enough jokes to make anyone enough of a believer to found a secret society devoted to hiding the truth about the show ... or maybe to hiding the truth about the show while pointing out that actually all of popular culture is about the show. It's all a little confused. Anyway, if your Grail is L A F F S, then this episode is for you!
Note: This is an extra-long episode because J. is not feeling well enough to edit it down to a shorter length. But it's very good and you will enjoy every minute, we promise.
- National Treasure
- Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
- Complete Stories, Flannery O'Connor
- "The Rose" by Mudhoney
- "Les Invisibles" by Blue Oyster Cult
- "Catholic Dress" by Dahli Seed
- "Holy Grail" by Jay Z
Aug 22 2016
Rank #7: Pokémon: Detective Pikachu: Story of the Movie (w/ Gita Jackson)
A story, nay, a tale so big we had to have help to handle it, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu: Story of the Movie is a novelization slash transcript of the recent film, which Kotaku's Gita Jackson (@xoxogossipgita on Twitter) was kind enough to join us to discuss!
Roughly ninety minutes of giggling then ensued.
The book's very first page includes the phrases "secret science lab", "dark minds at work" and "Legendary Pokémon", so you know what you're in for right from the beginning: Pokéaction, and plenty of it. The episode is ... basically the same thing, what's-on-offer-wise. Whether you're the kind of person who's long felt they "have to" "catch all of them" or are more on ol' Chris Collision's level of Pokéknowlege (Pokéfamiliarity?), this is one downloadable that will make you the very best, like no one ever was!
- Dirk Gently TV Show (2010, BBC)
- The Outer Worlds video game (Gita Jackson's review of The Outer Worlds is here)
- On the Clock by Emily Guendelsberger
- "Basket of Masks" by DTCV
- "Dose of Thunder" by The Replacements
- "Big Balls" by AC/DC
Oct 27 2019
Rank #8: "Those Who Trespass" with Jeb Lund
This is a long one. It's a long one about a mystery novel written by Bill O'Reilly. And it guest-stars Jeb Lund. If you thought Jeb and I would be able to talk about a Bill O'Reilly novel for anything less than an hour, you are friggin' crazy. Topics include: Serial Revenge Murder, Loofa/Falafels, Sade, and the absolute wrong way to perform oral sex.
Also I forgot to give Jeb time to plug stuff so please follow him on twitter: @Mobute
WARNING THIS ONE GETS PRETTY EXPLICIT YA'LL.
Bumper music: "Sister Sanctified" by Stanley Turrentine and Milt Jackson, "I'm Just a Bill" from Schoolhouse Rock, and the man himself, Bill O'Reilly.
Jul 16 2014
Rank #9: Ender's Game
Our holiday tradition rolls on as we encounter yet another massive science-fiction hit, as we, with help of shadow producer Casey Occhialini get all up on Orson Scott Card's Hugo and Nebula winner Ender's Game. Ender's Game is about a young boy and a sociopath — but I repeat myself — who fears his brother, is in love with his sister, and enjoys provoking young boys into confronting him and then murdering them. Also he enjoys video games! Which turns out to be important and good, because playing video games is just like leading people into battle. Which he also does.
Anyway, we enjoy the fast fun and frantic action of this inexplicably well-regarded tale of children screaming fart-related insults at each other while occasionally pausing to wonder "Wait. What the hell is going on here?" and trying hard to avoid wading (too) deep into the world of Ender's Game's politics. Anyway, change into your sleep uniform and join us in the Battle Room, where the answer to everything is to remember, because reasons, "The enemy's goal ... is down." (Oh High Commander is this book ever dumb.)
- Creating the Innocent Killer, John Kessel
- "E.T. Boogie" by Extra T's
- "War is Our Destiny" by St. Vitus
- "X-Ray Vision" by Clutch
- "War" by Edwin Starr
Dec 26 2016
Rank #10: "Left Behind" w/ Leeman Kessler
Hoo boy. HOO BOY. In this episode, I team up with Leeman Kessler, creator and host of "Ask Lovecraft" and Actual Practicing Christian™ to talk about "Left Behind" and how friggin ridiculous it is. This episode is long! But you will learn things! Prepare to laugh and pray for your immortal soul.
Jul 02 2014
Rank #11: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
It's episode one hundred (!) so we knew we had to go big, and it certainly doesn't get much bigger than six hundred pages of New York Times best-seller (nor do podcast episodes get much longer than this one). As the saying goes, "If the tome's got girth, IDEOTVPod brings the mirth!"
PowerBooks, rooms that are locked (until they aren't), repetition, google searches, a dodgy translation of a likely unedited text, repetition, sex-positive male feminism, superpowers based on not-great understandings of people on the spectrum -- we know, we know, it's hard to believe six hundred short pages could contain all of this, but...these pages contain those things. Also other things. Some good things (probably) and a tall mess of bad ones. Slap a little sunscreen on your tattoos, watch out for snipers when you go jogging, and try really hard to avoid offending any vengeful hackers.
- Kurt Wallander mysteries, Henning Mankell
- "To Be, Or Not to Be", Masha Gessen
- "An Off Pursuit", Joan Murray
- "Seek 2.0" by Information Society
- "Computer Love" by Zapp & Roger
- "Kill Your Television" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin
- "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul & Mary
Feb 18 2018
Rank #12: A Million Little Pieces
By a writer who thinks he's hot shit (but is actually just a cold turkey), it's A Million Little Pieces, James Frey's fake memoir slash terrible novel. Lauren Parker drops by to help us get through what may be the worst book we've ever read, full of Man Pain, capitalized Nouns, and long passages about the universal passion of the most boring Americans, boxing.
Thrill to a baffled, hostile trio trying to come to terms with high-school level poetry like "I realize why dawn is called mourning." Enjoy a spirited argument about whether Frey's prose reads more like Evanescence, nü-metal, or youth crew—and if these references don't click for you don't worry: everything comes together by the end. Once we're done, you'll want to buy a copy of the book so you can follow James Frey around shouting his writing at him.
- Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen
- Best Seat in the House, Justin Roberts
- "The Rise of the Valkyries", Seyward Darby
- "Positive Hardcore" by Good Clean Fun
- "All Lies" by NoMeansNo
- "Mistadobalina" by Del The Funky Homosapien
Sep 04 2017
Rank #13: Wild Animus (w/ Tim Faust)
That's wild stuff, man. Wild. In this episode, we discuss Rich Shapero's "Wild Animus" with guest Tim Faust. Jay is convinced that this is the worst book he's read for this show. That is saying a lot. Steel yourselves.
SO MANY CAVEATS: sorry about the audio weirdness, it's still a very listenable show, but there are a lot of obvious growing pains in this episode when it comes to "how to mic three people." next time will be better. also the dog is noisy as hell but nobody ever seems to mind that so whatever.
Music:"Black Betty (Ram Jam)" - Steely Dan"Hungry Like the Wolf" - Reel Big Fish"The Choice is Yours" - Black Sheep
Apr 22 2015
Rank #14: Armada
Saddle up! J and Collision run roughshod over Ernest Cline's new reference deployment device, Armada. Is Cline a one-trick pony, or is this book a dead horse, beaten? The answer is inside! Plus, some extra-good letters, a seriously exciting announcement, and our most appropriate recommendations yet!
Recommendations:Jeff Vandermeer, The Southern Reach TrilogyHelen DeWitt, The Last Samurai
Music:"Aces High" - Iron Maiden"Stand Still" - Gorilla Biscuits"Games" - Hüsker Dü"Space" - Galt MacDermot
Jul 20 2015
Rank #15: A Spell For Chameleon (w/ Jesse Dangerously)
Content Warning: This book is filled with some of the most atrocious sexual ethics you will ever encounter and it needed to be discussed. So there are some sensitive issues addressed on this week's show. Please be aware.
Piers Anthony wrote "A Spell For Chameleon" as a book for adults, and was told by his publisher that it would be released as a YA novel unless he 'dressed it up' and made it more mature. The result is a book filled with busty centaurs, awkwardly employed vocabulary words, and really bad puns. It's also morally bankrupt and is probably responsible for ruining the minds of many teenagers nationwide. Listen, if you dare, as I'm joined by Official Rap Legend Jesse Dangerously to dissect this shining example of bad bad BAD fantasy.
Bumper Music: "The Trees" by Rush, "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club
Aug 15 2014
Rank #16: Pet Sematary
For this holiday season, we've got a gift for you! It's a box with a cat in it—but you will never know if kitty lives and breathes or not, because this time around, we're schlepping up the hills and through the pages to get to Stephen King's mammoth Pet Sematary.
Semi-appealingly dickish young doctor Louis Creed takes us on a tour of Stephen King's Carnival of American Anxieties! Is my cat less of a man if I get him fixed? Am I? Is it okay if I like my son more than my daughter? Everybody cheats on their spouse, right? Can I just run away from my family? Is my cat super creepy all of a sudden? If I try to climb that fence, am I going to fall on a spike and ruin my balls? Should I tap ancient magic to create abominations in the face of all-conquering death?
It's all very relatable. Maybe. In any case, it's Stephen King, it's slow-building, and it's extremely, extremely gory. So grab your favorite shovel and get ready to bury what you can't let go, because it's long past time for us to take a trip through the works of our Maine man...
- Detective Pikachu (Nintendo 3ds)
- The Girls, by Emma Cline
- "Chesterfield Kings", by Jawbreaker
- "Diamonds and Rust", by Judas Priest
- "Here Comes the Gravediggaz" by The Gravediggaz
Dec 23 2018
Rank #17: Kitchen Confidential
In this episode, the fish truly don't fry in the kitchen, and the beans don't burn on the grill. It's a sizzler this time around, as J. and Collision read Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, the memoir that dares to combine dirty dishes with Motley Crüe's The Dirt. Sit down with Extremely Cool Guy Anthony Bourdain as he explains to you -- over and over again -- how extremely and ultimately cool he is. Plus a recap of the IDEOTVPOD team's trip to beautiful Minneapolis to hang out with The F Plus and way, way more puns than normal. Apologies if that's not to your taste!Recommendations:
Bill Buford, Heat
Mary Karr, The Worm-Farmer's Lament
"It's Me" by Action Bronson
"Feed Me More" by Jim Johnston
"I Like Food" by The Descendents
"Dine Alone" by Quicksand
Oct 14 2015
Rank #18: 12 Rules For Life: An Antidote to Chaos
The latest entry in the ever-popular "Actually, Focusing Exclusively on Yourself Is the Best Thing for Everybody" sweepstakes is Jordan Peterson's lengthy tome 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, which doesn't promise to unlock the life-changing magic of tidying up, but does tell you what to do if you have snakes in your closet. (Not a joke. Actual quote. If you have snakes in your closet, maybe take a quick look at the tidying up one before you take on dosing rules to medicate against chaos...)
Come along as we pull our pants up—as doth the mighty lobster scuttling—and investigate this all-conquering best-seller and YouTube sensation. Disney movies, a lot of anxieties about infidelity, not nearly enough about dragons, and the most inexplicable references to Cain and Abel since Aerosmith's "Lord of the Thighs". J.'s mad, Clsn's taking some extremely long walks, and Peterson is flexing on chumps in the comments and welcoming them to his straw man slaughterhouse. So keep your head and arms inside the car at all times, sit up straight and OH MY GOD ARE YOU CHEWING GUM WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU YOU SPIT THAT OUT RIGHT NOW MISTER.
Note 1: Yes, the cold open is actually from the book. No, we don't know why it sounds like the first draft of the theme song from Friends.
Note 2: Yes, this is a self-help book. No, we didn't apply our usual rule for judging a self-help book: is this more helpful or less helpful than Ice-T's twitter account. Is this book more helpful than Ice-T's twitter account? LOL FOH
- Prime Suspect
- "See America First", Ellen Willis
- The Rider
- "First Failure" by Gorilla Biscuits
- "Father Figure" by George Michael
- "Nothing Can Stop Me" by Heavens to Betsy
May 13 2018
Rank #19: Killer Crabs
Cue the music and lift your voices in song with us, because it's the mo-st won-der-ful time ... of the year: it's time to get back on the Guy N. Smith train with an absolute banger entitled Killer Crabs.
You know how last time we took on a Smith-crab joint, we thought "Wow, this one has EVERYTHING"? Well, it turns out that that one had a lot less than this one, because this one has everything. Everything is what this one has, at least if by the word "everything" you understand "just a whole LOT of sex and a briefcase-full-of-cash ménage à trois subplot that just screams "late '70s made-for-TV movie" and, of course, extremely invulnerable giant crabs eviscerating humans all over the beach.
Is there any defense against this scuttling menace? Have the crabs developed military tactics? Will any of our major characters have enough sex to say "You know what, that's about enough sex I've had right there"? Friends, allies against the crabs, secret lovers, there's only one viable path to an answer, and that path runs straight through the pages of ... Killer Crabs. Up Guy N. Smith, up the Irons, up IDEOTVPod and up the giant crabs!
- A Human Algorithm by Flynn Coleman
- Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay
- "Shellburn" by The Spinanes
- "Sideways" by Dinosaur Jr.
- "Dead Meat on the Beach" by Sonny and the Sunsets
Oct 13 2019
Rank #20: Valley of the Dolls
Like the movie says: fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night! But a grand one, very grand, with axes to grind, and scores to settle, and unflattering portraits of our friends to paint! Pop a 'doll and get ready to experience the ultimate high, as The Only Podcast That Loves You hops in the candy-pink convertible (with a dog painted on every door), picks up Our Pal Maura, and heads for ... the Valley of the Dolls.
- The One-Eyed Man, Ron Currie
- Girls on Film, Julie Burchill
- Borne, Jeff Vandermeer
- "Purple Pills" by D12
- "Adult Books" by X
- "Feelgood Hit of the Summer" by Queens of the Stone Age
Apr 30 2017