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I Don't Even Own a Television

This is a podcast about godawful books. Each episode, hosts J. W. Friedman and Chris Collision sit down with or without some guests to discuss books that all of them wish they hadn't read.

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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


9 Jun 2014

Rank #1

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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. Recommendations: Neal Stephenson, Seveneves Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea Music: "Freddy's Dead" by Fishbone "Fred's Mood" by Milt Jackson "Mr. Roboto" by Styx

1hr 33mins

12 Dec 2016

Rank #2

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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

1hr 11mins

22 May 2015

Rank #3

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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! Recommendations: Wanderlust, Rebecca Solnit Workshop of the Telescopes, Blue Öyster Cult Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Music: "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

1hr 23mins

25 Nov 2015

Rank #4

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Handbook for Mortals

Because YOU demanded it (several years ago), and because this is our annual special rule-breaking holiday episode, we finally whip out our wands and make appear an episode about one-time YA teapot tempest Handbook for Mortals! Rock and roll, hair dye, motorcycle rides, dads, moms, tarot, magic, magik, and ... typos, cliches, and what may well be literature's first-ever love octagon. Probably the worst prose since Eye of Argon, the most all-italics pages since Wild Animus, and the overall harshest toke we've taken in a long, long time. Recommendations: Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad The Future Is Here and Everything Must Be Destroyed by Colette Arrand Music Thoughts: "Red Vines" by Aimee Mann "The Final Countdown" by some kids "Black Magic Woman" by Santana

1hr 59mins

22 Dec 2019

Rank #5

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Necroscope (w/ Chris Collision)

"Vampirism, Necromancy, Supernatural Mayhem... and Screaming Bloody Terror." Um... yep. That's what's in this book all right. Join Chris Collision and myself as we rip the guts out of this novel and dance around with them in an autopsy room. Note: This is the first episode with a new microphone so there are some small audio issues but you will deal with them because you literally have no choice. Music: "Graveyard Chamber" by Gravediggaz, "Night of the Vampire" by Roky Erickson


10 Sep 2014

Rank #6

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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

1hr 15mins

22 Apr 2015

Rank #7

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The Eye of Argon (w/ K Thor Jensen)

Writer and cartoonist K Thor Jensen joins me this week as we discuss the triumphant tale of the barbarian *ahem* Grignr as he invokes the god *ahem* Mrifk in his fight against the evil forces of *ahem* Agafnd and also some kind of gemstone that turns into a giant slime or blob or something like that. "The Eye of Argon" is notorious within fantasy and sci-fi fandom circles, and with good reason. If you're already familiar with this story, you know what to expect. If you aren't, HOLY CRAP DROP WHAT YOU'RE DOING RIGHT THIS INSTANT AND FIND IT. This book/story/novella is friggin bonkers and worth every second it takes to read. There are some audio issues at points in this recording but I know you will all deal with it because you are troopers. Bumper music: "He-Man" theme song, "Desert Rain" by Iced Earth


21 Oct 2014

Rank #8

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"Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" w/ Centa Schumacher

In this episode, all pretense of structure is abandoned when Centa and I discuss "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche", a guide to American manliness by Bruce Feirstein. And YES, I know it was Bobby Riggs and not Jon MacEnroe, I messed up, yeesh. Bumper Music: "Now You're a Man" by DVDA, "The Anvil Chorus", "Be a Man" by "Macho Man" Randy Savage (pbuh)

1hr 2mins

8 Nov 2014

Rank #9

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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

1hr 6mins

20 Jul 2015

Rank #10

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Candy Girl (w/ Lemon)

Collision and J welcome tart-tongued guest Lemon from the F Plus to lay bare the non-magic and total lack of mystery of Diablo Cody's valentine to herself, "Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper". Take a peek behind the curtain and behold a book in which everybody talks exactly like... Diablo Cody. Lotta laffs this time around, and some of the worst prose and opinions we've seen yet. Recommendations:"Please Kill Me" and "The Other Hollywood" by Legs McNeil "Girl In a Band" by Kim Gordon "Playing the Whore" by Melissa Gira GrantMusic:"Scorpio's Dance" by Shocking Blue "Skyway" by the Replacements "Tip Drill" by Nelly (feat. St Lunatics)

1hr 18mins

9 Jul 2015

Rank #11

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Snow Crash

Happy holidays! Fresh from our wonderful listeners voting us into the AV Club’s Top 10 Podcasts, IDEOTVPOD scrapes the bottom of the barrel — no, the part actually touching the ground, where it’s gross and grubby and slimy — and gives the people what they want: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. Extra-special music, live-and-in-person dialogue trees, and a dramatic reading from J. that makes this dumb book sound about eleven times as good as it is. Hop on your plank, strap on your samurai swords, and get ready to hear a lot about how great hackers are from one extremely notable hack, Neal Stephenson Recommendations: Pontypool “Men Explain Lolita to Me”, Rebecca Solnit The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories, Ann VanderMeer & Jeff VanderMeer Music: “Liquid Swords” by GZA “What About Me?” by Jim Johnston “Pizza Boy USA” by Lou Monte “Close Your Mouth (It’s Christmastime)” by The Free Design

1hr 20mins

22 Dec 2015

Rank #12

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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, HeatMary Karr, The Worm-Farmer's Lament Songs:"It's Me" by Action Bronson"Feed Me More" by Jim Johnston"I Like Food" by The Descendents"Dine Alone" by Quicksand


14 Oct 2015

Rank #13

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"Chariots of the Gods" w/ Centa Schumacher

Hope you guys like "Drunk History" cuz that's what we accidentally made this week. Join Centa Schumacher and I as we have an obviously intoxicated late-night discussion about a piece of completely bonkers pseudo-history called "Chariots of the Gods" and wind up just sort of rambling about history and the X-Files for an hour due to the influence of alcoholic beverages and marital bliss. We debut a new segment called "Plot in 60 Seconds" and get down to the nitty gritty about ancient Egypt, aryan space aliens, and incorrect biblical references. Bumper Music: "ATLients" by Outkast, "Space Oddity" by David Bowie


24 Jul 2014

Rank #14

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A more elegant fiction from a more civilized age is John Boorman and Bill Stair's novelization of John Boorman's film script (for) Zardoz. It's a truly crazypants vision of a post-apocalyptic (and mostly pantsless) future, crafted by a couple men so laser-focused on breasts that you could well call them set adrift on mammary bliss. NOTE: this was brought to us by the F Plus' inimitable Lemon, who couldn't join us for this recording session because life is a savage wasteland patrolled by brutes, beset by beasts, and plagued by ... plagues. We hope all's well on his end and that his lack won't won't reduce your zest for the episode. So if you're ready to delve within and achieve enlightenment the Zardoz / IDEOTV way, snug up your singlet, prepare yourself for skin-to-skin knowledge transmission (not really), and mash that DOWNLOAD button to access the far-off and mustachioed lands ... of Zardoz (really). Supplemental hate reading: Gary Shteyngart on Zardoz. Thanks as always to our new sponsor, American Slide Whistle, Inc.!

1hr 48mins

8 Dec 2019

Rank #15

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"Stranger in a Strange Land" w/ Adam Marler

OH NO. I'M TACKLING A SACRED COW. i will gladly admit that talking about this book was my idea b/c i found it really off-putting in so many ways. after researching, i found out that this book is actually held in high regard by lots of people. guess what? those people are WRONG. it's really awful. join myself and internet ne're-do-well Adam Marler (twitter's @Dr_Cop) as we talk about "rocket ships", sexy secreataries, and Robert Heinlein's crazy sex life. i promise you will walk away with a new respect for anybody who could stand to be around Mr. Heinlein for more than an hour at a time.


1 Aug 2014

Rank #16

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Casino Royale (w/ Lauren Parker)

This episode, join J. and Collision and special guest Lauren Parker as we roll the dice -- and lose -- with Ian Fleming's first James Bond novel, Casino Royale.  We return to the thrilling days of the Cold War, when Great Britain stood alone against the Soviet menace, and the only way to way to stem the tide of communism was to send middle-aged men on gambling junkets.  Cars will be chased.  The patriarchy will be defended.  And oh how preferences will be explained!  From pre-mission massages to rock-ribbed misogyny to sexual sadism and gay panic, this episode's got it all, because this book's got it all, and none of it is good.RecommendationsCocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood"From Sleep", Max RichterBattleborn, Claire Vaye WatkinsMusicOh Bondage, Up Yours! -- X-Ray SpexWord is Bond -- Brand NubianAzz Everywhere -- Big FreediaThunderball -- Johnny Cash

1hr 17mins

10 Nov 2015

Rank #17

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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.Recommendations: Kurt Wallander mysteries, Henning Mankell "To Be, Or Not to Be", Masha Gessen "An Off Pursuit", Joan Murray Music: "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

2hr 16mins

18 Feb 2018

Rank #18

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Scar Tissue (w/ Ben Firke)

Today I'm joined by playwright and fellow music-obsessive Ben Firke and we discuss "Scar Tissue", the autobiography of Red Hot Chili Peppers' Anthony Keidis. We shed some light on our respective pasts with the group, talk about the book, and crack each other up a lot with impressions. This is a good one.

1hr 15mins

26 Nov 2014

Rank #19

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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.Recommendations: Girl, Interrupted, Susanna Kaysen Best Seat in the House, Justin Roberts "The Rise of the Valkyries", Seyward Darby Music: "Positive Hardcore" by Good Clean Fun "All Lies" by NoMeansNo "Mistadobalina" by Del The Funky Homosapien

1hr 29mins

4 Sep 2017

Rank #20