08-22-15 UPDATE:Podcast Update: Time to Read Episode 212: Felicia Day, 'You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)'
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Here's the two-hundred and tweflth episode of my series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. Hitting the how many?-year mark, I'm going to make an effort to stay ahead hopelessly behind, so that podcast listeners can get the same sort of "sneak preview" effect that radio listeners get each Friday morning some kind of echo effect. This week, I seem to be on top of the game, but who knows what the hell might happen. Whatever ity was, its happened. I am hoping to stay back up and stumbling.
This particular Time to Read has lots of material not in the main interiew, so make sure you give it a listen.
Hazel is talking to her unborn child, preparing that child for the world that is being undone and created anew right before her eyes. It begins in our workaday life when a blonde woman attacks a victim on the subway before Helen's eyes. It's the first observed evidence of what comes to be called Blonde Rabies, a plague that turns any woman with blonde hair into a crazed pretty unstoppable killer. It's the beginning of the end.
Complicating this is the fact that Helen, a grad student is pregnant with her married advisor's child. Sex in all its weird compulsions, proves to be our undoing. It's not as if this should be surprising.
What is surprising, and pleasantly so, is that Schultz does everything right to bring an almost absurd premise to life. Her characters are closely observed and seamlessly, simultaneously both likable and annoying. As her speculative premise unfolds she builds her world in a small scale but with big implications. 'The Blondes' is a very odd novel; it's very funny, very dark, both uncomfortably realistic and sarcastically surreal.
Schultz creates a compelling cast of characters and tells the story in a very engaging voice. We like Hazel, even if we disapprove of some of her decisions. And the angry blondes who seem capable of bringing an end to civilization are weirdly sympathetic. It's a true pleasure to read this novel and enjoy the page-turning plot, the mordant humor, the characters we care about and as well feel the rumblings intellectual and cultural fireworks underneath the surface fury. Here's a book that perfectly combines summer reading with the long thoughts of fall. No matter what color your hair is, it is true you'll have more fu when you're reading 'The Blondes.'