07-08-13 UPDATE:Podcast Update:Time to Read Episode 106: Helene Wecker
Here's the one-hundred and sixth 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.
"..comedy and horror are almost the same thing, it's just the lighting is different."
It's possible to have too much fun when you're talking to Joe Hill about 'NOS4A2.' That's because Hill himself had too much fun writing this, and as a result, we overshot the our studio time with little effort.
Hill is incredibly articulate about his writing, genre fiction and fiction in general. He's game for questions about how and why he creates. We explored the creation of 'NOS4A2,' a finely written, beautifully detailed novel. Not surprisingly, a lot of personal stuff is in there, transmuted and transformed. 'NOS4A2' is a novel about the terrors of parenthood. They are plentiful and omnipresent. As a parent you become hyperaware of all the ways that the world can hurt your child. You imagination kicks into overdrive, turning every facet of life into a possible threat.
This is a problem that's aggravated by those believe that every threat should be guarded against. That's not possible. At some point, better sooner than later, you just have to let your child live in this world. 'NOS4A2' exaggerates the dangers, giving them supernatural origins and strengths. But with those strengths come supernatural weaknesses as well, and Hill and I discussed the parent terror levels in fact and fiction.
But 'NOS4A2' is also what Hill calls his "graduate thesis" on the horror novel itself. As such, he openly acknowledges his father's work, with many, many references that will delight readers of Stephen King. This was another area where we talked about Hill's real life and the fiction mixing. He acknowledges the sheer fun of all the in-jokes and name checking, including one very literary author.
The thing about speaking with Joe Hill for me is that I know I am hanging out with another book freak, one who has some very wide-open ideas about reading. To hear our conversation, just follow this link to the MP3 audio file.
New to the Agony Column
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