The Two Mikes

The Two Mikes
Ever wanted to talk with someone about a book you just read? You could just join a book group and talk about it, drink a little, veer off on tangents, work back around to the book again, and finally wrap it up by picking the next book.

But what happens when the book you just read is about about hungry zombies or a haunted house, and your Eat, Pray, Love–reading friends aren’t really into reading it, much less discussing its finer points? That’s what we’re here for. We Two Mikes will be your virtual book group for discussing new and interesting and old and half-forgotten horror books.

If you want to follow along with us, look at the next forbidden book on the table and start reading.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Episode 59: J. Knight's Risen

The Two Mikes are joined in the studio by special guest Lori Lewis, heavy-metal operatic soprano with Therion. We resurrect a forgotten zombie-type novel suggested by loyal listener Emphyrio. We find much to mumble over in this episode (now with better sound, we hope).

Don't forget to comment on our closing question.

It's Cocktail Time!

The Gut Shot
In a shot glass crush 2 or 3 pomegranate seeds
Add a dash of bitters (of your choice) and a dribble of pomegranate syrup.
Top with Bulleit bourbon (get it? Bullit?)
Flame a lemon on it.
Shoot it.

closing music: "Rise" by Owsley


Emphyrio said...

I couldn't have asked for a more thoughtful, interesting discussion. Lori's great, and seemingly affects the Mikes like a good night's sleep and a strong cup of coffee. Bring her back if you can!

Sorry it fell in the shadow of The Auctioneer, which sounds like a real gem -- but you three certainly understood the depth of thinking going on in the book in some ways that, I must admit, didn't occur to me.

Like NiceMike, I was particularly struck by the horror of Seth's punishment, and the device of presenting it enigmatically in the opening and with an "oooohhh" frisson at the end, when we understand what's happening to him -- and will for, probably, many decades.

The other unusually striking effect, to me, was setting up newspaperman Brant Kettering as protagonist, and letting him fulfill that role...until the scene in the church.

I was genuinely shocked, and felt the rules of storytelling had been broken. It almost turned me against the book. But Tom's interior life had been set up just enough that I could accept him taking over.

I've never seen such a transition in a story.

Strnad grew up in Kansas, and is of a liberal disposition.

I can imagine his unease living among the Saved who proclaim their lives are wonderful in the hands of the Lord, though they're actually as messy and desperate as the lives of the rest of us, being the emotional fuel behind writing the book.

Thanks for one of the best episodes ever. Long may you podcast.

Emphyrio said...

I think it incumbent upon an ethical person to become a vampire, and then use the powers for good.

The requirement being that the immortality and super-strength come with it.

This would allow one to a) make long-term investments for the benefit of humankind (for example, an untouchable archive, so that denizens of the year 5061 have more from this era than the works of L. Ron Hubbard, preserved between plates of glass in their desert mountain repository), and up-to-date, readable signage for the nuclear waste caverns in Finland. Not to mention more contemporary good works that compound-interest wealth could bring.

And b) prey upon horrible people. Just taking out the rapist-militias in the Congo would occupy a vampire for years.

This presupposes great competence, too. An existence like the eternal 12-year-old girl of Let Me In, so desperate and dicey that innocents must be fed upon, doesn't live up to this ethical bar.

Without a sustaining higher purpose, I would think immortality would be too lonely. Nobody could bear burying spouse after spouse, child after child -- or their emotional equivalents.

Hmm. I guess you could "convert" them.

Maybe this is Seth's motivation?