In an artful and entertaining episode, the boys dissect the line between high art and lowbrow, art and entertainment, and they consider whether they are snobs (yes) and whether that matters (doubtful). They also discuss Jamie Quatro’s “The Anointing.”
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- Jamie Quatro’s “The Anointing” from her debut story collection, I Want to Show You More. (It taught Brian what a saguaro was.)
- The varied novels of Michael Chabon.
- Books on the entertainment side of the fence: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Twilight, Harry Potter.
- Literary agent Donald Maass is loving the art/commercial blend in the 21st century novel.
- He cites Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, which Roxane Gay found to be a hopeless novel.
- Ben is no fan of Rohinton Mistry’s Family Matters (which, sadly, is different than this Family Mattters). He does enjoy Sam Lipsyte and John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces.
- Brian found timely inspiration in Philip Wylie’s Gladiator.
- Stephen King explained the popular/literary divide in terms of readership in his introduction to The Gunslinger.
- Ben finally finished Christine Schutt’s Florida, and it was worth taking his time on it.
- For books that bridge the popular/literary divide, Brian recommends David Benioff (The 25th Hour, City of Thieves, or When the Nine Rolls Over), anything by Aimee Bender, Charles Baxter’s The Feast of Love, and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’s Watchmen (don’t skip the pirate story).
- Jon reconsiders everything he thought about prostitution by listening to Superfreakonomics on CD.