Overdue

with Craig Getting and Andrew Cunningham

Overdue is a podcast about the books you've been meaning to read. Join Andrew and Craig each week as they tackle a new title from their backlog. Classic literature, obscure plays, goofy murder mysteries: they'll read it all, one overdue book at a time.

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    Andrew's Appointment Television co-hosts Kathryn VanArendonk and Margaret H. Willison join us for a chat about siblings, rivalry, and this classic of modern parenting lit from Adele Faber and Elain Mazlish. At the time of recording, Andrew's fatherhood was looming on the horizon, so Kathryn kindly shared with us how relevant the book felt to her own parenting experience. And don't worry, Craig and Margaret had plenty of wisdom to share as well. Caveat lictor: Margaret's here, so there's swearing.

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    It's time to make some more choices! Thanks to a benevolent small business owner, we've been transported back to the time of Arthurian legend and must face the biggest choice of all: food service or secretarial work! Actually, we make plenty of fun choices in Ellen Kushner's CYOA riff on the Knights of the Round Table. So join us for a bunch of boons, magic, and mannerpunk!

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    Philip Pullman followed up The Golden Compass with The Subtle Knife, the adventure of Lyra and Will on their quest to uncover the secret of Dust and (maybe, just maybe) save the world from evil forces within the Church. Like a lot of Second Stories in a Trilogy, the book builds on its predecessor's world by introducing new friends and foes and ending with a cliffhanger that ensures you'll come back for Book Three. We just have one question for Mr. Pullman: where are the bears?

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    Welcome to HELLBOYS, a Divine Comedy podcast from the boys here at Overdue! On our newest show-within-a-show, we're reading Robert and Jean Hollander's translation of Dante's Divine Comedy a few cantos at a time. Some Patreon supporters get these episodes monthly, but every two months we'll combine them for general consumption. First you'll hear our introduction to the show (and the translation) and our chat about Inferno I-VII. Then our journey alongside Virgil and Dante continues with an episode on Inferno VIII-XVI. Talking points include violent punishments for violent people, Dante's (literal) burn book, and Hollander's helpful student Edward. Find out more about how to get these episodes monthly at patreon.com/overduepod.

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    The horror, the horror! It's time to talk about colonialism, y'all. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness has inspired plenty of stories about a dude diving deep into nature to find another dude, so we figured we'd get to the...heart...of the matter. Listen and learn what exactly the horror, the horror means and why some notable writers want nothing to do with this classic text of 19th-century imperialism.

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    Behind Closed Doors is about a relationship that seems too perfect to be true - except that instead of arguing about the “right” way to load the dishwasher and the way the other person leaves cabinets hanging open all the time, Jack Angel is a full-on sociopath who locks his wife Grace in a windowless basement room and plans to do the same to her younger sister. It’s hampered a bit by dry, straightforward prose, but it’s a page-turner nevertheless.

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    "What if the Napoleonic Wars but with magic?" is a great elevator pitch for Susanna Clark's sprawling novel, but it only scratches the surface of what Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell has to offer. Footnotes, Farnums, and factoids abound in this fun work of historical/alternate fiction.

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    CW: This week’s book revolves around sexual assault, which we discuss in the episode. We don’t read the specific passage and we try to be as general as possible, but feel free to skip this one if you’re not up to it. Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak is a pitch-perfect account of what it’s like to be Awkward In High School, in ways that are both funny and sad. That a two-decade-old novel still feels so relevant to our current cultural moment probably speaks poorly of us.

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    This episode, instead of a book we read YOUR questions! Topics range from the five characters you'd meet at an Overdue dinner party to what makes a great diaper. We also have a blast chatting with our livestream audience. As always, thanks to our Patreon supporters for making these bonus episodes possible! Visit patreon.com/overduepod to find out how you can support the show.

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    Michel Faber's 2002 novel The Crimson Petal and the White has been hailed as a Dickensian novel with a saucy, modern narrator. How exactly does he pull that off in an epic story steeped in the history of Victorian London? And how does he play with our own expectations of the period? Find out in this week's episode!

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    In this week's episode, we talk about the very nature of what makes a superhero (or an anti-hero, or a supervillain) a superhero (or anti-hero, or supervillain), in between talking about our ideal Father's Day and how Harry Potter and the D&D alignment chart informs how people of a certain age think about all fictional characters.

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    Lorraine Hansberry's classic play A Raisin in the Sun endures for its insightful portrait of a black family in Chicago fighting for a better life. Inspired by her own family's experience with racial housing discrimination, it's a complex piece about who gets to get ahead, how, and why. And of course, we had to balance the gravity of this gem from Hansberry's brief but momentous career with a deep dive on where raisins come from.

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    Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived In The Castle shares some qualities with her best-known short story The Lottery; both feature small New England towns that are the site of some unfortunate mob action. Join us for a conversation about non-supernatural creepiness, unreliable narrators, and early flights.

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    Our voyage ends with Book 24, which includes one more amazing Odysseus lie and a heaping serving of deus ex machina. Then it's time to reflect on our journey from high school English students enduring a long reading assignment to olive-oiled men who love a good epic poem. Thanks for joining us on this trek through Emily Wilson's translation of Homer's Odyssey!

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    Caveat lictor: this episode contains mild spoilers for Drowning Ruth. Christina Schwarz's debut novel weaves together three main threads: historical fiction, melodramatic mystery, and sisterhood. The result is an interesting portrait of women in Depression-era Wisconsin striving for self-determination. Additional talking points include knock-knock tips, Jonathan Franzen's Oprah complaints, and the Tooth Fairy's pyramid scheme.