White Whale Episode 17: Sailors & Sailors

This week, we have sailors in both Ulysses and Moby Dick — what are the odds?! Join us for an unusually cogent section from James Joyce and an unusually all-over-the-place chunk of chapters from Herman Melville. What is it, Freaky Friday over here?

White Whale is our latest long-read project, now in audio form for your enjoyment! Each episode, we tackle chunks of two “white whale” reads: Ulysses by James Joyce and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, aka: books that we have avoided reading because they are so dense and difficult.

Click here to listen to Episode 17: Sailors & Sailors on Audiomack.

November 22, 2022 at 9:08 am Leave a comment

White Whale Episode 16: Midnights

We’ve reached ~midnight~ in both Ulysses and Moby-Dick, a fact which just so happens to coincide with a certain album release. This week turned into a mashup of James “I’m the problem it’s me” Joyce, Herman “the monster on the hill” Melville, and Taylor Swift, so buckle up and explore some anti-heroes with us on our latest episode!

White Whale is our latest long-read project, now in audio form for your enjoyment! Each episode, we tackle chunks of two “white whale” reads: Ulysses by James Joyce and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, aka: books that we have avoided reading because they are so dense and difficult.

Click here to listen to Episode 16: Midnights on Audiomack.

October 25, 2022 at 12:01 am Leave a comment

White Whale Episode 15: Ambergris

Our latest episode of White Whale features a mysterious woman giving birth, men getting drunk, and waxy intestinal materials! You can guess which things are in which book.

White Whale is our latest long-read project, now in audio form for your enjoyment! Each episode, we tackle chunks of two “white whale” reads: Ulysses by James Joyce and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, aka: books that we have avoided reading because they are so dense and difficult.

Click here to listen to Episode 15: Ambergris on Audiomack.

October 11, 2022 at 7:07 am Leave a comment

White Whale Episode 14: Pretty Pretty Princess

Join us on Sandymount Strand and in the “delirious throb” of a whale herd’s panic in Episode 14: Pretty Pretty Princess!

White Whale is our latest long-read project, now in audio form for your enjoyment! Each episode, we tackle chunks of two “white whale” reads: Ulysses by James Joyce and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, aka: books that we have avoided reading because they are so dense and difficult.

Click here to listen to Episode 14: Pretty Pretty Princess on Audiomack.

October 4, 2022 at 7:43 am Leave a comment

White Whale Episode 13: Return of the Folio Leviathans

Aaaaaaand we’re back! After our unplanned hiatus, it’s time to dive back into our White Whale reads to discuss some really depressing whale hunts in Episode 13: Return of the Folio Leviathans.

White Whale is our latest long-read project, now in audio form for your enjoyment! Each episode, we tackle chunks of two “white whale” reads: Ulysses by James Joyce and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, aka: books that we have avoided reading because they are so dense and difficult.

Click here to listen to Episode 13: The Return of the Folio Leviathans on Audiomack.

September 20, 2022 at 7:58 am Leave a comment

Far from the Light of Heaven by Tade Thompson

I love a book about Space Problems. Seriously. A lot of folks find Andy Weir tedious, for example, but I could read about how to grow potatoes on Mars all day. Learning to communicate with an alien life form that uses a base-six numerical system and echolocation? Sign me the eff up. Here for it. 

But the thing is, that’s not the stuff great sci-fi is made of. It’s interesting from a technological standpoint, but it’s not necessarily an interesting story. And if we’re reading fiction…there should be a story, right?

Tade Thompson appears to agree, and his novel Far from the Light of Heaven bears that out. You can bet I took artistic licence,” he says of the science of his book. “This is a novel, not Popular Mechanics. Story comes first.”

Thompson’s novel combines Space Problems with a real, human (?) emotionally resonant story. Sometimes he gets a little hand-wavy about the Science of it all, but that’s because ultimately, the Science is only sort of the point. The real point is how people respond when faced with problems heightened by the pressures and high stakes of space travel. 

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September 2, 2022 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment

Please pardon the interruption

Readers! As you may have guessed already, we will be late in posting episodes 13 and 14.

Don’t worry, we’re still committed to finishing these White Whales. But like our favorite celebrity couple Quishmael, we’ve run into some unforeseen circumstances that have forced us to cut this whale loose from the ship–but only temporarily.

Thank you for your patience!

August 24, 2022 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach feels like Jennifer Egan woke up one morning and said, “Eff it, I can write a better WWII book than all of you,” and then did it. The only issue is…it’s still about World War II, and it still has all of the inherent flaws of that genre. 

So. The book starts with young Anna Kerrigan and her father, Eddie, visiting a business associate of Eddie’s. Dexter Styles is a notorious gangster and nightclub owner who has a daughter about Anna’s age, and in order to cover up his nefarious activities, every associate he works with brings his family to Dexter’s house when they meet. Anna’s mother isn’t able to come, having stayed home with Anna’s sister, Lydia, whose disability is unspecified but likely cerebral palsy. Anna and Dexter’s daughter play, Dexter and Eddie talk, and then there’s a weird bit where Anna takes off her shoes and wades into the sea while Dexter admires her chutzpah. 

Not long after this, Eddie disappears, leaving Anna, Lydia, and their mother on their own. Anna grows up and finds a job in a Naval Yard, then becomes the first female diver for the Navy; Lydia dies after visiting the sea for the first and only time; their mother moves back to her family’s farm in Minnesota. 

Oh yeah, and Anna has a torrid affair with Dexter. As one does with…married former business associates of one’s father. Who might have actually killed one’s father. 

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August 23, 2022 at 1:30 am Leave a comment

White Whale Episode 12: That Wicked Siren

It’s time for this week’s episode of White Whale! In Episode 12: That Wicked Siren, Kate grapples with bodily functions in Ulysses while Corey is stuck in the doldrums of whale processing in Moby Dick.

White Whale is our latest long-read project, now in audio form for your enjoyment! Each episode, we tackle chunks of two “white whale” reads: Ulysses by James Joyce and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, aka: books that we have avoided reading because they are so dense and difficult.

Click here to listen to Episode 12: That Wicked Siren on Audiomack!

CFB  

I’d like to tell you about Ann Johnson, lady whaler.

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August 3, 2022 at 6:57 am Leave a comment

White Whale Episode 11: Wandering Indeed

And we’re back! We took a brief hiatus midway through our White Whale run and will now be back, bringing you our hottest takes every other week.

White Whale is our latest long-read project, now in audio form for your enjoyment! Each episode, we tackle chunks of two “white whale” reads: Ulysses by James Joyce and Moby Dick by Herman Melville, aka: books that we have avoided reading because they are so dense and difficult.

Click here to listen to Episode 11: Wandering Indeed on Audiomack!

CW: Violent whale death

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July 21, 2022 at 7:48 am Leave a comment

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