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Preview Episode (The Devil Rides Out)

Preview Episode (The Devil Rides Out)

New podcast preview episode!

No Deodorant In Outer Space - podcast

PODCAST:

S3E11P – Preview Episode (The Devil Rides Out)*

SUBJECT MATTER:

Book: “The Devil Rides Out (Black Magic #1) (1934)” by Dennis Wheatley

“The aristocratic Duke de Richleau faces new, sinister challenges in this macabre tale of the dark arts. When his good friend Simon Aron’s naïve curiosity is tested, the Duke, along with his everpatient friends Rex Van Ryn, and Richard Eaton, must intricately plot a means of both physical and spiritual rescue. But with Van Ryn’s affections for abeautiful woman caught in the web of Satanists, and Eaton’s ongoing scepticism, they all risk being brought to the verge of madness through dabbling with the powers of evil.

From London to the West Country, the slums of Paris to a Christian monastery, the action of this powerful occult thriller moves with fantastic, compelling force.” (from Amazon.com)

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Film: “The Devil Rides Out (1968)” by…

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Posted by on January 3, 2017 in News, Podcast

 

Review: “The Golden Compass” – Philip Pullman

New podcast episode!

No Deodorant In Outer Space - podcast

PODCAST:

S3E10B – The Golden Compass (book)*

SHOW NOTES:

We were so excited to cover this material over the last few months, I just couldn’t contain myself during the show. As a matter of fact, I grew increasingly relieved that I didn’t bother to read the book as the evening proceeded. Ironically, I was the asshole who suggested we read it as we started organizing this season. Guess the book served as a valuable lesson solely for Ryan and Wilk.  Now, they are in a better position to realize organized religion is a bane of the world. With that, I leave you with this; the wise Maud’Dib famously remarked, “There is no escape—we pay for the violence of our ancestors.”

– Rick

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Golden Compass a/k/a Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) (1995)” by Philip Pullman

Ryan: 4 Stars “…A tale told by a crackling…

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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in News, Podcast

 

Review: “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman (4 Stars)

A tale told by a crackling, comforting fire while the bitter northern winds gust dangerously against the window panes outside.

This book starts a bit slowly at first, but then kicks up into high-adventure and keeps this pace to the end. Pullman’s writing is very good and he manages to capture a perfect voice for the main character of Lyra as she negotiates this strange world populated by anthropomorphic soul-animals, witches, ghasts, and armored bears.

In reading this book, I felt reminiscent of the that sweet, nostalgic tone achieved by C.S. Lewis in “The Narnia Chronicles.” Perhaps this is simply due to the omniscient point of view in which the narrators guide one along in these comparable fantasy works. There is something comforting when you feel as if a story is being told you by a dear old friend while at the same time you’re being truly immersed in the narrative. That is a subtle art in which the author must carefully balance the use of the narrative voice so as not to feel intrusive or too expositional. I think there is something in the human psyche that responds to this mode of storytelling that harkens back to our ancient oral traditions.

The work is not particularly a “Christian” one, even though I am mentioning The Narnia Chronicles which are more overtly Christian in their telling. Pullman does draw on the dogma, practices, history and teachings of the Christian Religion to create his fantasy world and also to better illustrate what is happening and drive the plot along. However, unlike The Narnia Chronicles, the institutional nature of religion plays a much bigger and more nefarious role in The Golden Compass. That being said, this particular tale is not overly caught up with this theme. During some portions the religious aspect is missing altogether—though I admit that it does make up an important part of the book. So in essence, I am saying that however critical this book might be toward the institutional aspect of religion—it is not solely concerned with that point.

The world created by Pullman feels rather unique, even though it is a secondary world not unlike our own (in many ways). He devises a magical system utilizing a special dust-like substance; and souls that live outside the body in animal forms called daemons. This feels very authentic and manages to be quite delightful. Probably the strongest and most developed part of the book is the relationship Lyra has with her own daemon.

Other elements of the story come flying in as Lyra (the protagonist), takes up her quest to deliver a magical item to a far off and dangerous land. She meets interesting, fun and compelling characters all along the way. My only gripe is that at times, these non-player-character-types seem to drop on and off screen as needed. So too, does the adventure seem to proceed along one step at a time. The feel of this story is that as the protagonist progresses, the author foreshadows the next event, a challenge is overcome and the protagonist advances to the next level. A bit mechanical—not exactly contrived, but somewhat stilted. The writing is really great and the plot has a lot of fun and interesting elements that leave you anxious to see things through. There is just something a bit….in the background…missing… Perhaps it was the dropping away of secondary characters without a lot of follow through on their individual subplots? But, maybe that would have just slowed things down? I’m not sure.

All in all, I have no real problems with this book. It’s very well written, a great read and I’d definitely recommend it and am curious to read more. Mainly though, the author has a great voice for his story telling and that is what really pulls you in.

Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: “No Deodorant In Outer Space”. The podcast is available on iTunes, Tune-In Radio, Stitcher, Google Play Music, YouTube or our website (www.nodeodorant.com).

Episode Link: https://nodeodorantinouterspace.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/review-the-golden-compass-philip-pullman

 
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Posted by on December 20, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Review: “Man In The High Castle” by Philip K. Dick (4 1/2 Stars)

Review: “Man In The High Castle” by Philip K. Dick (4 1/2 Stars)

A story of subtle nuances containing picturesque fables that compound reality in philosophic deep strokes.

This story is told from seven different points of view which include the unlikely characters of: a judo instructor; an antique dealer; a publisher; and a craftsman. Not what you would expect from a story about an alternate history where the axis powers (Japan and Germany) win World War II and divide up pieces of the world.

Most refreshing, was PKD’s choice of setting the story in a timeline after World War II. He establishes a plot just far enough along that the main historical players are still walking around in the background, which roots the story into the reader’s subconscious. Yet, the world has moved on from active conflict. The tale centers around a society that is getting on with things. A drawback for this is that he’s not giving you much action like you might normally get in an alternate history centered around World War II.

That said, there is always some violence lurking in the background (on the other side of reality or the other side of a door). The story is full of gamesmanship, surreptitious politics and cultural conflicts. However, as noted by other reviewers, this is mostly in the inner monologues of the Point-of-View, characters, which proves fascinating as the characters continually strategize and second guess their ways through the surrounding clash of cultures.

This book felt very different when compared to some of the other works by PKD I have read (not many). The prose felt the tightest and most polished I’ve seen from him. That said, PKD seemed to make a purposeful, stylistic choice when building out the voice for the individual characters and he wrote many of them in a staccato, broken-type of prose when monologuing their internal thoughts. This gave the sentences an “alien-like” feel and threw off the reading a bit, but was not too distracting. The distinction between thoughts and dialog also served as a continual reminder to the reader that the current reality is not the same reality that they themselves inhabit.

In typical PKD fashion there is a never-ending stripping away of reality’s onion skin layers. Behind everything going on, someone or some thing is driving the currents of life in different directions. The characters, at times, all feel lost and flailing among the forces around them—but then again—don’t we all have these moments?

To find order and meaning, many of the characters turn to an ancient Chinese divination book that acts as an oracle. The randomizing patterns in this tome make reference to philosophical expositions which can put a certain “lens” on current events or things to come. Yet, as with most fortunetelling, interpretation is everything. PKD does manage to find a way to use this device in a masterful and unconventional way and tie many of the plot points together. The denouement is simply bursting with all the existential genius which this author is famous for. Just a great picture of how much, seemingly unrelated things can affect other things.

So much of this story is focused on the individual. So readers looking for Nazi showdowns against Imperial Japan might be a bit disappointed. There is action in this book and it is powerful and pointed when it happens, but as I said previously, it is used sparingly. Instead, PKD uses the historical and cultural ques of the Axis powers to build his world in a framework that echoes the existential struggles facing his characters.

As each of the individuals struggles to find their place in the world, so too do the new nations ebb and flow in living reality (or unreality), finding their new place on the changed landscape.

This is well worth a read and probably a re-read. PKD’s prose is not intimidating, though it may put off some at first, it always compliments the heavier philosophies running beneath the surfaces of his works. The Man in the High Castle is no different. However, it feels much tighter. The ending though, is probably typical of a PKD work. A great read for a clear mind, but not necessarily a casual get away.

Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: “No Deodorant In Outer Space”. The podcast is available on iTunes, Tune-In Radio, Stitcher, Google Play Music, YouTube or our website.

Episode Link: https://nodeodorantinouterspace.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/review-the-man-in-the-high-castle-philip-k-dick

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2016 in Book Reviews

 

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Preview Episode (The Man in the High Castle)

Preview Episode (The Man in the High Castle)

New podcast preview

No Deodorant In Outer Space - podcast

PODCAST:

S3E9P – Preview Episode (The Man in the High Castle)*

SUBJECT MATTER:

Book: “The Man in the High Castle (1962)” by Philip K. Dick

““The single most resonant and carefully imagined book of Dick’s career.” – New York Times

It’s America in 1962. Slavery is legal once again. The few Jews who still survive hide under assumed names. In San Francisco, the I Ching is as common as the Yellow Pages. All because some twenty years earlier the United States lost a war—and is now occupied by Nazi Germany and Japan.

This harrowing, Hugo Award-winning novel is the work that established Philip K. Dick as an innovator in science fiction while breaking the barrier between science fiction and the serious novel of ideas. In it Dick offers a haunting vision of history as a nightmare from which it may just be possible to wake.

Winner of the…

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Posted by on November 1, 2016 in News, Podcast

 

Review: “Hellraiser (1987)” by Clive Barker (Ashley Laurence)

New podcast episode!

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2016 in News, Podcast

 

Review: “The Hellbound Heart (1986)” by Clive Barker

Review: “The Hellbound Heart (1986)” by Clive Barker

New podcast episode!

No Deodorant In Outer Space - podcast

PODCAST:

S3E8B – The Hellbound Heart(book)*

SHOW NOTES:

Prior to this recording, Ryan, Beam, and I danced and frolicked in a pentagram of fire deep in the Illinois woods with aching hopes to summon the Cenobite priests from the netherworld. With eyes rolled back, Ryan drooled on our sacrifice as he mumbled sacred text from ancient alien scripts. At the conclusion of Ryan’s prayer, Beam pulled a lever actuating tension to the hooks surgically fastened deep within the creature. The moment the animal was devoured, we felt the presence of Wilk and Laura and commenced to record a podcast about Clive Barker’s “Hellbound Heart” that transformed and enhanced our Earthly senses and perspectives.

-Rick

WRITTEN BOOK REVIEWS:

Book: “The Hellbound Heart (1986)” by Clive Barker

Ryan:3 1/2 Stars “… A carnal visage of thrill-based plotting that is both fast and to the point…that being the tip of…

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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in News, Podcast

 

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