This week we talk about some things that can go terribly, terribly wrong when an author tries to write a love story. Then we review Eleanor & Park (affiliate links: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository), a love story in which the author goes right every time. We were going to play a game as well, about lovers in fiction, but we talked about Eleanor and Park too long and too animatedly, and we ran out of time. We will do the lovers in fiction game another time. It’s a good one. You can listen to the podcast in the embedded player below or download the file directly here to take with you on the go.
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Here are the contents of the podcast if you’d like to skip around:
Starting at 0:52 – We talk about how love stories fail. Our catalog of pitfalls is listed below:
1:02 – Insta-love! Down with it!
4:18 – Love triangles. I’m over them. I’m not saying you can never not ever have a love triangle ever again, but at least for now, I’d like to be on a break from them.
7:04 – Love that is too pat, like if the characters have one compatible attribute and that’s the only reason for their love.
9:14 – Authors failing to compensate for weird things in the relationship, like significant age difference or power imbalances
14:15 – Horrible descriptions of physical attraction. And here are the promised #BadSex tweets for your edification and delight.
16:57 – The trope that finding someone very, very annoying probably means that they are your True Love.
Starting at 17:40 – We review Eleanor and Park. Short version: We super, super, super loved it. We talked about it for almost an hour, and you are hearing the massively cut-down version of our discussion of it. If you haven’t read Eleanor and Park so far, you should go for it now.
40:30 – 42:30ish – The reason you don’t hear much from Whiskey Jenny about the sad parts of this book is that she was crying really hard when I was talking about them. Whiskey Jenny cries at everything.
Starting at 49:10 – I recommend that we read A Visit from the Goon Squad for next time. You may fairly say that it is Much Too Late to read this book, but too bad! We’re doing it! To hell with timeliness!
Producer: Captain Hammer
Photo credit: andreybl / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Song is by Jeff MacDougall and comes from here.