Reading the End Bookcast, Ep.35: Animals in Books and Molly Gloss’s Falling from Horses

Mea maxima culpa! My hibiscus expanded to comprehend podcast as well, and moreover my microphone broke down. You should have seen Whiskey Jenny’s and my faces when the microphone broke down. We were so excited to record podcast together in India.

ANYWAY. This week, we want to tell you about a dear pal’s new book, Mort(e), recently the subject of io9’s Book Club. After that, we’re talking about animals in books (particularly, dogs dying in books), a somewhat truncated discussion as Whiskey Jenny cannot speak of fictional animal deaths without breaking down (that is hyperbole but barely). And we wrap it up by reading A WESTERN at last, Molly Gloss’s Falling from Horses. 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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Credits
Producer: Captain Hammer
Photo credit: The Illustrious Annalee
Song is by Jeff MacDougall and comes from here.

  • Huzzah!

  • I would say that David Sedaris’s Squirrel Meets Chipmunk features anthroporphized animals that act more like adults. It’s actually pretty depressing.
    A wack-a-doo novel that I nevertheless really enjoyed years and years ago – With by Donald Harrington – featured multiple viewpoints, one of which was a dog named Hreaphra, who was kind of dog and kind of person in her thoughts. Genre was Ozark magic realism.

    I started reading Falling from Horses, but was put off by the emotional distance and the portentous hinting and decided while it probably was not going to be a bad read, what I really wanted was a fantastic read and this wasn’t going to be it. I too got the impression that it might be better to start with one of her other books, that maybe didn’t involve Hollywood?

    Also interesting fact which you may know but didn’t mention in the podcast – Homeward Bound was based on a book called The Incredible Journey, and the animals in the book did not talk, and were more animal than human.

    • Gin Jenny

      Ha! See! I knew it would be depressing if the animals acted like adults. I was basing my opinion on nothing, but now it has a basis in fact. :p

      I am embarrassed that we didn’t mention The Incredible Journey, though I think it’s just because I didn’t love that book. I loved Homeward Bound so much more. And we forgot Jack London as well! If you can believe it!

  • Nat

    I’m super late for this, but I wanted to say that
    a) I share Whisky Jenny’s concerns over reading while brushing your teeth. What if the book falls into the sink? What if you’re reading it on an ereader? What if you’re really, reaaaaally clumsy? The whole conversation made me really anxious, tbh 😛

    and b) there was a pretty big earthquake down here a few years ago and I lost sight of my dog for a minute. It was the worst minute EVER. It turned out he was hiding under the bed with one of my lipbalms, but ever since that day I’ve been going to sleep with contingency plans in case of major disasters. Have his collar close by! Keep a bag of food near the door!

    • Nat

      Oh, and I almost forgot! The only books with pets I will willingly read are Georgette Heyer’s. They’re minor characters at best, but the ones from Arabella and Frederica don’t die (which is a plus) and are delightful. I particularly like when the owner of the dog in Arabella goes out of town without him and the poor puppy gets so depressed the entire staff goes crazy trying to cheer him up. It’s funny and so, so lovely.