Episode 10 - The Final!

by Wardog

The TeXt Factor comes to a close for another year
listen to podcast
(MP3, 47:55, 96 kbps, 32.18 MB)
In this weeks episode, the last three books face off against each other in a no-holds-barred battle-royale in which there can only be one survivor. Unless we stuff up and have a draw again like last year, but y'know, what are the chances of that happening?

00:00:36 - Introduction
00:04:02 - Cotillion
00:17:04 - Gaudy Night
00:29:15 - The Color Purple
00:37:43 - Vote

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Comments (go to latest)
Axiomatic at 21:54 on 2011-11-20
having abandoned all pretense at being literary, votes in favor of a Regency novel

I think merely the fact that you have to qualify it as being
a Regency novel
makes it pretty damn literary.
Shim at 23:03 on 2011-11-20
Not wanting to complain, but that's two episodes now where you've posted the result in the first comment, and some people might prefer it to be a surprise. If you could use Rami's lovingly-coded spoiler tags, that would be good.
Wardog at 23:30 on 2011-11-20
Errr, editorial fu applied....
Arthur B at 00:29 on 2011-11-21
Thoughts on finishing the finalists (provided in order of how many pages we had left to go through at the end of the contest):

The Color Purple:
Given that it's a slice-of-life deal it does kind of stop rather than having an actual climax. But I thought I got emotional closure out of it; there's not much more to say really since there was literally only a couple dozen pages left of it.

I fondly imagine Freddie and Kitty's happily-ever-after consisting of them solving other people's romantic and social crises on a full-time basis. Kind of like Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction only sillier and with romantic scrapes instead of dead bodies.

Gaudy Night:
I didn't guess the specific person by the time the reveal happened, but I don't feel cheated - bravo Sayers. I like the fact that the big reveal brought the recurring theme of whether or not it's necessarily always the right thing to do to expose and punish a guilty person's crimes to a head.
Axiomatic at 09:17 on 2011-11-21
Damn. I apologize, and I promise that it won't happen again. I didn't even think about that.
Wardog at 12:18 on 2011-11-21
Gosh, don't worry about it. I'm so blase about spoilers in general that it seems a bit hypocritical to whinge about the Text Factor.

Arthur B at 12:38 on 2011-11-21
Andy G at 13:05 on 2011-11-21
Gandalf comes back from the dead.
Arthur B at 13:55 on 2011-11-21
And it turns out he never actually died because in fact he's an angel/demigod sent by the good archangels/gods who serve God/Eru Iluvatar to...

Oh, wait, that's not comically obvious enough is it?
Axiomatic at 14:18 on 2011-11-21
Dumbledore dies?

Cammalot at 15:41 on 2011-11-21
Shim at 17:49 on 2011-11-21

The only reason I mentioned is it that I felt a competition with yer'actual voting and suspense and unexpectedness was potentially a bit different from plot spoilers, like some people care about hearing match results before they've seen the game,* but it's not a big deal.

*That is, other people, who care about sports.
Ibmiller at 19:18 on 2011-11-21
Having read Color Purple and Gaudy Night (and not Cotillion, but other Heyer books in the same vein), this has been a really great TeXt factor!

I have to say though, now that I can be all spoilery (with nice spoiler tags)
, I kept having to bite my tongue...er, sit on my hands when Gaudy Night came up. For example, when people mentioned that
the Poison Pen hadn't really done much besides property damage, and the stakes needed to be raised
, I kept thinking of a few chapters later when
the Poison Pen deliberately, maliciously, and sadistically manipulates a helpless country scholar into attempting suicide
. Rarely have I hated a villain as completely after that section. Also, in this episode, where Gaudy Night is nobly defended as "just a very fine mystery novel," I really wished the show could have gone just a tad longer, since
when Peter shows up, I think it becomes much more a mix of the mystery, the romance, and even a novel of ideas/gender
. But alas, twas not to be.


Who are these mythical people who care about sports? ;-)
Arthur B at 13:07 on 2011-11-22
Rarely have I hated a villain as completely after that section.

Yeah, Poison Pen is completely vile. Though what I also found interesting was that
despite trying really hard, they never manage to kill anyone, and it's pointed out in the conclusion that they more or less completely failed to accomplish anything they set out to achieve, at least in part because of a fundamental misunderstanding of what community at the college was like and how it would react.

So by the end of the novel my feelings about PP were complicated because
on the one hand they're completely vile and are crammed with malice, but on the other hand they're also kind of pathetic and are clearly a very badly damaged human being. The genius bit, for me, was the part where Poison Pen gives their villain speech to the assembled academics, and it's quite clear that in their head this is this enormously awesome moment of confrontation which is totally going to blow the academics' minds with how they were bamboozled by her, but it's equally clear that she can't see quite how badly she's failed, and the end result is so awkward and embarrassing that it doesn't feel like much as a triumph for Wimsey and Vane.

PEAR'S COOKIES ARE PEOPLE! (Specifically Robinson L...)
Andy G at 14:56 on 2011-11-22
@Arthur B: I'm pretty sure his mortal form does die, he just gets resurrected.
Arthur B at 15:04 on 2011-11-22
But isn't it fairly strongly hinted that his mortal form is just a shell he uses so people don't go HOLY SHIT AN ANGEL wherever he goes? There's the bit where he threatens Bilbo with a sight of "Gandalf the Grey uncloaked", which I was fairly sure referred to that. Or flashing.
Ibmiller at 16:46 on 2011-11-22
Great point, Arthur. I think that the ambiguous, non-victory feeling at the ending is sort of the point - the gender politics and so messed up and so internalized by both men and women that fighting them is a nasty, messy business - but a vitally important one. Plus, that's not really the ending - the ending is the lovely lovely Latin bits :-)

And that villain speech is really, really amazingly well done. So completely emotionally wringing and uncomfortable.
Ibmiller at 21:57 on 2011-11-22
Well, with Ian McKellan playing Gandalf, it's probably flashing, given his Lear. :-)
Arthur B at 09:07 on 2011-11-23
Well if we're talking the movies he isn't an angel because the studios didn't have the rights to use any material from the Silmarillion...
Ibmiller at 12:42 on 2011-11-23
Unfortunately, that didn't stop them...
http://inkeyes.livejournal.com/ at 23:06 on 2011-11-25
Jamie and I think that a Sondheim adaptation of 'Cotillion' would be awesome. We are going to write it ourselves somehow. I don't really know how it's going to work, but we imagine that it will involve a song about Kitty not wanting to be a dowd, a few antagonistic duets between dudes in tight breeches, and frequent interjections of 'I'm an Earl!'

Also: why, Arthur, I would never put anything like that in my cookies! (●ᴗ●)....
Shim at 16:42 on 2011-11-26
There needs to be a song called "Nobody asked you, George!" reminiscent of "Green Eggs and Ham" (which I only discovered recently, but now I understand so many more things).
Andy G at 19:22 on 2011-11-26
Actually, the stuff about Gandalf being an angel is all in LotR (if you include the appendices), though I can understand why it doesn't really come up in the movies. I don't mean that he dies qua angelic self (that self can't die), just the physical body.
Cammalot at 19:30 on 2011-11-26
Inkeyes, if you do not make this happen I may never again know true joy.
Shim at 12:16 on 2011-11-27
I'm still waiting for Jamie Reads... to appear on the market. I bet we could IndieGoGo that.
Ibmiller at 19:01 on 2012-02-03
Finally got around to reading Cotillion, and while I didn't like it as much as Friday's Child, it was delightful. I think for me, Heyer is delightful in smallish, slightly spread out chunks - it's taken me a month after finishing Cotillion to get started on The Grand Sophy, which I checked out at the same time from the library.

Also, her mystery novels aren't nearly as good as her Regency romances. Despite the fact that Dorothy Sayers said she loved them. I can't see why - Sayers' Lord Peter novels blow them so far out of the water they almost seem like the very concept of "being in the water" is out of the question.

But Cotillion is delightful - Freddy most particularly, though I loved Kitty as well. Sophy is rapidly creeping up on Freddy for "awesome person who knows what's what and not to mention is super hot and knows how to wear clothes and drive horses" in my book, however.
Robinson L at 20:36 on 2012-03-31
Not only did I listen to this on the first day of 2012, I listened to it back-to-back with Episode 9, rather than a week later.

It's like you predicted how I would hear it all, or something.
Ibmiller at 05:38 on 2014-05-08
So...I was wondering if the Ferrets would be upset if the Text Factor format was used for other podcasts? With proper credit given, of course.
Robinson L at 00:00 on 2014-05-09
Oooh - I sure hope not, because I really like that idea.
Michal at 00:24 on 2014-05-09
Yes, we do need something other than Canada Reads in the "pointless audio reality show about books" category these days.
Ibmiller at 06:40 on 2014-05-09
Sorry, that was needlessly cagey. Would the Ferrets be upset if I did that with my friends?
Shim at 08:12 on 2014-05-09
For my part, I don't mind at all. Providing of course that you cast people who can do the accents right :p
Arthur B at 10:40 on 2014-05-09
I suggest contacting the editor at the usual address to get her nod, I think it was either her or Dan who actually came up with the format.
I quite liked/sympathized with Jack actually, especially for the part about not wanting to do what other people tell you to. And the fact that he's inevitably gonna lose.

As for Freddy, meh. He should have stayed the adorable idiot he's perceived as, not turned into some hunk who solves all Kitty's messes. It's frustrating to have his lesson be he's more capable than he thought and hers to be she was selfish and shallow and bit off more than she could chew.

I should confess I've only skimmed the second half because I couldn't stand Kitty's puzzling objection to her cousin's romance and Jack losing.
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