23 episodes

Marlon and Jake Read Dead People is a podcast hosted by the Man Booker Prize-winning and internationally bestselling author Marlon James and his editor, Jake Morrissey, Executive Editor at Riverhead Books. In each episode, Marlon and Jake talk about authors—specifically dead authors. Authors they like. Authors they hate. Great books, terrible books, and books they love that you’d never expect them to. As a writer and an editor, Marlon and Jake have read thousands of books between them, and they’re not shy in expressing their opinions about them. Sometimes they’ll agree, sometimes they won’t, but in every episode, they’ll tell you what they think— uncensored and with no holds barred. (That’s why the authors have to be dead.) So, listen along to hear about the spectacularly good, the hilariously bad, and the brutally honest.

Marlon and Jake Read Dead People Marlon James & Jake Morrissey

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 29 Ratings

Marlon and Jake Read Dead People is a podcast hosted by the Man Booker Prize-winning and internationally bestselling author Marlon James and his editor, Jake Morrissey, Executive Editor at Riverhead Books. In each episode, Marlon and Jake talk about authors—specifically dead authors. Authors they like. Authors they hate. Great books, terrible books, and books they love that you’d never expect them to. As a writer and an editor, Marlon and Jake have read thousands of books between them, and they’re not shy in expressing their opinions about them. Sometimes they’ll agree, sometimes they won’t, but in every episode, they’ll tell you what they think— uncensored and with no holds barred. (That’s why the authors have to be dead.) So, listen along to hear about the spectacularly good, the hilariously bad, and the brutally honest.

    Dead Authors Through History

    Dead Authors Through History

    Prepare for what might be Marlon & Jake’s most controversial hot takes yet, as they travel back through the last four hundred years to decide which dead authors from each century stand the test of time and which can be left to gather dust on the shelf. Where do they fall on Paradise Lost? Who triumphs in the battle of the poets v. novelists of the 18th century? How much has the 1930s Hollywood studio system shaped classic stories? Which of them stans Huckleberry Finn, and who thinks it might be overrated? Marlon and Jake answer these questions and more as they discuss the timeless work of the freaky, the rebellious and the groundbreaking. From Mary Shelley to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Paul Laurence Dunbar to Daphne du Maurier—with a healthy dose of Alexander Pope-dissing—tune in to find out where you stand with their picks.

    • 58 min
    Books to Gift

    Books to Gift

    This week Marlon & Jake discuss the books by dead authors they give as gifts and the very important decision-making that goes into that selection. Whether it’s for a younger, skeptical or pretentious reader, they share the unintentionally comedic and surprisingly engaging books they choose to bestow upon their loved ones.

    • 47 min
    Our Favorite Characters

    Our Favorite Characters

    This week Marlon & Jake discuss memorable characters from books by dead authors—who they love, who they despise and everything in between. What exactly makes a character great? Who would they invite to their literary dinner party and why? From Elmore Leonard’s Raylan to Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March, Lady Macbeth to Auntie Mame—tune in to hear which fictional personalities would get a seat at the table, who would be banished forever, and who Marlon and Jake would simply ignore.

    • 45 min
    Literary Grudge Match

    Literary Grudge Match

    Marlon and Jake take on literary giants in a grudge match for the ages. This time it's Charles Dickens vs. Anthony Trollope and Louisa May Alcott vs. Laura Ingalls Wilder in a no-holds-barred royal rumble. The two of them pull no punches, whether they're talking about racism or Edith Wharton's snobbery, colonialism or Hugh Grant's hair. So get ready to cheer on your favorite dead author and literary warrior as Marlon and Jake go mano a mano in a street fight you've definitely never come across before.

    • 44 min
    Books We Wish We had Written

    Books We Wish We had Written

    Literary speculation abounds as Marlon and Jake reveal which books they wish they had written and which they think would have been better if they’d been written by someone completely different. Listen in as they explore the questions you never knew you needed answers to. Would The Confessions of Nat Turner have been better if Zora Neale Hurston had written it? Who could have written a funnier Ulysses? Were members of the Bloomsbury Group actually total bores? And perhaps most important: Does Marlon’s mom still have his Tom Jones fan-fiction and if so, how much is Jake willing to pay for it? Tune in for all this and more, including a lively discussion about plays that are as enjoyable to read as they are to see on stage. (And spoiler: Jake is not a fan of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.)

    • 56 min
    Gateway Books

    Gateway Books

    Marlon and Jake share their "gateway" books by dead authors, the first books they read that that turned them on—or off—the rest of an author's work. From John Steinbeck to Dorothy Parker, Umberto Eco to Norman Mailer, Ayn Rand to Carson McCullers, Marlon and Jake don't hold back in discussing the imprints, footprints, and thumbprints these books left on them. They also ponder the long-lasting consequences of the high school lit class, whether a gateway book can be assigned, and the enduring power of dullness in a novel, no matter the century. Listen for this and more, including what Marlon and Jake think of The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara, edited by one Toni Morrison.

    • 49 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
29 Ratings

29 Ratings

lilbean_sodapop ,

A delight!!

This is the only podcast I’ve really made an effort to keep up with - it’s like being at a book club with the two most well read and extremely opinionated buddies you’ll ever have. I love how they have such different taste and come at their discussions both from the editorial and the literary side - as well as through good storytelling! Even when I disagree, I find myself laughing. These two are the bookish friends you wish you had!

FarNorth23 ,

Podcast perfection

This is the reading podcast I’ve been waiting for! Marlon and Jake are fun to listen to and I love that they’re not talking about the cutting edge of literature but about the classics and books that have been around for a while. They’re reading in my wheelhouse and I eagerly await Season Two!

jess2424ica ,

New favourite podcast!

Is it Monday yet? New episodes of this podcast have made it my new favourite day of the week. Marlon and Jake are absolutely hilarious (even when they hate on some of my favourite books) and I love their dynamic. This is a must-listen for any book nerd!

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