216 episodes

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. For show notes visit backlisted.fm and get an extra two shows a month by supporting the pod at patreon.com/backlisted

Backlisted Backlisted

    • Arts

The literary podcast presented by John Mitchinson and Andy Miller. For show notes visit backlisted.fm and get an extra two shows a month by supporting the pod at patreon.com/backlisted

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

    Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is the subject of this episode of Backlisted. Dr Martin Shaw and Dr Laura Varnam (hwaet Laura!) join Andy and John to discuss this late 14th-century chivalric romance - or subversion thereof - written in Middle English alliterative verse, author unknown. We discuss the poem's chequered history and a variety of translations by Simon Armitage, J.R.R. Tolkien, Marie Borroff and Dr Shaw himself. We also take a look at some of the film, TV and radio adaptations of the poem, the most recent of which is The Green Knight (2021), starring Dev Patel. This show was recorded in front of a live audience at Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London, on 12th June 2024. Locklisted subscribers will be able to hear more Gawain chat next weekend, including some terrific contributions and questions from members of the audience. In other words, it's a bumper bonus Backlisted bonanza from the blokes and broads who brought you Beowulf. Bye!
    *Tickets are now on sale for our LIVE show in London on Wednesday July 17th where we will be discussing Endless Night by Agatha Christie, with guests Caroline Crampton and Andrew Male
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    *If you'd like to support the show and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts by Douglas Adams

    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts by Douglas Adams

    The work of Douglas Adams - comic genius, futurologist and erstwhile hitchhiker - is the subject of this episode of Backlisted, in particular The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Original Radio Scripts, first published by Pan Books in 1985. H2G2, as it is known to fans, was a cultural phenomenon in the true sense of that degraded term: first a hit radio show, then a bestselling novel, then a double LP, then a stage adaptation, then a second radio series, then another novel, then a video game, then a TV series, then another LP, then a third novel… you get the idea. We have chosen the scripts of the original radio series as our entry point into the Hitchhiker multiverse because each of us brings our own unique, informed perspective to the saga: longtime Adams fan Joel Morris has written a new book entitled Be Funny or Die: How Comedy Works and Why It Matters; author Gail Renard was a friend and colleague of Douglas’s and an eyewitness to the irresistible and highly improbable success of Hitchhiker; as a publisher, John has worked on several books by or about the great man; and Andy cheerfully admits to having borrowed many of his best ideas from The Guide. Please consider this, then, our loving tribute to a true giant of literature, comedy, technology and being an actual giant, Douglas having been one of the only people in history tall enough to break his nose with his own knee. 
    *Tickets are now on sale for our next two LIVE shows in London on Wednesday the 12th June, on the subject of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, with guests Dr Laura Varnam and Dr Martin Shaw. 
    And Endless Night by Agatha Christie with Caroline Crampton and Andrew Male on Weds 17th July.
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    *If you'd like to support the show and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Memento Mori by Muriel Spark

    Memento Mori by Muriel Spark

    John Grindrod, author of Concretopia, joins John Mitchinson and Andy Miller to discuss Memento Mori, the third novel by Muriel Spark. They also pay tribute to the author and agent David Miller, who passed away recently, and read a short story in his memory.
    Timings: (may differ due to adverts)
    3'00 - Food For All Seasons by Oliver Rowe
    9'30 - Good Evening, Mrs.Craven by Mollie Panter-Downes
    18'44 - A State of Denmark by Derek Raymond*
    To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    *If you'd like to support the show, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    This is an old episode of Backlisted from 2019 which we have re-published to fix an edit.
    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
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    • 1 hr
    The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

    The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

    Novelist Alex Michaelides (The Silent Patient, The Fury) joins Andy and John to discuss Ford Madox Ford's classic novel The Good Soldier (1915), a tale of passion in which, owing to a narrator of almost comic unreliability, nothing can be taken for granted. It is a book that seems to change on every reading, both a kaleidoscopic psychological drama and 'the saddest story I have ever heard'. During his lifetime 'Fordie' was, variously, a prolific author, a publisher of historical note, a notable polyamorist and a serial liar; we consider the extent to which the character of John Dowell inThe Good Soldier may be considered a self-portrait. This episode was recorded live on stage at Foyles, Charing Cross Road in London on the evening of 15th May 2024 and is the first date of a monthly residency.
    *Tickets are now on sale for our next LIVE show in London on Wednesday the 12th June, on the subject of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, with guests Dr Laura Varnam and Dr Martin Shaw. 
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    *If you'd like to support the show and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Locklisted - Book Recommendation Special

    Locklisted - Book Recommendation Special

    This episode is a free sample of our subscriber only show, Locklisted, because the next episode of Backlisted has been delayed through illness (though given that its subject is the radio scripts of A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, this tardiness may not come as a complete surprise). A conversation about shelftalkers in bookshops leads to a broader discussion about where we get our book recommendations and Andy runs a quiz based on the principle of  algorithmic recommendation. There is also a discussion inspired by Thomas Bernhard’s pitch black 1980’s novel The Cheap Eaters (translated by Douglas Robertson) and John Boorman and Bill Stairs’ 1974 novelisation of the cult film, Zardoz.
    *Tickets are now on sale for our LIVE show in London on Wednesday May 14th where we will be discussing The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford, with guest Alex Michaelides. 
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    *If you'd like to support the show and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and with extra bonus fortnightly Locklisted episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    A Marsh Island by Sarah Orne Jewett

    A Marsh Island by Sarah Orne Jewett

    For this episode we are joined by the writer, Noreen Masud, author of the acclaimed memoir, A Flat Place (currently shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Non-Fiction). The book she has chosen to discuss is A Marsh Island, a 19th century American novel by Sarah Orne Jowett, who is usually considered one of the foremost proponents of American regionalism – an assumption this episode investigates. The book was first serialised in the Atlantic Monthly magazine in 1885 and published by Houghton Mifflin later that year. The story centres on Dick Dale, a wealthy young urban bohemian artist who finds himself billeted with a traditional farming family in the middle of New England’s Great Salt Marsh. His impact on the small community over the course of a harvest provides what plot there is – but the novel is rich in atmosphere and interior reflection, exploring the complex tensions between rural and urban ways of life in late 19th century East Coast America. It was written at a moment in Jewett’s own life when she had just begun an unconventional relationship with another woman and the episode also explores how that plays out in the subversive presentation of the relationships in the novel.
    ----
    *Tickets are now on sale for our LIVE show in London on Wednesday May 14th where we will be discussing The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford, with guest Alex Michaelides.
    * To purchase any of the books mentioned in this episode please visit our bookshop at uk.bookshop.org/shop/backlisted where all profits help to sustain this podcast and UK independent bookshops.
    * For information about everything mentioned in this episode visit www.backlisted.fm
    *If you'd like to support the show and join in with the book chat, listen without adverts, receive the show early and get extra bonus fortnightly episodes, become a Patreon at www.patreon.com/backlisted
    *You can sign up to our free monthly newsletter here 
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 7 min

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