Episode 141 – What Was It?

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Tag in as we wrestle with What Was It? – a mystery by Fitz-James O’Brien!

Special thanks to reader Fred Cross. You can check him out January 8 on Spike in The Joe Schmo Show!

Read Thomas Ollive Mabbott’s article: The Books in the House of Usher. Extra gratis to Jerry Drake for providing the info!

And don’t forget to pick up Deadbeats. Free shipping worldwide!

Post Comment 6 comments on “Episode 141 – What Was It?

  • TimScurr on

    Wow. If you thought Lovecraft had some rather backward opinions about peoples of other ethnicities, wait until you get to the ‘colourful’ descriptions Stoker uses on the Negro assistant. I loved ‘Dracula’ which had a bit of the very (then) hot science of phrenology, but Stoker in White Worm is pretty darn bad in places. To quote Matthew Broderick in the fine film ‘Glory’, ‘The Irish aren’t noted for their fondness of the Coloureds’. Really looking forward to your review of this one, especially the very -I guess- Lovecraftian theme of the serpent being so old it gained a whole bunch of knowledge and abilities. Thanks for the awesome show guys, and can’t wait to pick up my own copy of ‘Deadbeats’!

  • The Dunwich Whotsit on

    I’d like to comment on Chris’ words about language – langauge and communication does change over time, and it’s noticeably changing these days with the advent of the way the Internet allows us to communicate. So, I wouldn’t be too hard on the usage of ‘begging the question’, because it will doubtlessly change over time anyway. But I also understand about improper usage of words, so it’s cool.

    But on th story, I actually love this story, it feels like a weird mixture of M.R. James and Lovecraft – Jamesian setting and the way the creatures acts, but Lovecraftian in the whole weirdness of it all, the implication that we aren’t dealing with a ghost or demon, but something else.

  • David Larsen on

    To raise the question and not beg it, why not pronounce all of Carl Maria Von Weber’s name correctly, as Fon Vay-ber. Auf Deutch a V is pronounced as an F would be in English, and a W like a V. We refer to a Volkswagen as a Vee-dubyah, but in German VW sounds like fow-vay. Weird, huh?

  • JD on

    Sometimes my zeal for HPL overrides my ability to proofread email.

    Delete “begs” insert “prompts.”. Ahh. Refreshing.

  • Chris on

    Bony, invisible, just over four feet, cannibalistic, vicious, humanoid, sneaky and prone to strangling…I realize this isn’t a Tolkien podcast, but did anyone think that he may have read this tale sometime before creating Gollum? Either that, or there must be something just plain archetypal going on here.

  • LoF on

    Didn’t actually find the wrestling fest (versus punching) all that strange. I think it’s something like 90% of fights end up on the ground with grappling, where you can’t punch effectively, so really the whole wrestling/grappling thing makes total sense. (Additionally something like 90% of statistics are made up on the spot, but the point holds nevertheless.)

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