Why I Really Like This Book (fantastical)
These are podcasts about forgotten fiction, for curious readers, and for anyone who likes old books. Sometimes they're stories, sometimes they're not. Most of the authors write in English; and sometimes they don't. But all the books I talk about, I really really like. I hope you will too.
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My name is Kate Macdonald: I'm an English lecturer, and a lifelong browser in second-hand bookshops. I post weekly ten-minute podcasts on a Friday, on the books I really like which I think deserve new readers. You can find out lots more at the Facebook page here, and get these podcasts weekly by subscribing on the iTunes link above.

The music for the podcast intro is by The Tribe Band. Lucy Marsh did the drawing and Matthias Opsomer lettered it. Patrick Belk and Martin Fowler hold my tech safety net.

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Questions? Send me a message by mailing me at kate [dot] brussels [at] yahoo [dot] com.

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It's the last Harry Potter book, and what a finale. All ends tied up, nothing flapping loose, all deaths accounted for, grudges paid off, revenges taken, and people growing up. For readers who like to see the workings exposed and a story told well.

Direct download: Harry_Potter_and_The_Deathly_Hallows.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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The gloom increases in Hary Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and there are devious dark doings in Voldemort's camp for us to worry about as well. Horcruxes become especially tricky. Ginny and Harry become an item. Bellatrix does a lot of shrieking stroppy. The tension gets strenuous.

Direct download: Harry_Potter_and_the_Half-Blood_Prince.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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It just gets gloomier as the Ministry of Magic gets more authoritarian. The Order of the Phoenix is part teenage angst festival, and part 1984 with wands. Everything that could go wrong when teenagers are left to sort the world out nearly does. For extra depression: the world's worst first kiss ever.  But the book is saved by the gift of a swamp.

Direct download: Harrp_Potter_and_the_Order_of_the_Phoenix.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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The biggest, the most dangerous, the emotionally tormenting so far, The Goblet of Fire is where Ron starts getting stroppy, Harry gets butterflies in his stomach, and Cedric doesn't do so well. It's a massive novel, and the subtext is very politically dark.

Direct download: Harry_Potter_and_the_Goblet_of_Fire.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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It's the Knight Bus, and Sirius Black, and Buckbeak, and Dementors, and Lupin: Harry Potter begins to grow up in The Prisoner of Azkaban so much we can almost see the hormones taking effect. 

Direct download: Harry_Potter_and_the_Prisoner_of_Azkaban.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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Pod 2 in my survey of the Harry Potter novels. The Chamber of Secrets is about growing up and getting embarrassed, duels, the basilisk in the pipes, and interesting hallucinations brought on by an enchanted diary.  

Direct download: Harry_Potter_and_the_Chamber_of_Secrets.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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Also called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the first Harry Potter novel is a great source for questions and a lot of plotting for the future. But it's most rewarding as a journey into wonder and the delight of invention. 

Direct download: Harry_Potter_and_the_Philosophers_Stone.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
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Dornford Yates - Stuff That Really Happened 1

Dornford Yates's first two novels - Anthony Lyveden and Valerie French - were about the awful fate of the gentleman ex-officer who had to earn his living in domestic service. More melodrama comes from an enchanted forest and employers from the lower classes. There's a tortured love story too. For readers who like their noblesse obliged in strong doses.

Comments[1]

Gene Wolfe's The Shadow of the Torturer is about Severian, an apprentice torturer who is banished by his masters. His crime: to allow a client to die sooner than the law had intended. His mission: to not shame the guild. His real mission: to return the alien jewel to its owners. Science fiction par excellence, and linguistic invention to boggle your vocabulary.

Direct download: Gene_Wolfe_and_The_Shadow_of_the_Torturer_-_Really_Randoms_3.mp3
Category:fantastical -- posted at: 1:30am CET
Comments[0]

The Dark is Rising was a set of excellent novels for decades before it was a film. Susan Cooper's 1970s series is timeless, a real world quest fantasy steeped in Arthurian magic, where Merlin is a butler and a professor.

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