American Writers (One Hundred Pages at a Time)

Episode 14: Frank Norris, McTeague: Show Me the Money

In the second episode on Frank Norris' McTeague, we find out what happens to our favorite neighborhood dentist when he gets married and runs into a little bit of cash. . . . It is not good.

Episode 13: Frank Norris, McTeague: A Dentist Falls in Love

The beginning of my analysis of Frank Norris' McTeague, a novel on possession and greed.

Episode 12: Frank Norris, Vandover and the Brute: The Decline of Vandover

This episode complete our study of Frank Norris' Vandover and the Brute. We watch Vandover's inevitable decline with a little bit of glee. I also sum-up some of the major themes of the novel.

Episode 11: Frank Norris, Vandover and the Brute: On Being a Pampered Jerk

We begin a new series on Frank Norris, starting with his Vandover and the Brute, first published after his death. In the first half of the novel, we see the early life of Vandover, his education, and the consequences of his playboy lifestyle. This episode also includes an introduction into Frank Norris and a discussion of his legacy.
This episode includes brief references to sexual violenc and suicide.

Episode 10: Melville: Mardi Part 4: Conclusion?

Our final episode on Herman Melville for a while and the end of a series on Mardi. In the final part of the novel we enter Melville's metaphorical Europe and witness his critique of American democracy. This episode also includes an analysis of the major themes of the entire work.

Episode 9: Melville, Mardi, Part 3: Religion and Free Will

In part 3 of our study of Herman Melville's Mardi, we take on the deep questions of free will and religion.
Yet the elusive Yillah is not to be found.

Episode 8: Melville: Mardi Part 2: Lost Love

In our second episode on Herman Melville's Mardi, we follow the adventures of Taji and his new companions: a philosopher, a king, a poet, and a historian. They begin to search all of the world of Mardi for Taji's lost love, Yillah.

Episode 7: Mardi: Part 1: Dude? Am I still in the Pacific?

The first of four episodes exploring Herman Melville's Mardi. He goes off the rails a bit in this one and and it is lots of fun.

Episode 6: Omoo 3: Island Wanderlust

In this final episode on Herman Melville's Omoo, we follow our narrator in various adventures through the islands of the Society Islands all of which climax in a failed job interview.

Episode 5: Omoo 1: Jailhouse Blues

I continue my study of Herman Melville's Omoo. In this part of the novel, our characters are put in a jail for sailors in punishment for resisting work. Their life in jail is partially a lesson in working class hyjinks and partially a lesson in class discipline.