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This week on Slate Plus, Laura, Dana, and Steve talk about the most exotic vacations they’ve ever taken.
On this week’s Slate Culture Gabfest, the critics discuss Narcos, a new Netflix drama that follows the story of the rise of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the infamous Medellín cartel. Does it offer a nuanced explanation of the escalation of the American drug wars, or does it oversimplify? Next up, Jonathan Franzen’s new novel, Purity, was released this week. The critics discuss his cultural impact, including why his work has become such an irritant to some and a touchstone to others. Finally, a group of first-year students at Duke University have publicly refused to read Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home based on what they feel is “pornographic” content. Does Fun Home belong on a reading list for first-year students? Is it homophobic to assume that it doesn’t?
Links to some of the things we discussed this week:
- Breaking Bad
- The Sopranos
- Laura Miller’s review of Jonathan Franzen’s Purity in Slate
- “Jonathan Franzen: Great American Novelist” in Time magazine
- “Peace and War” in the New York Times Book Review
- “Perchance to Dream” by Jonathan Franzen in Harper’s
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
- Purity by Jonathan Franzen
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- “I’m a Duke Freshman. Here’s Why I Refused to Read ‘Fun Home’ ” in the Washington Post
- Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- The book list for previous years of the Duke Common Experience Summer Reading Program
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Outro: “Chicago” by Tom Waits
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This podcast was produced by Ann Heppermann. Our intern is Lindsey Albracht.