The Gist explores the cognitive science of what gets attention with Jim Davies and author Ken Follett.

Ken Follett Explains How to Write Black Characters as a 65-Year-Old Brit

Ken Follett Explains How to Write Black Characters as a 65-Year-Old Brit

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
Sept. 16 2014 6:44 PM

Ken Follett’s Case for Long Novels

Why the experience of a novel can hold your attention better than the most viral YouTube video.

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Author Ken Follett poses with a statue in his honor in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

Photo Illustration by Slate. Photo by Mikelcg/Wikimedia Commons.

Listen to Episode 93 of Slate’s The Gist:

gist_dailyemails

Today on The Gist, Riveted author Jim Davies explains the cognitive science behind what we find compelling. Plus, author Ken Follett explains his methods for holding interest through thousand-plus-page novels. His latest is Edge of Eternity. In both of our interviews today, Mike asks a question inspired by Alex Blumberg’s new podcast StartUp. For the Spiel, Mike explores the history of the culture wars in America.

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Correction, Sept. 17, 2014: A headline on this post misstated that Ken Follett is English. He is Welsh.

Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.