Trashy Novels To Die For

March 2, 2020 - This week Marlon and Jake dive into one of life’s great guilty pleasures: the trashy novel.

Do such books provide intellectual stimulation or lessons on morality? Of course not. Nevertheless, Marlon and Jake extol the virtues of these irresistibly low-brow novels that they can’t get enough of, in the process asking: What makes a novel trashy and what makes it literary? If a book holds up a mirror to society, can it qualify as trash? What are the differences between trashy novels for women and trashy novels for men? From Peyton Place to Valley of the Dolls to the Falconhurst novels, Marlon and Jake get real about the wonderfully salacious plots, the ridiculously named characters, the gay subtexts, the surprising pathos, and all the sex. SO. MUCH. SEX. So literary snobs, be warned. For the rest of us, tune in to celebrate dead authors who have given us the gift of a shamelessly good read.

What I want from a good trashy novel is something I'll read straight through until 2 in the morning.
—Marlon James

Select titles discussed in this episode:

  • The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins
  • The Falconhurst Series by Lance Horner, Kyle Onstott, and Ashley Carter
  • Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  • The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe
  • Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
  • Shogun by James Clavell
  • The Executioner Series by Don Pendleton
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo
  • Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • The Bad Seed by William March
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

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