Chuck Palahniuk — best known as the author of Fight Club — has just announced that he’s publishing his next novel not with a mainstream publisher but through the online subscription service Substack. He joins me on this week’s Book Club podcast to tell me why; and to talk about how 9/11 changed literature, why he never tires of making his audience feel sick, and how he thinks David Foster Wallace might be alive today if he’d taken some time out to write a few Spider-Man comics.
About the show
The Book Club
Literary interviews and discussions on the latest releases in the world of publishing, from poetry through to physics. Presented by Sam Leith.
This year marks the centenary of the birth of Jack Kerouac. As Penguin publishes a lavish new edition of On The Road to mark the occasion, I’m joined by two Kerouac scholars. Holly George-Warren is working on the definitive biography of Kerouac (her previous work includes Lives of Gene Autry and Janis Joplin), and Simon Warner co-edited Kerouac on […]
My guest in this week’s Book Club podcast is the writer Siri Hustvedt, whose latest book is a collection of essays: Mothers, Fathers and Others. She tells me what literary critics get wrong, why she has a rubber brain on her desk, how Ancient Greek misogyny is still with us, why the seventeenth-century Duchess of Newcastle […]
On this week’s Book Club podcast, I’m joined by one of the most distinguished poets in the language, Paul Muldoon, to talk about his new book Howdie-Skelp. He tells me of his unfashionable belief in inspiration; why he thinks poetry — even his — needn’t be difficult just because it’s difficult; how writing song lyrics differs from […]
In this week’s Book Club podcast, my guest is Claire Tomalin. Claire’s new book, The Young H.G. Wells: Changing the World, tracks the extraordinary life and rocket-powered career of one of the most influential writers of the Edwardian age. She tells me how drapery’s loss was literature’s gain, why casting the goatish Wells as a #MeToo […]
In this week’s Book Club podcast Sam is joined by the historian James Holland to talk about his fascinating new book Brothers In Arms: One Legendary Tank Regiment’s Bloody War from D-Day to V-E Day. James’s story follows the Sherwood Rangers from El Alamein to the D-Day Landings, and on through the last push through Europe […]
In this week’s Book Club podcast I’m joined by Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen, a historian of psychoanalysis whose latest book is Freud’s Patients: A Book of Lives. Mikkel has sifted through the archives to discover the real stories anonymized in the case studies on which Sigmund Freud based his theories, and the lives of the patients who […]
My guest in this week’s Book Club podcast is Frederick Forsyth, whose classic thriller The Day of the Jackal has been in print for 50 years this summer. He tells me about banging it out in a few weeks on a typewriter with a bullet hole in it, the shady characters who informed his research […]