Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today's leading writers. All episodes—hundreds of them—are available for free. Listen via iTunes, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, or right here on the web. Better yet: download the Otherppl with Brad Listi app. Available for iPhone and Android. Free! If you'd like to support the show, you can do so via Patreon or Paypal.
Jarett Kobek is the guest. His new novel is called I Hate the Internet, available now from We Heard You Like Books.
This one was fun. I didn’t know what to expect. Or I guess I sort of knew what to expect: Jarett and I would talk about the internet and what it feels like to hate it. But I didn’t know quite what to expect from Jarett himself. Jonathan Lethem called him “the American Houellebecq,” so I guess I was imagining that he would be drunk and smoking cigarettes and difficult to talk to, and so on. I imagined him as preemptively hating me, thinking of me as “the media,” annoyed that he had agreed to do the podcast. Then he showed up and it was easy. More than that, it was interesting. This is a guy who really thinks about the world that we live in and the information we consume and the products we buy and how the powers that be make these things come to pass. He thinks about a lot more than that, but those are some of his main preoccupations. He’s a good conversationalist, a curious person, a skeptic, and, I think it’s safe to say, a man who has a very well-developed problem with authority. The interview runs longer than normal. Hope that’s okay. On this one, I just let the tape run.
In today’s monologue, I talk about some scary health stuff that we’re going through with our son, and how that has been all-consuming lately, and how unhealthy (but unavoidable) it is to start Googling when confronted with medical troubles.