166 — River of Teeth

Cover of Sarah Gailey's novel River of Teeth.

We live in a world that has hippos, and those hippos have to be ridden by people with weapons. Who’s gonna do it? You? These people have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for victims of hippos, and you curse the hippo riders. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what we know. That hippos eat people, but that probably saves lives. And our existence as a podcast, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves time. You don’t want the truth, because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want us reading these books, you need us reading these books. We use segments like “High Points, Low Points”, “Dramatic Readings”, “What Would They Do”. We use these segments as the backbone of lives spent reading stuff and talking about it. You use them as a way to kill some time between other activities, or during them. We have neither the time nor the inclination to explain ourselves to listeners who rise and grind under the blanket of the very entertainment that we provide, and then questions the manner in which we provide it. We would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise, we suggest you hop up on top of your OWN hippopotamus and ride!

Anyway, yeah: what we have here is an (apparently well-regarded!) alternate history answering the question “What if a Western but hippos not horses?” It also asks—and answers!—”What do we need a white boy for, anyway?” so you can probably tell already that it rules, and we definitely had a hell of a lot of fun reading it, so grab your traveling clothes and get ready to get seriously amphibious with us and our hippo pals.


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