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Author Topic: PC212: Squonk and the Lake Monster  (Read 2050 times)
Talia
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« on: June 12, 2012, 11:13:44 AM »

PodCastle 212: Squonk and the Lake Monster

by P.M. Butler.

Read by Wilson Fowlie (of the Maple Leaf Singers).

A PodCastle original!

Sometimes, you don’t realize how bad a bad idea _really_ is until your best friend is suddenly plummeting head over ringtail to his certain death.

Squonk and Slowfingers had been playing catch–well, _trying_ to play catch. You see, Squonk was a dragon, and his best friend Slowfingers was a raccoon. They were both apprentices to a wizard named Wendel. They liked hanging around each other, but there wasn’t a lot they could _do_ together. Unlike most of Squonk’s other friends, Slowfingers didn’t have wings; and unlike Slowfingers’ other friends, Squonk had to be very careful to not step on him.

But according to Wendel, being a wizard didn’t mean you ran away and hid from problems; it meant grabbing your problems and showing those problems who’s boss. So Squonk had come up with the idea of playing a nice game of catch.

It worked like this: Slowfingers would pick an acorn, and throw it as hard as he could–from the top of a tall tree, since his throws needed the head start. Squonk would try to watch the teeny tiny acorn as it bounced off leaves and branches and stick out his paw where he thought it would land. After inspecting his paw carefully to confirm he’d missed, Squonk would set another acorn in his paw and use a talon on his other paw to flick it at Slowfingers. If he was lucky, he’d get it somewhere near the tree Slowfingers was in, and Slowfingers could watch it go by.

This was every bit as frustrating and not-fun as it sounds.


Rated G.

Listen to this week’s PodCastle!
« Last Edit: July 04, 2012, 11:49:19 AM by Talia » Logged
Kaa
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 01:28:09 PM »

I haven't started listening to this yet, but I just want to say that when I saw the title come up in iTunes a little while ago, I may have squealed--yes, squealed--"Squoooooonk!"

Only then, of course, realizing I was in my cube. At work. Surrounded by people who only suspected I'm strange. Until today.

Yay. Squonk. Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2012, 10:43:19 PM »

OK, I'm all done listening, now. While I don't think it's the best Squonk story, I did enjoy it. Especially Wilson Fowlie's voices. OMG, man, what are you? A reincarnation of Rich Little?

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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 01:09:52 AM »

(Mild) Spoiler (that a particular monster is in the story):

Some people might be interested to know that for the last few summers, my family and I have vacationed at the lake in which Ogopogo is purported to live!

Haven't seen it, though...
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wintermute
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 05:45:46 AM »

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Why are these not available in picture-book format? If you need people to inundate a publisher to convince them there's a market, I will totally help out with that.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 09:48:24 AM »

Wilson Fowlie is one of my favorite narrators and he is awesome as ever here.

But eh, I didn't care for this.  My least favorite of the Squonk series so far. The first one was great because it was novel and fun.  The second one was great because we got to see Wendell have to put up with Squonk as an apprentice.  The third one was in general okay, but totally worth listening to just to hear Wilson voice the horrrrrible owl. 

This one, I didn't really find anything appealing about.  The characters aren't novel anymore.  Wendell was barely onscreen at all.  There wasn't really any tension for me (they go to find a sea monster, they find a sea monster, realize he's a jerk, and leave, that's it), and I didn't really find it funny.  One thing that I find strange about the series too is how simplistic the dialog is.  The narration is written to be at a comfortable level of complexity (simple enough for kids but not grating) but the dialog is written at a much simpler level, so simple it feels like picture book dialogue put into a children's novel, which I found grating on my nerves.
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danooli
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 04:11:25 PM »

Cute Smiley  I agree that it wasn't the best Squonk story, but it was still a cute little romp. 

And, to say that Wilson Fowlie is a fantastic narrator would still be an understatement.   I am continually amazed and impressed by the talented people that Escape Artists continues to find and use, both authors and readers. 
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Talia
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2012, 08:52:54 AM »

, and I didn't really find it funny.


And, here's where I realize you and I have completely opposite senses of humor. Tongue This was the funniest of the Squonk stories by a mile, in my book.
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2012, 10:55:01 AM »

, and I didn't really find it funny.


And, here's where I realize you and I have completely opposite senses of humor. Tongue This was the funniest of the Squonk stories by a mile, in my book.

Really?  The funniest part of the Squonk series to me was, I think, Wendell trying to teach Squonk to be a wizarding apprentice.  Grumpy wizards and well-meaning but rather dense superhuge carnivorous imaginary birdlings, awesome.

That's why it's so hard to sell humor, I guess.  Because everyone's funny bone can be sensitive to completely different things...
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« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2012, 06:14:34 PM »

I really thought that this was too weak a story for Podcastle to produce. I definitely did not enjoy this and actually grew more and more irritated as it went along. I have not listed to the other Squonk stories and am willing to give the author the courtesy of listening to them, but if this story is any reflection of the others my hopes are not high.

I didn't really find it funny. 
Not at all for me either. I even found the voices chafing- which is a shame because Wilson is such a great narrator.

I usually try and find something positive to say but I just can not find anything here. Yeah sure it addresses some important lessons for youngsters, but this is done limply. As has been alluded to above, maybe this would work as a picture book where some illustration would take our mind of how pointless much of the dialogue was and how boring the "journey" was.
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InfiniteMonkey
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2012, 10:23:27 AM »

I thought this was a cute little children's story, and I don't think that's an insult. I want to learn this story to tell it to two little boys I know, showing why it's a bad idea to try and drown your little brother.

And I liked the Goth crow.
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benjaminjb
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 01:02:15 PM »

I enjoyed but didn't love this story. Some of the simpleness tickled my funny bone, like the tautology of "he's a jerk because he's a jerk"; and the kiddiness of the characters seems relatable. (The "my thing is awesome, your thing is lame" aspect. Which might be a short description of a lot of the internet.) But all in all, I'm glad that PodCastle can swing from the serious to the silly.
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Devoted135
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2012, 10:21:44 AM »

I got so excited when I saw Squonk on my ipod! Having listened to each of the three previous episodes, I have to agree that this is probably the weakest of the bunch. However, that's like saying that one episode of *insert your favorite comedy here* wasn't quite as good as the others you've seen. I still enjoyed it, I still had a few "heh!" moments (listening in the lab notwithstanding), and I still couldn't praise Wilson Fowlie's reading enough.


One thing that I find strange about the series too is how simplistic the dialog is.  The narration is written to be at a comfortable level of complexity (simple enough for kids but not grating) but the dialog is written at a much simpler level, so simple it feels like picture book dialogue put into a children's novel, which I found grating on my nerves.

While I agree with this observation, I don't happen to find it grating. Squonk and his friends seem to be the educational equivalent of human 5-6 year olds, and that's just how they speak. Smiley Of course, human 6 year olds don't go off to meet Ogo Pogo without parental supervision, so there's that. Tongue
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Wilson Fowlie
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« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 11:28:59 AM »

More Ogopogo news.

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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 11:20:43 AM »

Excellent reading, Wilson, as always.

I didn't care much for this story either.
Where the previous Squonk stories brought across the general stupidity of the characters as slightly amusing, this time it was just annoying.
I don't want to come off nasty or anything, but the general knowledge that the characters in this story seemed to posses wouldn't fill a tweet.
I mean, really guys? Surprised that a rose bush hurts? Surprised that you can't shout under water? Surprised anew each time that raccoons don't have wings?
To illustrate the point: when Ogopogo asked Squonk "What, are you stupid?" that first time I actually shouted in an overcrowded bus "YES!".

On the upside, I suddenly had more standing room Tongue
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Talia
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 11:46:11 AM »

I'd suggest this iteration was written a good bit more tongue in cheek. It was pretty silly, and the obliviousness on each characters' part was done on purpose to up the general sillyness.

That's why I enjoyed it so much. It was extra-silly, and I love silly. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2012, 02:32:45 PM »

I'd suggest this iteration was written a good bit more tongue in cheek. It was pretty silly, and the obliviousness on each characters' part was done on purpose to up the general sillyness.
The other Squonk stories were silly. This just came across as a bunch of mentally deficient first graders.
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Talia
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 02:44:09 PM »

I'd suggest this iteration was written a good bit more tongue in cheek. It was pretty silly, and the obliviousness on each characters' part was done on purpose to up the general sillyness.
The other Squonk stories were silly. This just came across as a bunch of mentally deficient first graders.


They were supposed to be a bit dim. That was the point, I think, the naivety of the characters being played for laughs.

I guess that doesn't work for a lot of people, though, which is too bad. (and completely unfathomable to me, but just one of those things.. some people don't like chocolate, etc Tongue).

Was right up my alley personally.
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2012, 08:20:10 AM »

I'd suggest this iteration was written a good bit more tongue in cheek. It was pretty silly, and the obliviousness on each characters' part was done on purpose to up the general sillyness.
The other Squonk stories were silly. This just came across as a bunch of mentally deficient first graders.

I agree.  In the previous stories Squonk and his pals just seemed naive, especially when confronted with things which they're not familiar with like the wizard and his wizarding ways.  In this one, they didn't seem naive, they seemed irredeemably stupid to the point that I'm surprised that any of them have survived this long, and stupid about things which are parts of the forest that surround them which they've grown up around. 

If their stupidity was exaggerated for comic effect in this one, it didn't work for me.
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2012, 08:08:41 AM »

This was one of my least favorite PodCastle stories.
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