The Bat Segundo Show & Follow Your Ears

Reviews For The Bat Segundo Show & Follow Your Ears

Marvelous, real, informed, talks with writers, I couldn't live without. Thanks!
I quite enjoy this podcast. He often asks thought-provoking questions and has really great, intelligent guests. I disagree with those who would argue that Champion doesn't come off as pretentious, though. He often stumbles over his own words, asking questions in 60 words that would be much more clear in 10. He has, multiple times, confused his guests this way. Sometimes he seems confused by himself. There have been many times I couldn't understand what the hell he was trying to ask, and it's not because I'm an idiot. His guests frequently need him to repeat his questions. It's sort of cringe-worthy. I get the impression that Champion is not an artist himself, so sometimes it's a little embarrassing when he has analyzed a text or film, all extra-pedantic, and then asks the artist a specific question about that analysis when, for the artist, much of creation is done at a subconscious level. I think this is why Mike Leigh got so pissed off in their interview. Too much head, not enough heart. Still, it's a good podcast, and Champion seems well-intentioned. I appreciate it.
I can't really argue with the posters who are annoyed by the comedy bits at the top of these episodes, and I also agree that they are a minor annoyance in comparison to these terrific and unique interviews. My largest annoyance with this podcast is its tendency to repost the same episode every day for a few days in a row sometimes. I listened to and loved the Bonnie Tyler interview (Yes, these interviews are so great that I became caught up in an interview with friggin' Bonnie Tyler), but woke up about 4 days in a row to find that the show had automatically re-downloaded it, despite the fact that I delete the things after listening. Please get a handle on this tech issue, and you'll have a really really great thing going.
The interviews on this podcast are intelligent and unique, yet unpretentious, with the interviewer willing to ask confrontational questions of his celebrity guests. The one offputting and embarassingly amateurish aspect of this otherwise excellent podcast is the ear-gratingly unfunny character of "Bat Segundo" the interviewer portrays when introducing each show. It's as if on each episode of "Fresh Air," Terry Gross were to flirtatiously adopt the voice of Jimmy Cagney and make dumb jokes about being a prohibition-era gangster. Why? It's a real shame, because I can imagine someone trying out this podcast could easily hear these annoying introductions and assume the show is created by a clueless mental lightweight when everything after the introduction is professional and first-rate. I can understand the interviewer's desire to give the author interview format a quirky turn in order to set the show apart and express his own creative side, but these segments are so bad (the Spanish shouting theme tune almost defies the listener to keep listening despite its glass-shards-in-the-eardrums assault). A kindly editor or plain-talking close friend is desperately needed to help this guy "kill his darlings" and separate this red-glaring, pus-dripping blemish of an introductory conceit from the robust, healthy flesh of the rest of his show.
By day, Ed Champion is a mild-mannered paralegal in San Francisco. By night, he is host of the Bat Segundo show, perhaps the best podcast for fans of literary fiction. It's hard to believe, but Mr. Champion has single-handedly created one of the most interesting interview shows for book lovers. Not only does he talk with established literary superstars like John Updike, but he also invites small press authors who probably couldn't get an interview anyplace else. Most of these shows are far superior to the boring, mainstream stuff you hear on NPR. Don't let the goofy introductions to each podcast fool you -- these are serious interviews. Mr. Champion knows his stuff, and is a highly intelligent, insightful interviewer. This is a great program, an example of what a determined, highly resourceful book lover can do in this digital age of ours. Hats off to Mr. Champion.