Snark Squad Pod #002: Bone Gap

Previously: Riverdale was kind of about a murder but really about TRUTH AND JUSTICE.

Marines: Hello Traumateers! First of all, we want to thank everyone for their support of this new thing we are doing. Sweeney and I are getting a crash course in all things podcast making, and we are grateful for all of your feedback and patience as we grow this thing together. (That is to say that I’m trying to say “um” and “like” less. Sweeney is doing all the editing heavy lifting lol.)

Today we’re back with episode 2 in which we talk about Bone Gap by Laura Ruby.

We realized that it would be best to let you guys know ahead of time what things we plan on discussing because we would love it if you all watched and read along with us! That said, our next three pieces of media are: The Force Awakens, Bonfire by Krysten Ritter and Midnight Texas.

Let us know if you guys have any suggestions for what we should cover in future episodes.

You can subscribe to us on iTunes or use this RSS feed to subscribe with your podcast app of choice.

Thanks to Stefan Chin for our fancy theme music.


Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

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  • Blinvy .

    Is that Krysten Ritter as in, the fabulous Chloe and Jessica Jones?? She wrote a book? I think I’ll need to check that out.
    For future episodes, I highly recommend checking out The End of the F***ing World on Netflix. Very awesome little show with great actors.

    • That very same Krysten Ritter. It’s super short for a novel and easy to read. We already recorded the episode and I think it’ll be a fun one!

  • Caitlin Vanasse

    Quick at the top before I vomit up all my Bone Gap Feelings, EEEEE! I’m so excited you’re going to discuss The Force Awakens and I might have to start Midnight Texas and Bonfire so I can keep up with your brilliant discussions.

    I’m SO ELATED you discussed this and neither of you hated it!

    I HAVE SO MANY THOUGHTS (I am…er… a bit obsessed with this book and have read it three times, and own 4 copies.)


    1) I think Laura Ruby straight up said corn fields scare her in a reading I went to so YES. ALSO, can’t people get like, seriously lost for days in large cornfields? It’s like the tinniest thread but I also love the little bits and pieces about Miguel around the corn, etc. I wish we could also get his book? (Although whether Ruby is the right person to write from his perspective???)

    2) One of the big criticisms I’ve seen about this book is its themes are about women and beauty and society but most of the book is told by a man (Finn) which, are valid criticisms, but it just works for me this way???

    3) The flashbacks also work for me and I really can’t explain why except I appreciate the way they establish all the ways men have always presumed upon Rosa for her beauty?

    4) I think one of the jarring things about Zeus/Charlie Valentine is that Charlie is a lot more sympathetic (and even a little sad) than power-hungry-serial-rapist Zeus. He can’t remember his past really but he regrets even what he can’t remember. And that story about the horse he accidentally rode to death because he’s color blind just </3 </3. What I do think it adds, is that for me as a person who knows an average amount about the Hades/Persephone kidnapping myth, (and nothing about their later underworld reign) when I know who someone is supposed to be and can match it with the little details, it warms the detail oriented bits of my heart. Like the fact that NO ONE believes Finn about Rosa's kidnapping just like no one believed the original witness and so Zeus having seen and said nothing and Charlie having seen and said nothing, and knowing the whole time where Rosa is, both of those things warm my heart BUT Nicole, you can feel free to pretend he's someone else because it's really a very very loose retelling.

    5) I think I remember Ruby saying something about the horse being tied to Demeter in some way. Also Rosa says at the end that it's her grandmother's horse so, YES.

    6) Petey is also my favorite forever and EVERY TIME I read the book and she discovers all over again that Finn can't see faces and maybe he only sees hers being confirmation of what everyone has said about her it guts me all over again. I JUST CANNOT. I think that theme, who really defines beauty and whether you can only be beautiful if someone else sees you as beautiful, etc. is my fav in the whole book.

    7) I TOTALLY FORGET ABOUT THE WEIRD CARNIVAL OF THE DEAD EVERY TIME. For real, three readings so far and I'll probably re-read again this year and if you hadn't mentioned it I wouldn't have remembered.

    But, along those lines, EVERY SINGLE TIME I'm overjoyed at how Ruby writes that climactic sequence and who gets to save whom and I have a lot of feelings about it, o.k.

  • Okay, this morning I finished reading Bone Gap and IMMEDIATELY listened to the podcast.

    I’m really glad you ladies covered this book, because it hadn’t been on my radar before so I only read it for the podcast and I loved it. Whatever genre it inhabits, it’s one I’ve been in love with since I first read the Weetzie Bat series by Francesca Lia Block as an impressionable teen. It’s lyrical and poetic and dream-like and on the cusp of mythology, dealing with themes of society and reality and life but in such a fantastical way, yet still somewhat grounded, yet not…I don’t know, that style just really resonates with me.

    It was awesome getting to listen to your options and thoughts and feels about it right afterward, too. All in all, an excellent treat to start my weekend*!

    (*:service industry workers rarely have quote-normal-unquote week schedules. My work-weekend is Wednesday/Thursday at the moment, so today is my Saturday.)


      I agree with you. I love those kinds of stories that have that hazy, dreamlike quality. Sweeney mentioned Night Circus, which I think captures that haze as well. That meeting between contemporary and mythology read so fresh– it wasn’t pinned down by the notes you expected the story to hit because it belonged to one genre or the other.

      • Exactly!

        And speaking of a fresh take, I forgot to mention the Cupid and Psyche myth that Finn and Petey were a semi-retelling of. I’m only roughly familiar with the myth, since I haven’t really read Geek and Roman mythology since I was a teen, but what I remember was that they were married, but she wasn’t allowed to ever see his face. So when her sisters convinced her to break the rules, she discovered he was beautiful instead of ugly, but he woke up and realized what she’d seen. He vanished and she had to undergo a quest to get him back, basically.

        There’s a bunch of vaguely similar plots in fairy tales, but the one I always think of is from a movie I watched as a kid, called The Polar Bear King and loosely based on a Norwegian version. Pretty much the same outline, but with added bear instead of winged demigod. Anyway, it’s interesting that Laura Ruby used that for the jumping off point when coming up with the Petey and Finn relationship. I can kind of see the idea of face blindness as the stand-in for the uncertainty represented by being forbidden to see the other person’s face, and Petey’s doubts when she figures it out as the violation of trust when Psyche listens to her sisters and breaks the rule about seeing Cupid. Plus the whole aspect of other people in Bone Gap judging their relationship and talking about it and getting it wrong, as being another parallel to the sisters. It’s fun to think about and try to puzzle out, though I definitely don’t need it to feel like I got full enjoyment out of the novel by itself.