‘Little Gold Men’ Book Club: ‘The Power of the Dog’


As director Jane Campion told Vanity Fair’s David Canfield recently, the Thomas Savage novel The Power of the Dog “stayed with me a long time and it didn’t let me go.” Published in 1967, the book was somewhat obscure until it was republished in 2001 with a new afterword from Annie Proulx—and now, with Campion’s adaptation set to premiere at the Venice, Toronto, and New York film festivals ahead of its Netflix debut later this year, it’s poised for an even bigger resurgence. 

There’s an eternal debate about whether it’s better to read the book before seeing the movie, but here at Little Gold Men, we’re all about doing our homework. On this week’s episode Katey Rich and Joanna Robinson join David Canfield for a discussion of The Power of the Dog, a beautiful and brutal story about family, masculinity, and repressed emotion set in 1920s Montana. As a book told through a lot of interior monologue, how will the story play out onscreen? How can English actor Benedict Cumberbatch capture the rough-hewn fury of the novel’s central figure, Phil? And how might the movie stack up next to other modern Westerns, from Brokeback Mountain to Nomadland, that reframe the sturdiest of Hollywood genres? 

Elsewhere on this week’s episode, it’s the final week of Emmy voting! And, true to its status as the runaway front-runner for the best-comedy categories, Ted Lasso is the thing everybody wants to talk about, though maybe not the way the creators intended. Even if the Twitter grumbling about the currently airing season two doesn’t mean anything for Emmy voters (and the Little Gold Men team thinks it doesn’t), it’s evidence that even when you’re a hit show based on kindness, there can be a lot of temptation to kick you around. 

And the episode ends with two interviews with Emmy nominees. First, Hillary Busis talks to Maya Rudolph about her dual nominations, for hosting Saturday Night Live and for her voice work as Connie the Hormone Monstress on the animated series Big Mouth. And then Katey Rich dives deep with Ted Lasso star Juno Temple on how playing the sunny Keeley has changed her life after decades of acing professionally—and why both her and Keeley’s drawers are likely to be full of fake hair. 

Listen to the episode above, and find Little Gold Men on Apple Podcasts or anywhere else you get your podcasts. You can also sign up to receive texts from us at Subtext—we’d love to hear from you. 

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