Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good Story 005: The Franchise Affair

The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

In this week's podcast, Julie and Scott discuss The Franchise Affair, a mystery novel by Josephine Tey.

Download or listen via this link: |Episode #005|

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Stuff mentioned in the podcast:


  1. You keep presenting interesting books to read, not that I mind. But I do find that since I do want to read the book I only hear half of the podcast since I must stop when you warn of spoilers.

    I don't know if it is possible to do a format change due to this and whether you can have more commentary n the first section or not. I just feel impolite dropping off in the middle with no sign off.

  2. Okay, found this book at Project Gutenberg Australia as a text file and did some formatting work to covert it to ePub so I can read this book next and then get back to your spoiler commentary.

  3. Great, Jeff! Julie and I are mulling over what you said in the first comment, but are not coming up with a different approach. In order to discuss the themes, we need to talk about the events in the book - thus the warning.

  4. I finished the book and much enjoyed it.

    The attitude of journalists have changed, though not a much as Scott might think. Certainly the idea of saving the world is a newer concept for Columbia Journalism school students and others largely spurned on by "All the Kings Men" and the Washington Post reporters - though they totally missed the real story (See books such as Silent Coup). The mixing of news and editorialism is nothing new and the idea of totally bias free reporting is unlikely. Though I think they worked harder at maintaining the fiction before. The more things change the more they remain the same as you can see by books such as Hillaire Belloc's "The Free Press."

    What I found interesting about the view of Tabloids in the book is that there was an acknowledgment of good coming out of evil In this case the miracle of the hotel owner trying to perfect his English reads the story and recognizes the girl.

    The view of the town people towards the two women is certainly a pattern so often played over and over. People love to judge and to rely on sources willing to jump to conclusions to sell themselves. Rash judgment is very prevalent and the closer a story confirms a prejudice the easier it is to accept.

    I especially enjoyed your conversation on things everybody knows - which are false. Mark Shea calls this area pseudo-knowledge and contains things like Columbus and the people of his time believing in a flat earth. Catholics get a lot opseudo-knowledge attached - especially concerning the Crusades, Inquisition, and of course Galileo. These types of knowledge are generally created by people with agendas and then later just get passed on and on and taken for granted. For example how many times have we heard Scholastic argued about how many Angels could dance on a pin - something that never happened. All we can do is tray to correct the record as we can.

    One thing I enjoyed in the book was the end of the trial and the reaction of Marion. Even though she and her mother was vindication she saw the great pain of the adopted mother of the girl and could emphasize.

    I also loved the ending. The nice setup in the second to last chapter with the final short chapter turning it around.

  5. Jeff, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! I especially appreciate your comments about good coming out of evil (which hadn't occurred to me) and that the closer a story confirms a prejudice the easier it is to accept ... which is something that I have to fight in myself more often that I'd like to admit.

    I also enjoyed the fact that everyone felt for Betty's adopted mother so much. It showed a larger spirit of empathy which I think the entire book supported.

  6. No zombies? Not even one? I'm devastated...I'm adding this to my FeedReader, none the less, in the hopes that there will be zombies next time.

    My mother read a great many mystery books, and since I was a voracious reader in my youth, I ended up reading quite a few of them, as well. I remember the name Josephine Tey because of a book of hers called "Brat Farrar," which I very much enjoyed. I found it fascinating, and wondered at the time why no one had attempted to make it into a movie. (Even at a young age, I was obsessed with cinema.)

    Thanks for the reminder; I must dig it up again. But now, I'm off to listen to the "Serenity" podcast!

  7. Joseph,

    We apologize for any inconvenience that this episode's lack of zombies may have caused...

    Hope you enjoy the "Serenity" episode!