Upper Middlebrow

Upper Middlebrow


Latest Episodes

Episode 8: “Stephenson’s a flame-kindling kind of guy,” or Upper Middle Brow Phones a Friend
January 24, 2023

We hit pause on recapping, and talk the intersection of education and technology with a genuine educational technologist, Professor Justin Reich (and the man who introduced Dukes + Bagg). Justin consi

Episode 7: Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, Part One, or “Nitrates, Nitrites, Nitrotes, and Nitrutes”
January 13, 2023

Bagg proposes Dukes would live in Dovetail in this scenario, and the UMBs set off to untangle this ambitious and elaborate neo-nano-steampunk plot. We note Stephensons obsessions with chaos v. order,

Episode 6: Neal Stephenson’s Zodiac, Part Two, or “Cran-Razz with your Deus ex Machina?”
January 03, 2023

After blowing off steam about the pronunciation of Natick in the audio book, Dukes and Bagg reflect on the challenges of reigning in Stephensons firehose of talent" and speculate about which of th

Episode 5: Neal Stephenson’s Zodiac, or “Poorly Foreshadowed Dorking”
December 20, 2022

Chris and Jesse try to figure out where Zodiac sits in the upper-middlebrow spectrum. Dukes wishes he could have commuted around Chicago a la Sangamon Taylor, Stephenson's protagonist, and we discuss

Episode 4: Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, Part Two, or “Coach Class on the White Boat”
December 06, 2022

Bagg and Dukes dive into the second half of Highsmiths mystery in reverse. They discuss whether it should have been harder for Tom to get away with murder and how Toms rationalizations can feel to

Episode 3: Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, Part One
November 29, 2022

Chris and Jesse talk salt pigs and the Queen Mary ocean liner before getting down to business, diving into Patricia Highsmiths disturbing and keenly crafted 1955 novel. They discuss the difference be

Episode 2: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Part Two
November 22, 2022

Chris and Jesse pick up mostly where we left off (although leaving off suggests were keeping track of what were doingspoiler alert: were not), as Hiro and Y.T. infiltrate the decommissioned USS

Episode 1: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, Part One
November 22, 2022

Released in 1992, Snow Crash is Neal Stephensons second major novel, but certainly his first breakaway hit. Snow Crash follows the exploits of Hiro Protagonist (yes, you read that right) and his part

Trailer: Upper Middle Brow LIVE Tomorrow
November 20, 2022

Upper Middle Brow launches TOMORROW! Yes, that's right, tomorrow, November 22nd, as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash with our very first episode. We're excited, and we

What IS Upper Middle Brow?
November 20, 2022

Too often, authors, creators, and their audiences pigeonhole themselves and each other, claiming tiny slices of culture to inhabit: "literary," "mass-market," "popular," "sophisticated," "page-turner,