I really enjoy this format as an expansion of the podcast. Having different voices on occasionally is interesting and introduces us to new things. I'm going to take a look at Evan Lampe's American Writers: One Hundred Pages At A Time podcast based on this episode.
I think there may be an interpretation of The Mangler indicting modernity. We've lost our old knowledge and use magical herbs/chemicals for all sorts of things and eventually, it comes and bites us.