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Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets - David Simon

 
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Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets - David Simon - 7/10/2008 2:28:04 PM   
demoncleaner


Posts: 2388
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Belfast
Arguably an American modern classic given a revival chance this side of the pond since the conclusion of The Wire, I have just picked this up and Iím glad to say itís doing everything to assuage the loss of that (whatís bigger than a zeitgeist?) TV show.
Iím a quarter of the way through this book but itís a massively gripping read from the first pages.  Simonís narrative structure couldnít be simpler: following homicide detectives across 2 shifts over the course of a year. Getting to know one character is done via the chronology of events happening within respective cases.  I canít stress enough how rich this intertwining of stories and characters is as a result and thereís a resounding pleasure in appreciating that as narrator Simon gets to do this naturally, with legitimate purpose, whereas a novelist, or less scrupulous true-crime reporter would jump through hoops to manipulate this circumstance.  Iím not a fan of crime per se, whether true-crime, fiction, or actual. Of the limited amount I have read this is evoking fond memories of LA Confidential (ďGreat film.  Better fucking book!Ē to quote Ellroy himself).  But as I said, the real thrill is knowing this is real, and under David Simonís professional integrity for once this does not equate to a prurient thrall.

Iím sure a number of people on here have, or are intending to read this.  Apologies if there have been other posts/threads.
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RE: Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets - David Simon - 7/10/2008 2:35:19 PM   
Hobbitonlass

 

Posts: 11919
Joined: 30/9/2005
From: Westeros
Started reading this yesterday!   Great stuff so far.

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RE: Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets - David Simon - 7/10/2008 11:00:12 PM   
Acho


Posts: 3907
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Dublin, Co. Ireland
I'm reading this at the moment too! Just started it last week, was going to wait til I was about halfway through before starting a thread! I'm really enjoying it. I've been catching up on The Wire lately, so had watched four seasons in the space of two months, but that hasn't taken from my enjoyment of the book at all.

It's very dense, but not unwieldy. Like the tv series, it does demand your attention, in that it might be easy to lose the threads of who's who, but the writing is very accessible. There's a sense of authenticity to it (leastways, I'm assuming there is - can't vouch for the Baltimore Police Department myself!) but it isn't bogged down with jargon. Every sentence and turn of phrase lends itself to the story.

It's a pretty long book (over 600 ages with small print!) so I'm only about a quarter of the way through, but making good, enjoyable progress. It's fun spotting the matching characters from The Wire too!


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RE: Homicide: A Year On the Killing Streets - David Simon - 14/10/2008 11:58:39 PM   
Acho


Posts: 3907
Joined: 3/10/2005
From: Dublin, Co. Ireland
I'm about three quarters of the way through this now. Really, really enjoying. It's just such good writing. Seeing as much of it is concerned with police procedural work, it's remarkable how easily the narrative flows. I like how Simon doesn't appear to be preaching or putting his own stamp on the workings of the detective unit, yet at the same time offers so much more than just an accurate account of what goes on. I found the 'chapter' concering the Miranda rights particularly fascinating. It was both informative (taught me stuff I hadn't known!) and insightful - Simon offers analysis without even appearing to do so.

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