From Publishers Weekly
We're living in an age of great nonfiction writing, says Glass, the host of the radio program This American Life
, who picks out 14 of his favorite journalistic features from writers who are entertainers in the best sense of the word, unafraid to insert their personal perspective into the stories they're telling. The collection really is front-loaded with kings—with Susan Orlean and Coco Henson Scales the only female journalists included, despite any number of valid candidates. There's a greater problem with the anthology than its unintentional chauvinism, though. Far from new, many of its components are more than a decade old—Lawrence Weschler's Shapinsky's Karma dates to the mid-1980s—and several have already been published in other books, like the Malcolm Gladwell article that became a chapter in The Tipping Point
or an extract from Bill Buford's Among the Thugs
. That's not to say that the articles (and their authors) don't deserve the admiration Glass heaps upon them. The way that Michael Lewis teases out the family drama in the story of a teenage day trader who ran afoul of the SEC, for example, is breathtaking reportage and should be read and reread. For all its excellence, though, this anthology is less revelatory than it makes itself out to be. (Oct. 2)
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About the Author
Ira Glass is the producer and host of the award-winning radio and television program "This American Life".