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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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Ira Glass is the producer and host of the award-winning radio and television program "This American Life".See all Editorial Reviews
As an aspiring writer of truly excellent nonfiction, I can't think of a better book to read. Every story in here is riveting--even the ones on topics I would have told you I have... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jennifer Gresham
High expectations. Frustrating and less than enjoyable results. Title of book a gross over-statement. SorryPublished 7 months ago by Gary Smith
I purchased this book after reading all of Malcolm Gladwells books. I really enjoy his style of writing and this book contains other authors who write in a similar way. Good read.Published 13 months ago by deborah
I liked most of the stories, but a few were really long and boring. Pretty interesting. Recommended read. The few in the middle are so tough to finish.Published 21 months ago by Drake
I found every one of the pieces interesting, and well written. Numerous times I re-read a sections just to savor the mastery of the way it was written.Published on August 11, 2013 by Dr. Mic Hunter
There were several memorable stories here, but they are from Ira's cold files. Some didn't age that well. Read morePublished on June 3, 2013 by Sonatina