Most helpful critical review
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
a look inside . . .
on June 12, 2005
If you want to know how those stylish writers at the New Yorker pull off those long, fascinating "fact" pieces, this is the book for you. The author has interviewed over a dozen of what he calls the "new new" journalists, and the interviews reveal some of their tricks of the trade, working methods, approach, attitude, etc. I think those who aspire to write in this way will get the most out of this book, because reading it is like sitting down with these top-flight journalists and picking their brains.
I give it 3 stars because it's not a work of art or anything . . . I mean, the same questions, more or less, are repeated in each interview, and the intro to each chapter distills information and quotes that follow in the chapter, so I don't see this book as being a grand literary achievement per se. But it's useful, and I came away from it with an increased appreciation of how hard these journalists work--sometimes staying with the same story for months or years, and putting hundreds or thousands of hours into one long article. (Of course, when they expand the article into a book, the time they invested continues to produce returns.) Anyway, if you are a journalist or are someone interested in the way high-level literary journalism is currently being carried out, you'll find what you're looking for in this paperback original.