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The Wire: Urban Decay and American Television Paperback – Dec 10 2009
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Mentioned in 'In the Life of 'The Wire'' by Lorrie Moore--Sanford Lakoff
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If you're obsessed with "The Wire" I don't think you really have a choice but to read this book. You won't love all of the essays (some of them you'll finish and won't remember any of what you read) but you'll look forward to picking it up each time.
Historical explorations of Baltimore, character studies, television narrative complexity - there's a LOT of meat here. But then again, the show is so rich that I felt that there is absolutely no shortage of material and perspectives for another collection.
Because the collection covers such a broad spectrum of topics, its appeal may fluctuate from essay to essay. I would find myself immersed in one section (Jason Read's Stringer Bell's Lament: Violence and Legitimacy in Contemporary Capitalism), only to be completely disengaged and outright confused in another (Kevin McNeilly's Dislocating America: Agnieszka Holland Directs "Moral Midgetry" did nothing for me because I'm unfamiliar with the process of directing). I expect this to be the case for most readers; thus it's tough to throw out a solid recommendation for every Wire fan out there.
Still, I suspect that if you enjoyed the series enough to seek out additional analysis, there's definitely something in here for you. Personally, this book has earned a place on my bookshelf, as the Wire has cemented its spot in my DVD collection as television's most engaging and demanding show.