The 2005 edition of The Best American Crime Writing offers the year's most shocking, compelling, and gripping writing about real-life crime, including Peter Landesman's article about female sex slaves (the most requested and widely read New York Times story of 2004), a piece from The New Yorker by Stephen J. Dubner (the coauthor of Freakanomics) about a high-society silver thief, and an extraordinarily memorable "ode to bar fights" written by Jonathan Miles for Men's Journal after he punched an editor at a staff party. But this year's edition includes a bonus -- an original essay by James Ellroy detailing his fascination with Joseph Wambaugh and how it fed his obsession with crime -- even to the point of selling his own blood to buy Wambaugh's books. Smart, entertaining, and controversial, The Best American Crime Writing is an essential edition to any crime enthusiast's bookshelf.
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A riveting new anthology series?a year?s worth of the most powerful, the most startling, the smartest and most astute, in short, the best crime journalism.
Scouring hundreds of publications, guest editor Nicholas Pileggi, and series editors Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook have created a remarkable compilation of the best examples of the most current and vibrant of our literary traditions: crime reporting. Ranging in style from Mark Singer?s ribald ?The Chicken Warriors,? an up-close look at the tawdry, wildly popular, illegal world of cock-fighting, to David McClintick?s harrowing ?Fatal Bondage,? the tale of a grifter with an attraction to sado-masochistic sex and serial killing, this collection showcases the wide variety of writing in the field today.
Criminal behavior itself also falls into a spectrum, from the isolated and idiosyncratic misdeed, such as that documented in Skip Hollandsworth?s ?The Killing of Alydar,? an investigation into the greed that spawned the killing of a thoroughbred horse, to the large-scale malignancies that can shake an entire nation, as recounted in ?The Day of the Attack,? Nancy Gibbs?s sobering retelling of the events of September 11, 2001.
Good crime writing is never just about the crime or the criminals, so this collection also has moving and often troubling portraits of the victims, their families, and the communities in which they lived, and, in pieces such as D. Graham Burnett?s ?Anatomy of a Verdict,? a reminder of the immensely difficult process that is coming to judgment.
Entertaining, at times alarming, Best American Crime Writing is compelling evidence of the furthest reaches of human behavior.
James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. quartet -- The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential and White Jazz -- were international bestsellers. American Tabloid was Time's Novel of the Year in 1995; his memoir My Dark Places was Time's Best Book and a New York Times Notable book for 1996. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York Times Notable Book and Los Angeles Times Best Book for 2001. He lives on the coast of California.
Otto Penzler is the proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop, the founder of the Mysterious Press, the creator of Otto Penzler Books, and the editor of many books and anthologies.
Thomas H. Cook is the author of twenty-three books, including The Chatham School Affair, which won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for best novel, and, most recently, The Last Talk with Lola Faye.
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