Best American Crime Writing 2003

Best American Crime Writing 2003

by Otto Penzler
     
 

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This 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, Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook have created a remarkable compilation containing the best examples of the most current and vibrant of our literary traditions: crime reporting.

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Overview

This 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, Otto Penzler and Thomas H. Cook have created a remarkable compilation containing the best examples of the most current and vibrant of our literary traditions: crime reporting.

Included in this volume are Maximillian Potter’s “The Body Farm” from GQ, a portrait of Murray Marks, who collects dead bodies and strews them around two acres of the University of Tennessee campus to study their decomposition in order to help solve crime; Jay Kirk’s
“My Undertaker, My Pimp,” from Harper’s, in which Mack Moore and his wife, Angel, switch from run-ning crooked funeral parlors to establishing a brothel; Skip Hollandsworth’s “The Day Treva Throneberry Disappeared” from Texas Monthly, about the sudden disappearence of a teenager and the strange place she turned up; Lawrence Wright’s “The Counterterrorist” from The New Yorker, the story of John O’Neill, the FBI agent who tracked Osama bin Laden for a decade—until he was killed when the World Trade Center collapsed. Intriguing, entertaining, and compelling reading, Best American Crime Writing has established itself as a much-anticipated annual.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“An artful mix of the political, the odd, the macabre, and the downright brilliant... The entire collection is an even mix of 'why didn't I clip that?' and 'how did I miss that?' Avid true-crime readers, take note.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Compelling, well written . . . a riveting collection.” –The Boston Sunday Globe

“Jammed with good prose, fascinating stories and probing investigative work . . . all first rate. . . . ‘Best’ really belongs in the title.” –Star Tribune

Publishers Weekly
Surpassing even last year's acclaimed inaugural collection, Penzler and Cook, with guest editor Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil), return with another candid and powerful selection of true crime reporting. The editors have pulled together an array of essays distinguished as much by their insight and intelligence as by their riveting tales of bizarre and unnerving criminality. Articles such as "The Accused" by Paige Williams (which exposes the legacy of suspicion that has haunted a wrongfully accused man since 1978) and "The Terrible Boy" (Tom Junod's brilliant and compassionate portrait of an unlucky kid who swung a fateful punch and became a poster child for antibullying movements across the nation) transcend the genre to explore the disregarded costs of justice and lives destroyed in moments of thoughtlessness. Some of the essays confront depraved atrocities, but others are only marginally associated with crime. "A Woman's Work" by Peter Landesman recounts how Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, the former national minister of family and women's affairs for Rwanda, masterminded the rape and slaughter of thousands. While "The Boy Who Loved Transit" by Jeff Tietz tells the story of a harmless, lovable man with Asperger's syndrome whose obsession with trains leads him to repeatedly impersonate a New York City Transit Authority employee. This excellent collection covers Web-cam pornography, the Enron debacle, forced prostitution in Europe, killer attack dogs, the murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, bumbling Nazi saboteurs and the science of rotting corpses-so there is sure to be something here for everyone. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Strong anthology of avarice and violence, from GQ, Vanity Fair, Harper’s, and others. Former magazine editor Berendt (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, 1994, etc.) reflects that we are all potential victims and suspects in the post-9/11 era. He concentrates on well-constructed reportage of startling crimes in unlikely locales, like Skip Hollandsworth’s tale of a Texas woman prosecuted for posing as a traumatized high-schooler. Current political unease inflects essays like Lawrence Wright’s elegy for controversial counterterrorist John O’Neill, and Robert Anson’s account of Daniel Pearl’s murder. Jeff Tietz’s "The Boy Who Loved Transit," about a notorious unauthorized subway gadfly since diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, strikes a lighter note; nothing’s funny about chilling reports on the horrific treatment accorded women during the Rwandan genocide and today in Eastern Europe. Other contributors (e.g., Marie Brenner, Sebastian Junger, and Devin Friedman) address grisly topics ranging from NBA star Jayson Williams’s shotgunning of an employee to the California dog-mauling to Enron (slaughter of a different sort). Fine second installment, but with too-few entries from independent or lesser-known publications.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375713019
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/19/2003
Series:
Best American Crime Writing Series
Edition description:
2003 Edition
Pages:
512
Product dimensions:
5.15(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.88(d)

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