Piecework: Writings on Men and Women, Fools and Heroes, Lost Cities, Vanished Friends, Small Pleasures, Large Calamities, and How the Weather Was

Piecework: Writings on Men and Women, Fools and Heroes, Lost Cities, Vanished Friends, Small Pleasures, Large Calamities, and How the Weather Was

by Pete Hamill
     
 

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In a new volume of journalistic essays, the eclectic author of A Drinking Life offers sharp commentary on diverse subjects, such as American immigration policy toward Mexico, Mike Tyson, television, crack, Northern Ireland and Octavio Paz.See more details below

Overview

In a new volume of journalistic essays, the eclectic author of A Drinking Life offers sharp commentary on diverse subjects, such as American immigration policy toward Mexico, Mike Tyson, television, crack, Northern Ireland and Octavio Paz.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hamill (A Drinking Life) reminds us that ``if reporters stick around long enough they learn that the guilty are sometimes innocent and the innocent probably have an angle,'' and so in this collection of his previously published essays, he casts a suspicious if not compassionate eye on life. He first tackles the Big Apple, and few are more eloquent in talking about the City of New York. Although he recognizes that ``Nostalgia is a treacherous emotion,'' there is plenty of it here, as he gives the reader wonderful reminiscences of Greenwich Village in the '50s and '60s; shows how the lack of jobs has caused the welfare state to explode (he points out that there are 1.3 million New Yorkers on welfare today, compared to 150,000 in 1955); laments the passing of the trolley car and misses the New York that preferred stickball to crack. And although he covers the world's trouble spots from Vietnam to Beirut to Belfast, the sustenance of this collection are the biographical sketches of such diverse characters as boxer Mike Tyson, Mets first baseman Keith Hernandez, Sinatra, mobster John Gotti, General Colin Powell and Jackie Gleason. Hamill has a decided love for the rogue, and the reader may wind up liking John Gotti better than Colin Powell. Hamill finishes with thoughtful pieces that dissect his own mortality-recently, for example, he was stricken with tuberculosis. A collection that shows why Hamill is a New York literary treasure. (Jan.)
Library Journal
Hamill, author of the best-selling memoir A Drinking Life (LJ 1/94), has selected some of his most successful essays for this collection. He began his career as a journalist 35 years ago at the New York Post and went on to write novels, screenplays, and magazine articles. These essays are opinionated, hard-hitting, passionate, and sometimes disturbing. Written for magazines ranging from Esquire to Art & Antiques, Hamill's writings show readers the decay of New York and other cities, the violence and heartbreak of Lebanon and Nicaragua, and the unraveling of civil life in many parts of our society. But he also includes compassionate portraits of some famous people and several informative travel articles. Recommended for journalism and essay collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 9/15/95.]-Rebecca Wondriska, Trinity Coll. Lib., Hartford, Ct.
Thomas Gaughan
To use his own pretty phrase, Pete Hamill has been living in the "permanent present tense" of the journalist's trade since 1960. Since 1965, he's been a newspaper columnist and magazine feature writer, enjoying freedom from the "tyranny of impossible objectivity" imposed on reporters. Hamill has honored that freedom for 30 years, and this collection offers a large and incredibly diverse selection of his best work since 1970. It's a measure of Hamill's range and the worth of this book that it is impossible to capsulize its contents. The pieces are a journalistic gallimaufry: magazine essays, newspaper columns, elegies, and profiles of subjects as varied as Octavio Paz and Mike Tyson, political correctness, stickball, and Mexico and northern Ireland. Hamill is at his best, which is very, very good, on the subject he knows best: New York. "The Lost City" is a lilting lament for the city of his youth, one that still retained the capacity to be horrified. Most of his writing about the city is either melancholy or angry; melancholy about what has been lost or angry at the pervasive fear, violence, greed, and intolerance that have replaced it. "Piecework" is informative, entertaining, thought provoking, and elegantly written.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316082952
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
09/26/2009
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
788,752
File size:
1 MB

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