S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in D.C.

( 1 )

Overview

During the height of the crack epidemic that decimated the streets of D.C., Ruben Castaneda covered the crime beat for the Washington Post. The first in his family to graduate from college, he had landed a job at one of the country’s premier newspapers. But his apparent success masked a devastating secret: he was a crack addict. Even as he covered the drug-fueled violence that was destroying the city, he was prowling S Street, a 24/7 open-air crack market, during his off hours, ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.24
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$26.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (16) from $14.65   
  • New (12) from $14.65   
  • Used (4) from $16.79   
S Street Rising: Crack, Murder, and Redemption in D.C.

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$10.49
BN.com price
(Save 41%)$17.99 List Price

Overview

During the height of the crack epidemic that decimated the streets of D.C., Ruben Castaneda covered the crime beat for the Washington Post. The first in his family to graduate from college, he had landed a job at one of the country’s premier newspapers. But his apparent success masked a devastating secret: he was a crack addict. Even as he covered the drug-fueled violence that was destroying the city, he was prowling S Street, a 24/7 open-air crack market, during his off hours, looking for his next fix.

S Street Rising is more than a memoir; it’s a portrait of a city in crisis. It’s the adrenalin-infused story of the street where Castaneda quickly became a regular, and where a fledgling church led by a charismatic and streetwise pastor was protected by the local drug kingpin, a dangerous man who followed an old-school code of honor. It’s the story of Castaneda’s friendship with an exceptional police homicide commander whose career was derailed when he ran afoul of Mayor Marion Barry and his political cronies. And it’s a study of the city itself as it tried to rise above the bloody crack epidemic and the corrosive politics of the Barry era. S Street Rising is The Wire meets the Oscar-winning movie Crash. And it’s all true.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
05/05/2014
A streetwise reporter takes a walk on Washington’s wild side in this gritty but unfocused memoir. Castaneda began his career as a Washington Post metro reporter at the height of the city’s crack cocaine and murder epidemics of the late 1980s and early 1990s, covering countless drug-related homicides and the city’s notorious mayor Marion Barry, who was arrested on narcotics charges while in office. Going a little too far with his research, Castaneda became a crack addict, binging away his money while fretting that dealers might recognize him at crime scenes and blackmail him. He paints an engrossing portrait of this woozy, lubricious demimonde and of the S Street ghetto where he scored, with vivid portraits of crack-addicted prostitutes he befriended, a pastor who was also a drug kingpin, and of a charismatic police captain trying to reform the department and stem Washington’s chaos. Once Castaneda gets clean, the episodic narrative sputters unevenly; he recounts tense crime set pieces, including a bloody shooting spree at police headquarters, but also much feckless office politics as he tussles with editors over assignments and raises. At his best, Castaneda writes movingly of the unlikely wellsprings of solidarity and hope in communities that society has written off. (July)
From the Publisher
"Castaneda’s page-turner, told with easygoing charm and great skill, is an unstinting unveiling of who got away with what and when and how Castaneda followed the action and found himself." Booklist

 

"An engrossing portrait . . . . Castaneda writes movingly of the unlikely wellsprings of solidarity and hope in communities that society has written off." Publishers Weekly

 

"Castaneda offers himself not just as chronicler but as a participant in the larger urban blight and recovery story of DC itself . . . Elegant . . . Scathingly honest . . . A powerful, propulsive, narcotically fueled cri de couer for an entire city." Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight, in BookForum

 

"Dramatic . . . Explosive and informed by good reporting." —Kirkus Reviews

 

"It’s hard to find a better perspective . . . . This work is a page-turner. Recommended for readers especially interested in the war on drugs or DC and for fans of David Carr’s The Night of the Gun or HBO’s The Wire." —Library Journal 

 

"Castaneda was an addict whose double life would have to come crumbling down. That it did, and S Street Rising chronicles his ordeal and recovery—he’s been clean for more than two decades now—while also portraying the nation’s capital under the onslaught of an epidemic, drug-fueled crime wave." —Penthouse Magazine

 

"A tense, unflinching chronicle . . . S Street Rising is a gritty and utterly convincing street-level portrait of a dark chapter in the city’s history, reflected in the dark mirror of Castaneda’s own addiction." —Washington Post

Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-05
An illumination of the Washington, D.C., crack epidemic.As a reporter for theWashington Post, Castaneda undoubtedly learned that it can be trouble when a journalist gets too close to his story and even more trouble when the journalistbecomesthe story.Yet the author, drawing heavily on his experience and reportage in the crack and murder capital of the country, compounds those troubles by pacing his multiple narratives as if writing a novel (re-creating the thoughts of characters in situations he wasn’t even around to witness) or TV series. The most dramatic narrative is the author’s own story, that of someone who was already using crack when he was brought from Los Angeles to thePostto cover crime and quickly escalated into full-blown addiction as the drug became both his beat and his life.The paper sent him to rehab, and he dedicated himself to recovery (after one serious slip); that part of the narrative pretty much disappears halfway through the book.The second narrative concerns the rise and fall of the city’s homicide chief, caught in the political machinations of Mayor Marion Berry’s regime, who became not only a major source for the reporter, but also a closer friend than the subject of a journalist’s coverage should be. Such a close relationship had consequences for both men.The third narrative concerns a minister who built a street church in the middle of a crack-dealing neighborhood and found the head dealer to be a guardian angel protecting the church—“a lovable teddy bear,” or, as one neighbor put it, “the notorious, lovable godfather.” Castaneda interweaves that narrative with the immediacy of the others, though he later explains that he experienced none of this firsthand but only learned of the preacher and the dealer after the fact.The subject matter is explosive and informed by good reporting, but the various narrative lines never really tie together, and the novelistic approach undermines the journalism.
Library Journal
06/15/2014
Former Washington Post reporter Castaneda takes on DC's (and his own) crack era in this memoir/social history. It's hard to find a better perspective: Castaneda writes as a recovering crack addict as well as the Post's crime reporter from 1989 until 1997, when DC was still known as the Murder Capital. (He covered local court issues, police brutality in particular, until 2011.) The author follows several stories: his own as he struggles to balance addiction, and eventually recovery, with his career; that of The New Community Church in the war-torn neighborhood where Castaneda once purchased drugs; and that of Lou Hennessy, onetime DC police commander of homicide. It's a story about healing and redemption as much as it is about the enormous toll this powerfully addictive drug took on the city, but none of these people or places emerge unscathed. VERDICT Castaneda puts his years of reportorial writing to quality use—this work is a page-turner. Recommended for readers especially interested in the war on drugs or DC and for fans of David Carr's The Night of the Gun or HBO's The Wire. [See the Q&A with Castaneda, p. 112.—Ed.]—Molly McArdle, Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781620400043
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 7/1/2014
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 193,573
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Ruben Castaneda worked for twenty-two years as a staff writer at the Washington Post. His Washington Post Sunday magazine piece on struggling with addiction while covering the police beat won first place in feature writing from the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Front Page Awards. He is the recipient of numerous other journalism awards. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 17, 2014

      If you can read the true stories in S Street Rising and not cr

      If you can read the true stories in S Street Rising and not cry through some chapters and feel nauseous in others, you’re a stronger person than I am. So, you may reasonably ask, why subject oneself to these graphic descriptions of addiction, violence, and poverty? My response is that breaking through all the tales of bleak despair are tender moments of grace and reconciliation and those inspire me to say, “I want to be part of redemption stories like that.” Readers willing to follow Castaneda into the darkness discover how family, faith, and addiction recovery programs can and do support junkies struggling to break free from whatever is their drug of choice. We are also introduced to a plucky little church start-up, New Community Church, which painstakingly helps reclaim the neighborhood that had become a war-zone. I want to be a part of a church that can do that. I won’t give away the story’s ending but here’s a hint: think Easter. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)