Reviewed Elsewhere [Vol. 3, #36]

October 1, 2010 — Leave a comment

 

An Excerpt from COMMON PRAYER:
A LITURGY FOR ORDINARY RADICALS
By Shane Claiborne, Enuma Okoro
and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove

To Be Relased in November…

http://www.commonprayer.net/CP.pdf

COMMON PRAYER:
A LITURGY FOR ORDINARY RADICALS
Shane Claiborne, Enuma Okoro
and Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove.
Hardcover: Zondervan, 2010.
PRE-ORDER: [ Amazon ]


Excellent Review of the Television Show
THE WIRE (and related books) in
THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS

http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/oct/14/life-wire/


The most intriguing phrase Simon has used regarding The Wire is to say that it is about “the death of work.” By this he means not just the loss of jobs, though there certainly is that, but the loss of integrity within our systems of work, the “juking of stats,” the speaking of truth to power having been replaced with speaking what is most self-serving and pleasing to the higher-ups. In a poker game with the mayor, one folds on a flush to allow the mayor to win. (As opposed to the freelance stickup man Omar, who, beholden to no one, shows up at at a kingpin’s poker night with two pistols and the Dennis Lehane line “I believe these four 5s beat your full house.”) Police departments manipulate their stats for the politicians; schools do the same; newspapers fake stories with their eye on prizes and stockholders. Moreover, in the world of The Wire almost everyone who tries to buck the system and do right is punished, often severely and grotesquely and heartbreakingly. Accommodation is survival at the most basic level, although it is also lethal to the soul.

Ideas are no good without stories. Stories are no good without characters. In drama, characters are no good without actors. If the integrity of The Wire derives from the integrity of its creators, its power lies, in an old-fashioned way, in the brilliant acting of a varied and charismatic cast. Not to diminish the quality of the writing or the careful cinematography, but little of Simon’s agenda would convince without the series’s acting: this is how the humanity of various people is given its indelible life. The Wire‘s producers claim it contains the most diverse cast ever on television, and it is hard to doubt it.

Read the full review:
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/oct/14/life-wire/

The Wire: Truth Be Told
by Rafael Alvarez,
with an introduction by David Simon
Paperback: Grove, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]


Orion Magazine Review of
The Common Man: Poems
by Maurice Manning

http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/review/5630/

IN KENTUCKY, the muse might be an older boy who says, “Take ye a slash / o’ this—hit’ll make yore sticker peck out?—“; or the muse might be the moonshine the boy hands over. Either way, Maurice Manning’s The Common Man  begins with a hint of the illicit and a shot of whiskey. Such an initiation forecasts the diction, desire, and occasional delinquency that course through Manning’s fourth collection, which amasses to an oral history of the landscape and community that the poet has consistently and creatively plumbed. Manning’s earlier collections each coalesce around a specific figure: an imagined adolescent (Lawrence Booth’s Book of Visions); Daniel Boone (A Companion for Owls); a breathless shepherd (Bucolics).


Read the full review:
http://www.orionmagazine.org/index.php/articles/review/5630/

The Common Man
by Maurice Manning
Hardback: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]