Friday, October 26, 2007

The New Kings of Nonfiction

Edited and introduced by Ira Glass

First, let me say that this is a great way to read nonfiction. Nonfiction in the format of a story is very enjoyable.

Topics are eclectic and range from a day trading teen's run-in with the SEC to the miraculous discovery of an artist at the end of his career. You'll be disgusted by the fans of Manchester United and delighted by the simplicity of the 10-year-old named Colin.

But not every entry is equal. David Foster Wallace's story about the radio host is full of his trademark footnotes, which really just take up space and annoy readers. And Lee Sandlin's "Losing the War" lacks the human interest that every other story has. And, well, James McManus doesn't quite dazzle me with "Fortune's Smile," which is all about the World Series of Poker. Bo-ring.

But everything else is worth reading. And a lot of the stories are a lot of fun.


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