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Publisher's Summary

The definitive oral history of the iconic and beloved TV show The Wire, as told by the actors, writers, directors and others involved in its creation.

Since its final episode aired, the acclaimed crime drama The Wire has only become more popular and influential. The issues it tackled, from the failures of the drug war and criminal justice system to systemic bias in law enforcement and other social institutions, have become more urgent and central to the national conversation. The show's actors, such as Idris Elba and Dominic West, have gone on to become major stars. Its creators and writers, including David Simon and Richard Price, have developed dedicated cult followings of their own. Universities use the show to teach everything from film theory to criminal justice and sociology. Politicians and activists reference it when discussing policy. When critics compile lists of the Greatest TV Shows of All Time, The Wire routinely takes the top spot. It is arguably one of the great works of art America has produced in the 21st century. 

But while there has been a great deal of critical analysis of the show and its themes, until now there has never been a definitive, behind-the-scenes take on how it came to be made. With unparalleled access to all the key actors and writers involved in its creation, Jonathan Abrams tells the astonishing, compelling and complete account of The Wire, from its inception and creation through its end and powerful legacy.

©2018 Jonathan Abrams (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

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  • Jim 8888
  • 11-01-21

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Before purchasing this audiobook, I rewatched all five series of The Wire, one after another, and it was even better than I remembered. The quality of the plotting, the acting and the locations all worked together so well that I was prepared to forgive the luvvie love-in that this book was in danger of becoming. One actor after another telling how great their fellow players were, how incredible "the craft" can be. But yes, when it works like it did in The Wire, who's to say that it isn't art? The creators, David Simon and Ed Burns, come across as a bit arrogant and slightly insufferable, but they've a right to be proud of what they created. Some of the narration in this audiobook is a bit jarring and I'm not sure if the guy reading quotes from Dominic West, say, was actually Dominic West, but all the different voices help you to keep a grasp of the narrative. All the key players, and many of the minor ones (and backroom staff) have their say and it's interesting stuff, especially if the episodes are fresh in your mind. I was surprised that initial viewing figures for the show on HBO were so low and that despite this they managed to make five series' with all the main characters intact. I think that all the cast and crew knew they were making something that mattered, they just weren't sure what or how. As a piece of TV, in my opinion the opus of The Wire is unsurpassed. It's almost twenty years old now since it started, and it still packs a relevant punch. I like to think I'll still be watching it twenty years from now and still marvelling at what was achieved. If you're a fan, then you'll definitely enjoy the depth that this book adds to the work.