The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighbourhood Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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"A staggering depiction of broken urban hearts of America . . . This is reportage of the highest order." (Irish Times)
"If The Wire has given you Baltimore fever, read this chunky, streetwise, drug-littered piece of reportage by the hard-hitting show's creators." (The Times)
"An amazingly clear-sighted yet sympathetic portrait of the American underclass." (Daily Telegraph)
"As thrilling and intense as any psycho-drama . . . this engrossing slice of social journalism is a tour de force that manages tohumanise its subjects without exploiting them." (Big Issue)
"A profoundly moving and intelligent piece of social history." (Time Out)
"A brutal critique of America's failed war on drugs, the equality of Simon and Burns's insights matched by a hardboiled lyricism. This is journalism as art." (Sunday Herald) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A devastating portrait of the American drugs war, from the creators of THE WIRE
'Mind-blowing . . . less a book, more a way of life.' The Times
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Top Customer Reviews
The pace of the book is slower, and The Corner is less compelling than Simon's masterful "Homicide," lacking as it does the "whodunnit" elements, but this book is no less worthy of praise.
Simon and Burns strike a near-perfect balance here between the minutiae of the lives of the addicts and their families - the petty crime, the designer clothes, the packages, the basketball games - and the wider subjects which explore how and why this forgotten underclass came to be - the "war on drugs," immigration, unemployment and the mentality and economy of the drug trade. It's a huge book at over 550 pages long, but it is never overly weighty or preachy. Simon and Burns view their subject from all angles, illuminating it in three dimensions, moving in the space of a page from a close up of a desperate junkie tearing copper piping from a basement, to an authoratitive exploration of the migration of the Black population from Carolina and Virginia, the racial tensions that arose and the impact of WW2 on the poor communities of Baltimore. With several years of research under their belts, most of it on the corner that gives the book its title, the authors can be trusted completely.Read more ›
The reader is taken into a world few of us would dare approach as outsiders but almost immediately we are empathising with most of the characters.
This book is a terrible endictment of inner cities throughout the world, but especially in America. Aspirations are crushed by the surrounding apathy and good intentions drowned by the endless supply of readily available, highly addictive cheap drugs. The complete breakdown of the education system and any sort of meaningful law and order, described and explained by Simon in horrific detail, show that the next generation(s) are doomed to follow the old as avenues of escape are all but cut off.
Yet even among the gun toting teenage gangs, the adolescent mothers and their long term addicted parents and grand-parents we recognise people with potential, those with gentle and friendly natures, those with a wonderful sense of humour, simple people, lazy people, hard-working people - in short, every day characters and personalities we all recognise. But society has failed them, utterly broken down and failed them dismally.
There, but for an accident of birth, goes every one of us.
There are those who continue to care, continue to work to try and bring some sort of meaning to life in the ghetto. Some are saints who, at least for a time, refuse to give up on a cause so lost it is bewildering, while others are just not prepared to recognise the hoplessness into which their own neighborhood has descended.
More than anything this book is a slap in the face for those who say 'I would never let it happen to me, I'd find a way to better myself'.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have to say it was a little bit less tasty than: Homicide.
It throws up as many unanswered questions as it attempts to answer. Read more
I read this as I was a fan of The Wire and I'm glad I did. Simon and Burns take you right into the heart of the inner city and into the lives of the addicts and their families. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Mario86
This is perhaps the greatest piece of investigative reporting ever undertaken. Clear eyed yet compassionate, it should be read by anyone involved in law enforcement or politics.Published 14 months ago by Mr. Richard Marris
Not as good as Homicide, a bit too bleak for me, very decent thoughPublished 14 months ago by great_nessula
My husband enjoyed this very much - not watched by myself.Published 15 months ago by Mrs. V. J. Charles