just completed the five full seasons of HBO’s The Wire and am suffering
withdrawal pangs. I’m not sure why, but this show and I failed to connect when
it was first shown. Fortunately, two of my current magazine colleagues, one
former colleague, and both of my children urged me to give it another try, and
I’m so glad they did. I’m prepared to argue that it is indeed the finest drama in
television history, and an even greater achievement than The Sopranos, which is
really saying something. I’ve never had television characters seep into my
pores and linger in the memory like these. Bubbles, Omar, Marlo Stanfield,
Lester Freamon, Stringer Bell, Major Rawls, Proposition Joe, the unforgettable
McNulty and Bunk Moreland … the list goes on.
* * *
Just finished a fine
sports biography that was, unfortunately, marred by sloppy copy editing. I
thought that the four or five hideous dangling participles and many unnecessary
uses of passive voice would be the extent of it, until I stumbled last night on
a bad misspelling (of the word camaraderie). And this from an imprint of
Penguin no less. The writer, who did an impressive amount of interviewing and
research for the book, deserved better. Of course, you can also say the first
line of defense against such errors is the writer, not the copy editor.
* * *
The grunts and groans I
hear Christmas Eve may be from an overloaded Santa toppling down the chimney. I
think old jelly-belly might be bringing yours truly the new George Kennan
biography, which I think is doorstop-size. I’m on a major biography kick lately; a life of Charles Dickens might also be on the way. My colleague Jeff
Reich, editor of The Writer, is very knowledgeable about Dickens and
recommended the Michael Slater biography. Lots of good reading for the long Milwaukee winter. Now if I can just train our cats to make the fire and bring me a hot chocolate.
Happy holidays to all of
The Writer’s readers and contributors.
-- Ron Kovach, senior
editor, The Writer
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