Gilbert Cruz
November 05, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Road Work

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Mark Bowden
publisher
Atlantic Monthly Press
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A

”I was a newspaper reporter because I wanted to write, and it was a place where you got paid to do it,” writes Mark Bowden in the introduction to this collection of almost a quarter century of his journalism. That doesn’t mean his writing is better than his reporting — the Black Hawk Down author excels at both. With fascinating features on Norman Mailer, the war against terror, and even a Philadelphia Zoo gorilla, Bowden’s range is broad. In the two standout stories, Bowden follows leukemia patients on a trip to Disney World and profiles a vivacious man whose bipolar disorder drives him to suicide. With heartbreaking detail, both pieces reveal Bowden’s most effective reporting tool: empathy.

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