Daniel Fierman
March 23, 2005 AT 05:00 AM EST

Drama City

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
George Pelecanos
publisher
Little, Brown and Company
genre
Fiction,

We gave it an A-

It has been fascinating to watch the evolution of George Pelecanos. While he was once known for audacious, occasionally brilliant crime period pieces, his writing has become sparse and his settings extremely modern. Drama City may well be the finest example of his recent work. Pelecanos wisely ditches standby PI Derek Strange (the hero of his last several novels) to follow a good-hearted ex-con who toys dangerously with falling back into the Game. That’s it. The whole story. But it works, for exactly the same reason The Wire — the fantastic HBO series Pelecanos is a producer on — works, by turning the day-to-day struggles of working people in American cities into a melancholy, rich poetry.

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