In the heart of America, a metropolis is quietly destroying itself. Detroit, once the richest city in the nation, is now its poorest. Once the vanguard of America’s machine age - mass production, automobiles, and blue-collar jobs - Detroit is now America’s capital for unemployment, illiteracy, foreclosure, and dropouts.
With the steel-eyed reportage that has become his trademark and the righteous indignation that only a native son can possess, journalist Charlie LeDuff sets out to uncover what has brought low this once-vibrant city, his city. In doing so, he uncovers the deeply human drama of a city filled with some of the strongest and strangest people our country has to offer.
©2013 Charlie LeDuff (P)2013 HighBridge Company
"Full of both literary grace and hard-won world-weariness...Iggy Pop meets Jim Carroll and Charles Bukowski." (Kirkus)
Listening to this audiobook makes me wonder how anyone can live with such a dark perspective about everything. Detroit certainly has more than its share of tragedy and issues, but there is something positive to report, as well. LeDuff is a bottom-dweller who sees only the worst in humanity. This book is draining to listen to.
Gripping, Sad, Insightful
Some say it is only about his family but they are just a part of the bigger picture, please give this book a try you will be surprised. I found myself looking at other media to find the people he was talking about, to see the whole story, what a crazy town.
Would I listen to it again? Probably not. It was definitely a worthy book to listen to, don't get me wrong. I just lived though much of the Coleman Young, Kwame, Emergency Manager time and had heard much of what happened on the local news. Charlie's book though, brought a new perspective to what happened and although I enjoyed it a lot, I doubt that I'd listen to it again...but I don't listen or read many books more than once.
No idea, but if you know of any like Detroit that cover different times in the city's history that are a good read/listen, I'd definitely be open to listening to those as well!
No, I haven't, but I thought he did a good job narrating. The various voices that he used for the different characters led to easily being able to picture them. Knowing who many of the players in Detroit were, I thought they were spot on. I'd listen to more of hos work without hesitation.
Yes and no (mostly yes). Yes because it was interesting getting more of an insiders view of many of the more recent going ons in Detroit. It was also nice learning about the history of Detroit. Charlie's own family story was interwoven into the book as well and offered another side to the book. No because-WOW! It's so damn depressing how messed up everything has gotten to be in Detroit. Being from the D though, overall, I really enjoyed listening and could have easily and happily listened to it in one day.
This is less an autopsy of Detroit and more an autobiography of the author, Charlie LeDuff. It's an interesting and usually saddening series of vignettes about Detroit and the extreme poverty and corruption that are destroying it, strung together by stories about LeDuff and his family and written in an almost Raymond Chandler style, painting LeDuff as some long-suffering, hard edged guy hero with a heart of gold singlehandedly trying to fight for the city and its inhabitants.
The whole book is really about LeDuff, but Detroit gives him an interesting backdrop to look good against. That said, he still tells an interesting story and paints a vivid picture of a suffering city. Don't expect to really learn much about Detroit from the book though, just little glimpses and fragments framed as unconnected personal interest pieces.
The good news is that the narrator was reasonably good.
The not so good; I really wanted to learn about a part of the USA that I have not yet been to, but I got through this book by sheer stubborn determination. It was depressing. The most frustrating part of the experience was that the author paints a picture of a city that's been crushed and is completely devoid of reasons for hope. Then at the end, he wraps up with all the flowery reasons for hope. Seriously, did he forget everything he just wrote?
What I took away from the book is that I want to avoid visiting or investing in Detroit at all costs.
melodramatic, fake deep, and frequently sexist
almost vignettes about the city rather than any cohesive analysis or broader narrative- he's into showing you how gritty everything (including himself) is, and the detective noir voice gets annoying. His writing is sometimes trite to the point of near satire, but that's what you get from journalists. (like a dark Mitch albom). His personal revelations and life are a big "so what?".
he's right about the systemic corruption and the city though. I appreciate his resentment towards the white, suburban, arts and culture urban farming types, who get real old on the morning radio here.
Hard to believe
Brings the people of Detroit to life.
Hard to believe this is being allowed to go on in the U. S. Charlie LeDuff tells the story of this sad city and it's people in a way that makes it hard to stop listening.
I grew up in Dearborn. Living in a city that boarders Detroit, but never going into Detroit unless there was good reason, I never knew the city. I left after high school graduation and never really looked back. This is a great book. I wasn't sure what it would be. Yes, it is about Detroit, but it is about the poor and unnoticed and unacknowledged everywhere. It is about corruption and how it hurts everyone. And it is told in an enthralling voice. This is the the dirty real life of the big city.
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