All the Pieces Matter

The Inside Story of The Wire®
Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (429 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive oral history of the iconic and beloved TV show The Wire, as told by the actors, writers, directors, and others involved in its creation.

Since its final episode aired in 2008, HBO's acclaimed crime drama The Wire has only become more popular and influential. The issues it tackled, from the failures of the drug war and criminal justice system to systemic bias in law enforcement and other social institutions, have become more urgent and central to the national conversation. The show's actors, such as Idris Elba, Dominic West, and Michael B. Jordan, have gone on to become major stars. Its creators and writers, including David Simon and Richard Price, have developed dedicated cult followings of their own. Universities use the show to teach everything from film theory to criminal justice to sociology. Politicians and activists reference it when discussing policy. When critics compile lists of the Greatest TV Shows of All Time, The Wire routinely takes the top spot. It is arguably one of the great works of art America has produced in the 20th century. 

But while there has been a great deal of critical analysis of the show and its themes, until now there has never been a definitive, behind-the-scenes take on how it came to be made. With unparalleled access to all the key actors and writers involved in its creation, Jonathan Abrams tells the astonishing, compelling, and complete account of The Wire, from its inception and creation through its end and powerful legacy. 

©2018 Jonathan Abrams (P)2018 Random House Audio

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What listeners say about All the Pieces Matter

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

There's a reason you hire professional talent

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Absolutely painful to listen to. I was looking forward to this book dropping. I pre-ordered it. But this author simply doesn't have the auditory chops to record his own copy. Or anybody's copy, for that matter.

Had to tap out after three chapters because I simply can't keep my eyes open through the author's halting, stumbling, monotone. Like listening to William Shatner reading a phone book on a Zanex and Quaalude bender.

The producer who sat in the recording session and did not pull the plug on this goatshtup after two hours of listening to the author read owes me money,

49 people found this helpful

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Terrible performance

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I made the mistake of buying this book without reading other reviews. Sadly they were right. This is absolutely painful to listen to. I don't understand how they could narrate a book by again and again making longer introductions for each person than the actual sentences those men and women say. It's ridiculous padding.

What could Jonathan Abrams have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Me, reviewer on audible: It's the script. Voice, in my head: It's just painful. Me, same reviewer on audible: who writes like that?

17 people found this helpful

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A disappointment

The first chapter was pretty good. Somewhere in the middle of the second chapter the began whining because they were so under appreciated and they didn't have any critical acclaim. Every chapter after that was we 'we weren't noticed enough, we should've gotten awards, we were really, really good and nobody watched us.' 'We were ground breaking geniuses, but we weren't watch so nobody knew that we were special' If the'd edited out the whining it would have been ok. Hopefully the folks who participated in this book will listen to it and instead of feeling slighted, wrap their arms around how blessed they are to have a dream job, to do it well, and to get paid for it. The average human being is not near as lucky.

3 people found this helpful

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Really Fun, But Needs a Different Narrator

Jonathan Abrams is a very talented writer, but his narration is so slight and it feels like he's quickly running out of breath between words. Besides that, it's a very entertaining listen and acted very well by those voicing members of the cast. It makes me want to watch The Wire all over again.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

KILL THE "MESSENGER”! REALLY BAD NARRATION!

This would be such a great and informative story. Who doesn’t love “THE WIRE”? But, once again, the author is not playing his “position” - AUTHOR. Abrams is the worse narrator among the over 4,000 Audible books that I have listened to. But this book is made worse by the numerous equally bad co-narrators. Abrams is so out of his depth here. He sounds like a white teenaged prep school boy. Hearing him use explicit language is uncomfortable - I wanted to smack him and send him to “time out”! The other narrators fail in an epic way trying to sound like well-known actors like Dominic West, Idris Elba, Wendell Pierce, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, Deirdre Lovejoy, etc. We end up with a mish-mash that sounds more like a script’s first table read. The book opens with a really cheesy intro that resembles something from a 1970s porn VHS tape. After only making it through the “Author’s Note”, “Preface”, and an incredibly painful the first chapter, I had to throw in the towel on this EPIC FAIL! Following an anecdote about “Snoop”, Jonathan Abrams actually states “If you’re gonna be authentic, you gotta be authentic”. Yet, he and his cadre of narrators are as far from authentic as Diana Ross’ weave! Abrams is black, but can’t even pronounce the expletive “m****rf****rs” the way it’s said on the streets. He READS the word just as it’s spelled - instead of “muhfuckas” as it sound coming out the mouth of the then-untrained actress and actual gang-member “Snoop” Pearson. “The Wire” was hailed by major critics as one of the best shows in the history of television. The reason it failed to gain traction among the mainstream award shows was due to the fact that America did not want to accept the reality of drugs, poverty, poor housing, loss of schools, and devastating social decline just a stone’s throw from the Nation’s Capital. Instead, Emmys and Golden Globes were heaped upon “The Sopranos”, a well-cast but fake story line focusing on stereotypical Italian mobster-wannabes in present day New Jersey, of all places. With its “Godfather” character seeing a psychologist! A true Mafioso would have eaten his gun first! Here, Abrams continues to disrespect and show a lack of reverence to an outstanding television series which lasted 5 seasons on HBO. The issue is not with his story which I did manage to walk away with a few nice behind-the-scenes talking points. However, whatever the book is trying to tell us is obscured by the poor choice of narrators - mainly ABRAMS - and the choppy way that it is written. Save your credit and join me in praying that Audible and Abrams will take heed to these comments here about the narration and re-release this title with a more experienced narrator like Dion Graham or Peter Jay Hernandez. Even British narrators Simon Vance and Simon Prebble, although not quite right, would have done this title much more justice than Abrams, Stay in your lane, Jonathan! Being an “award-winning JOURNALIST” does not mean you can NARRATE what you write. It is a bit like Shaquille O’Neal trying to leave the basketball court to be a RAPPER! Ooooops! My bad! Shaq DID attempt the rap game. VERY BADLY! His last album “Superfriends” was due for release on September 11, 2001. Didn’t happen. Thank God, we were shielded from more devastation that day. Protect yourself from another narration disaster. I am returning this awful book for a refund. 😡

1 person found this helpful

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Good info if you are a fan of The Wire, but...

I only have one problem with this audiobook : Every time the reading voice actor read the name of a particular Wire actor and the role that they played on the show, they would announce it as "John Smith, detective inspector Hudson" or some such thing. It gets to be really annoying when they've read the same thing over and over in the same chapter, especially when recounting a conversation between characters. Other than that, I learned a lot about my favorite TV series and what went on in the minds of the actors, producers, and directors. If you like The Wire, you'll probably learn something new and gain new insight into the characters and the people who play them.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great subject...bad narration

Like the other reviews, I found that the narration and at times the voice acting detracted from the book. Initially, I was so bothered by the read, I stopped listening. I stuck with it but the monotone and at times mispronunciations really ruined the experience. I'm terms of the voice acting, I think the attempt was to match the characters more so than the actor themselves. The positive is the book did make me revisit the show.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

narration

Abrams isn't good as a performer but he doesn't read most of the book, so it isn't that much of a detriment.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Eagerly anticipated, but disappointing

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Narration is a big let down. Which is half the battle in an audiobook. Just because you wrote a book, doesnt mean youre the best person to narrate it. Constantly naming the full names of the people for EVERY quote is quite tiring too. Lifes too short for that.

How could the performance have been better?

Get a different narrator and ease the fuck up on naming the source for quote, for every quote

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

good read

loved it. worth the time if you viewed the series. great complement to the show.