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All the Pieces Matter

The Inside Story of The Wire®
Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (342 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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  • Overall
    3 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,

45 of 49 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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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?

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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*All in the game yo, all in the game.* Omar Little


"All in the game yo, all in the game."
Omar Little, The Wire, HBO 2002-2008

Bar none, "The Wire" is the finest television series ever: in its realistic portrayal of crime, law enforcement and politics and in its excellent exploration of societal problems. This book shows how this 5-year series from HBO was the groundbreaker for the explosion of superb TV drama series in the past ten years.

This 2018 book is a fine-tuned and definitive oral history which provides an in-depth look into the making, the actors and directors, the story lines, and the fact that The Wire wasn't appreciated in full until a few years after its 5th and final year, 2008.

I was most fascinated by the screenwriting process and the varied impacts that writing, great and true, can make on conversation, art and society.

Reading this whetted my appetite for another viewing, nearly blinding in its brilliance.

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The king stay the king...

Wonderful insight into the inner workings of the greatest TV show of all time. Highly recommended if you are a fan of The Wire.

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  • Edouard
  • Antelope, CA, United States
  • 05-23-19

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great book if you love The Wire!

Didn't love the narration but loved the content of the book. Also loved listening to the characters view points about our societal problems.

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Great Book

One of the best shows of all time. This book really gives great insight into the show and all the people that brought it together.

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Perfect.

Even better than I hoped, insightful, perfect, and a must for any true fan of the greatest production ever to be seen on a screen.

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It’s All in the Game

I was hesitant to purchase this audiobook based on poor reviews, specifically of the narration performance. However, my curiosity as a The Wire fan got me, and I’m glad I purchased it. Yes, the main narrator’s performance is borderline terrible at parts (it was like he didn’t practice reading the text aloud - very strange pauses when there shouldn’t be pauses and run on sentences when there presumably is punctuation in the written book. However, I got used to it after about a chapter and, fortunately, the story is mostly told through interview snippets with various cast and crew. To me, those more than made up for the otherwise lackluster performance. This is a GREAT listen for fans of The Wire.