All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire PDF

All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire 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 creationSince its final episode aired in , the acclaimed crime drama The Wire has only become 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 urgent and central to the national conversation The shows actors, such as Idris Elba and Dominic West, 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 and 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 st centuryBut 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 legacyFrom the moment The Wire ended, all I have wished for is one season Jonathan Abrams has given us something just as valuable the complete story of how something this wonderful, rich, and intricate came to be Mike Schur, creator of Parks and Recreation, Brooklynand The Good PlaceThe definitive dissection of televisions most politically meaningful invention Chuck Klosterman, New York Times bestselling author of But What if Were Wrong and I Wear The Black HatAbrams indisputably has created a thorough examination of The Wires conception, production, and lingering cultural afterlife Publishers Weekly

About the Author: Jonathan Abrams

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10 thoughts on “All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire

  1. A. Whitehead A. Whitehead says:

    In 2002 HBO debuted a cop show with a difference Rather than wrapping up an investigation in an hour, The Wire s first season followed one complex, sprawling drug case in Balti across an entire season For the second year the show abruptly pivoted to a new investigation in the city docks Season 3 introduced a strong political storyline, whilst in the show s final two seasons it focused on education and the media In the process the show built up a portrait of the modern American city and its underclass, the people left behind by industrialisation and automation, and exploited by criminals, governments and corporations alike It was only after the show ended in 2008 that it became acclaimed as the greatest TV show ever made, a position it is still quoted in to this very day.All the Pieces Matter is an oral history of the production of The Wire Jonathan Abrams tapped an enormous number of people involved in production, from David Simon and Ed Burns, the show s creators, to Idris Elba and Dominic West its breakout stars to Michael B Jordan who became a star much later Politicians from Balti, studio executives at HBO and pretty much everyone he could find with a connection to the show offer up their thoughts as well.The book has a number of advantages over previous books about the show Over a decade has now passed since the show has ended, which allows for much greater reflection Actors and crew also feel a lot freer to talk about the things on the show that didn t go well finding out that Lance Reddick really didn t like Dominic West is a surprise but explains how that dynamic on TV worked so well , as is that Idris Elba reacted the mostly badly to his character being killed off, or that almost the writing team utterly loathed the pivot to the political storyline in Season 3 and refused to write any of it, leaving it to just two writers to handle that entire element of the show It s also a surprise to see that HBO renewed The Wire for two seasons after Season 3, and then tried to renege on that deal after Season 4 despite its massive critical acclaim and it being the first season to really start generating lots of positive coverage about the show.It s also interesting to see how the actors were affected by their roles Andre Royo found playing Bubbles so all consuming that he barely made it through the five seasons and struggled to adjust to other roles afterwards Dominic West never felt comfortable with the accent and had an accent coach on hand through the entire show, right up to the series finale Sonja Sohn was so moved by her time on the show she eschewed a potential Hollywood career to move to Balti and set up charities and workshops to help local gets get into acting as a way of getting off the streets The Wire was an interesting mix of drama, documentary, historical piece and socio economic analysis, and this book reinforces all of those elements and delves into them in greater detail.The author s editorial contributions are minor, as he is far interested in letting his subjects have their say This works really well, as the cast and crew of The Wire are erudite, witty and intelligent It s also fascinating to hear from Ed Burns, a taciturn and essential contributor to the show he was a soldier turned cop turned school teacher who s rarely talked about his role on the series.All the Pieces Matter is very well named because it collects together the thoughts of everyone involved in the show, no matter how minor, and shows how those contributions came together to create the Greatest TV Show Ever.

  2. Chopper Fuscoe Chopper Fuscoe says:

    Although I totally agree there should be no of The Wire, I still watch it every two years or so and yearn for This book is a solid The Wire product Coming directly from the cast and crew, it s been refreshing to know so many of them feel the same passion from working on it that I feel from watching and talking about it One of these books I read in record time Contains so many facts from real life people that certain characters were based upon I spent much time googling these people and lead me down a path for further reading other related books Just about to begin book by Felicia Snoop Pearson If The Wire is as big a part of your life as it is of mine, then buy this book without delay, for it is the real deal.

  3. Mario86 Mario86 says:

    If you re a fan of The Wire then this book is for you An oral history in the making of the show, from the ideas behind it and the work history of the two creators, finding the right actors for and who their characters were based on and then chapters on each season It was than just a episode guide but a dissection of the major storylines and why they did what they did The final chapter is a reflection of the impact and legacy of the show and why it meant so much and left such a lasting impression.All the creators writers directors backroom staff are interviewed and pretty much all major characters are, too Which is pretty impressive considering some of them are genuine A listers and could have easily said they were busy The only one missing was Robert Chew aka Prop Joe as he unfortunately died in 2013, but I was glad to read the tributes paid to him for his crucial work in training the young actors in the show.There s some real honesty from the actors about certain storylines and their roles in them, as well as what they were going through in their person lives around the time of filming and what some of them did off camera Dominic West and Wendell Pierce did their best McNulty and Bunk impressions out on the town.Oral histories can sometimes be difficult to keep up with when many people are involved and interviewed, especially in a book format compared to a long article, but I felt it flowed relatively smoothly in that respect As for those who ve never watched The Wire first of all you should but be warned there s obviously plenty of spoilers.

  4. PaulGG PaulGG says:

    Well worth reading if you saw the greatness in The Wire Interviews with cast, writers and directors and other insights throw new light on The Wire, its aims and achievements I was particularly fascinated by the actors reactions when they find out that their characters are to be killed.

  5. Ross Nockles Ross Nockles says:

    Interesting to read interviews with cast and writers etc like an extended panel of speakers that successful TV shows generate these days at conventions.

  6. Stringer Barksdale Stringer Barksdale says:


  7. Customer Customer says:

    Reading the actors memories on their characters, show and real life showed that The Wire wasn t just an excellent show but represented the life in the various areas in the entire series.

  8. R. Luck R. Luck says:

    The essential book the series deserves.

  9. TS555 TS555 says:

    Wasn t sure what to expect, but once I started it, I could not put it down It made me go back to watch a few episodes, as well as google some cast members.In the Praise for All the Pieces Matter section someone is quoted as saying that this book provides a much needed extra season of The Wire and it s not too far from the truth Anyone who has appreciated The Wire will find this book completely absorbing and entertaining It also provides deep insights into the making of this remarkable, complex story by the creators, and shares with the reader how the cast and crew experienced being in The Wire.

  10. D. Wallace D. Wallace says:

    Great book, arrived quickly from across the pond.

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