The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood

The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City NeighborhoodThis Startling Look At Desperate, Drug Addled Inner City Lives Ranks As One Of The Grittiest And Best Examinations Of Underclass America Available Like Alex Kotlowitz S There Are No Children Here And Leon Dash S Rosa Lee, The Corner Shines Light On A Horrific Subculture Of Addiction, Crime, Dependency, And Violence Authors David Simon Who Wrote Homicide, The Book That Inspired The TV Series Of The Same Name And Edward Burns A Former Cop Are Muckraking Reporters Who Operate In The Finest Tradition Of American Journalism They Spent An Entire Year On The Corner Of Fayette And Monroe In West Balti, Getting To Know Its Open Air Drug Market And Its People Although The Authors Present Strong Evidence That The So Called War On Drugs Cannot Be Won, The Corner Has No Political Agenda It Is Simply A Powerful Testament To The Bleak Situation Confronting Many Urban Neighborhoods At Once Deeply Unsettling And Extremely Rewarding, This Humane Book Deserves A Wide Audience. The Corner is rooted in human desire crude and certain and immediate And the hard truth is that all the law enforcement in the world can t mess with desire I have this flaw in my character that I am extremely judgmental I try to fight it I try to tell myself I don t know the circumstances I can t see the whole picture But no matter how hard I try, there is always that voice in my head that keeps saying why can t people just get their shit together You know, go get a job, stop selling drugs, leave that abusive relationship, don t join a gang, don t do drugs Just say no , right I will tell you this no one has managed to do for my personal improvement than David Simon and Ed Burns with this book of theirs I can almost feel I am a better person now The Corner is a documentary of one year of the Corner of West Fayette and Monroe in West Balti People getting high, people selling drugs, people getting in trouble, people shooting each other, kids having kids you know the statistics Now, Simon and Burns show you the people behind the statistics They don t patronize or infantilize their subjects They humanize them They tell you like it is, they don t try to justify them, or blame everything on the system.This is not an easy read because the portraits of Fran, DeAndre, Gary, Blue or Fat Curt hit a little close to home Well, of course I like to think that if I were born in the ghetto I wouldn t let that happen
This is a difficult book to discuss After all, it tramples all over the third rail of American life race It s about an inner city neighborhood that s nearly as far from my own life experience as possible As an outsider looking in, it s hard not to blurt out something hopelessly condescending or insufferably judgmental I am white I came from the suburbs I played soccer and listened to Blink 182 I came from a different place than the Balti citizens chronicled in David Simon s and Edward Burns The Corner My corner is not their corner My understandings and assumptions are not theirs The Corner serves as a bridge between worlds and understandings and mindsets In Simon s police classic Homicide, he spent a year with Balti homicide detectives, giving us a grim, often grisly look at a violent city that averaged a murder a day The one shortcoming of that book is that it was too one sided In following just the cops, there was a stark unbalance between police and citizen The mostly white cops became distinct individuals, with varying styles and strong personalities On the other hand, the black victims, perpetrators, and civilians became a blur
This book is a collaboration between former journalist David Simon and former policeman Ed Burns, both probably best know now for their television work in particular for the modern Greek tragedy The Wire Simon enlisted Burns who had retired from police work to introduce him to his former beat, and presumably watch his back, and they then got to know and interview addicts and street corner dealers, and non drug related residents including a woman running a youth centre, this book is the result, as in Simon s Homicide it follows a number of different people struggling with varying degrees of lack of success to get on with rolling their boulders up hill sisyphian style.Reading this you get an understanding of just how much work there is involved in being a drug addict, or at least in being a poor drug addict, an exhausting non stop business The reliance o
The interesting thing about The Corner is I used to pass this exact corner in the summers when I visited my Grandmother I had no idea that that corner was a drug corner I was so sheltered and naive back then I knew there were drug dealers and addicts, but they were everywhere it seemed and it became a staple in the backgrounds of my visits Interestingly enough, I learned to fear these addicts, walking past them with my cousin and seeing them high out their minds, I would just look at the ground, embarrassed for them, wanting to erase their ugliness from my mind as soon as possible Then, The Corner comes out on HBO I watch it and forget about it I remember being transfixed on it but losing myself in the acting, never caring or connecting the fact that this was about real people Fast forward to a few months ago, my husband and I watched the entire seasons of The Wire We loved it Inspired, I convince him to watch The Corner, which I always thought was a spin off from The Wire I was wrong We watched it with our adult eyes and I fell for Gary s wide eyed innocence and DeAndre s poetic toughness I felt for Fran and was angered by her as well After surfing the internet to see what they were all up to, I find that DeAndre has died from an overdose and my heart breaks all over again for this family Almost everyone, except Tyreeka and Fran, is dead Reading this book, I felt lost I felt like the only thi
Books don t get much powerful or moving than this The premise is simple Balti Sun reporter Simon who s lately been earning acclaim as the driving force behind HBO s The Wire which takes place in the same area and Ed Burns spent a year living on or around one of the busiest drug markets in Balti and reports what he learned In doing so, he tells the stories of the people who inhabit this world street pushers, kids trying although often not that hard to stay straight and the parents who worry about them, when they re not too busy trying to score their next fix The stories are harrowing from people who spend their days cashing in scrap metal for cash to get hooked up, to families sharing one small bedroom in a shooting gallery Pretty much everybody is hoping for a change in fortunes, but the book offers few happy endings In spite of this, its a fascinating glimpse of a world where most of Simon s readers will never go The narrative is occasionally broken up by Simon and Burns musings about the war on drugs No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, its hard to disagree with Simon s belief that the war has failed, at least in his little corner of the world There s a particu
I have the unique perspective of having lived on The Corner for a year, and in the neighborhood for two My review might be biased because I don t have the luxury of distancing myself from the characters or saying such and such was probably embellished for dramatic flair The characters in The Corner are real people struggling to live normal lives in the face of circumstances that 99% of us would consider absolutely unacceptable Burns and Simon stay with each character long enough to break through their one dimensional exterior that makes it easy for us on the outside to dismiss They paint a picture of injustice, ignorance, selfishness, selflessness, hopelessness, hopefulness, and finally humanity.Despite how raw, true, and honest this book is, don t expect it to offer a simple conclusion or resolution to chronic poverty and drug use Expect to simply sit with each of these people and see their real humanity break through The easy labels we use to categorize good guys and bad guys melt away and we find ourselves confronted with stories that share similarities with our own The drug dealer becomes a father The drug fiend becomes a mother The slut becomes a daughter The criminal becomes a son This corn
In Chapter 5 of Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, that chronicle of poverty in the Great Depression after a section on of the dejection of poverty, where the description transitions into a long string of punctuation marks The emotion and description have moved beyond words The author pounds his fists on the typewriter and screams out of frustration.This is a real Social Document It is a raw and honest look at the brutal decay and degradation of the inner city, the compounding of prejudice and bad policy and ignorance over several decades, and the cruel economics of addiction and the drug trade, and those who profit from it, politicians, fiends, and slingers alike The war on drugs has become a war on the underclass itself These are human beings It s easy to forget that, to distort or glamorize or hate them, to imagine our
Wow What a powerful story of people stuck in a cycle of poverty, drugs, and crime The fact that these were the stories of real people made them all the affecting and I was rooting for them all even when they did some terrible things and even knowing that this is not fiction, these people s lives are not at the whim of the author, they are the whim of the many forces of life I don t read a lot of non fiction but this book was engaging in the way that fiction is The authors picked the moments in a year in the lives of these people that would construct a real narrative and character arc like those of fictional characters It was truly masterful to the extent that I had to read
Fat Curt is on the corner.He leans hard into his aluminum hospital cane, bent to this ancient business of survival His fattened, needle scarred hands will never again see the deep bottom of a trouser pocket his forearms are swollen leather his bloated legs mass up from the concrete But then obese limbs converge on a withered torso At the heart of the man, Fat Curt is fat no Yo Curt Turning slightly, Curt watches Junie glide over from the other side of Fayette, heading into Blue s for the evening s last shot.A stunning book by David Simon and Edward Burns, the producers of the highly praised TV series The Wire That was fiction This isn t A year in the lives of an Inner City Neighborhood The City Balti Maryland The neighborhood A couple of blocks along Fayette Street, shown on a map near the front of the book.And the corner Fayette St and Monroe St An open air drug market, one of many shown on the map, as they existed in the early 90s.The people that appear in the narrative Real people, many of
The Corner documents the intractability of the inner city drug culture and the pervasive hopelessness that charts the destinies of its citizens Simon and Burns spend 1995 in a Balti neighborhood with an open drug market the corner They follow the everyday lives of the corner s participants the dealers, addicts and their families The portrayals are heartfelt and heartbreaking Drug infested communities are often approached as a problem but The Corner depicts them as a systemic self reinforcing culture We might find a solution to a problem, but where do we begin to change a culture that readily sustains and replenishes itself Its victims often die in their teens or their twenties from drug related violence or drug induced illness But they have already had children who are destined to take their place Few escape the corner Most are condemned to repeat the cycle.Simon and Burns have done an incredible job of bringing this bleak world to life for those of us who view it from afar through the media Most of us in the suburbs and affluent sections of the city are just looking for ways to protect ourselves and our children Today while we lament the victims of ISIS, we mostly ignore the victims of the corner Partly this may be because we consider drug addiction a choice, but the authors show that this choice is an illusion Children

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  • Hardcover
  • 560 pages
  • The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood
  • David Simon
  • English
  • 19 August 2018
  • 9780767900300