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The Gay Talese Reader

LA Times Book Review
"This stellar anthology reminds us that Talese's early work in Esquire raised the magazine article to the level of an art form. The Gay Talese Reader reacquaints us with a masterful New Journalism pioneer--one who, unlike many of his peers, insisted on remaining the invisible if ever-present observer...Each piece is marked by Talese's elegant style, exhaustive research, skilled use of dialogue, scene-by-scene construction and, above all, his unerring eye for the telling detail. What Talese does better than just about anyone is hang out, observe and listen...Talese is too modest, though--or disingenuous--when he contends that he was essentially pounding the streets, wearing out shoe leather. He is a reporter, true enough, but one with the eyes and ears of an artist. This anthology puts the gloss back on the term "New Journalism."

Atlantic Monthly
"In this book you'll find some of the best American prose of the second half of the twentieth century...Talese's premier contribution to American letters is his astonishing magazine articles, largely profiles written for Esquire in the mid-1960s...Talese and Tom Wolfe are the great pioneers of New Journalism, but although the style, approach, and structure of Talese's pieces was radical, his superlatively smooth writing had none of Wolfe's attention-grabbing swagger, and it perfectly suited his role as invisible observer...Pieces on Sinatra and DiMaggio are essential to understanding not merely two American icons but the gender relations, family life, popular culture, and political style of the American Century...Buy this intelligently edited assemblage."

Wall Street Journal
What is striking is how self-effacing Mr. Talese can be, sketching in the telling detail without putting himself in the portrait-frame or pushing a theme with auteur-like emphasis."

Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Groundbreaking writing that stands the test of time...Many of the pieces collected in this reader date to the 1960s. Yet every one of them seems fresh."

Publishers Weekly
"If there is one fault in this wonderful and long overdue collection of nonfiction master Talese's magazine writings, it's that there is simply not enough. The stories here are shining examples of a time in publishing history when magazine writing was an art form and Talese its Michelangelo. This reader is a book to come back to again and again."

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