The Wire - Official Guide

The Wire has been widely hailed by many as the greatest television series of all time – Charlie Brooker of Screenwipe fame is one very high-profile convert. It portrays the war of attrition between the city's hardened police force, and its drug dealers. There is a blurring of good and evil, justice and injustice, right and wrong. Over its five seasons it built up a detailed, rich and layered portrait of Baltimore; from its corner boys touting dope and its dock workers facing extinction, through the strained education system and tainted halls of power, and on to the crumbling media establishment.

In “The Wire: Truth Be Told”, author Rafael Alvarez - a reporter, essayist and staff writer for the show - brings the reader inside this world. This edition should NOT be confused with an earlier version of the book, release some five years ago, which covered just the first three seasons. And you could have had the chance to win one of three unique copies of this book that we had up for grabs, which included a bookplate signed by series creator David Simon, who provides a new 5,000 word introduction to this edition.

The Wire - Truth Be ToldAlso included in this new book are:

  • Details of real-life incidents and personalities that have inspired the show's storylines and characters.
  • Essays by acclaimed authors George Pelecanos, Laura Lippman, Victor Alvarez, Michael A Fletcher, Greg Garland, Nick Hornby, Joy Lusko Kecken, Scott Kecken, Ann LoLordo, Deborah Rudacille, Tom Waldron, Anthony Walton and William F Zorzi.
  • Over 500 exclusive photographs from the set, including three full colour plate sections, charting all five seasons.
  • Behind-the-scenes information on the making of the show, from casting to directing, alongside interviews with many of the key contributors.
  • A guide to every episode, and to many of the characters featured in the programme.

Whether you're a fully paid-up veteran or yet to tap into The Wire, this is the book to investigate.

The Wire had a huge ensemble cast, and over its 60 episodes, there were only a few characters that put in an appearance throughout.  These were Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty, Sonja Sohn as Kima Greggs, Lance Reddick as Cedric Daniels, Wendell Pierce as Bunk Moreland, Seth Gilliam as Ellis Carver, Domenick Lombardozzi as Herc Hauk, John Doman as William Rawls, and Deirdre Lovejoy as Rhonda Pearlman.

As noted, the author of this appreciation is Rafael Alvarez, a novelist based in his native Baltimore. He learned to write on the city desk of “The Baltimore Sun”. He is the author of “Orlo and Leini Meet The Invisible Man”, and occasionally works as a labourer on ships crewed by the Seafarers International Union. He has been a writer on all of The Wire’s five seasons.

Author of the introduction, David Simon had his Homicide: Life On The Street book win the Edgar and Anthony awards, and became the basis for the NBC award-winning drama. Simon's second book, “The Corner: A Year in the Life of An Inner-City Neighbourhood”, co-authored with Edward Burns, was made into the Emmy-winning HBO miniseries of the same name. David was executive producer and writer for The Wire. He too lives in Baltimore.

The book is out now and has a RRP of £20.00. Thanks to Canongate Books, you had the opportunity to put one of three copies of “The Wire: Truth Be Told”, with those unique signed bookplates onto your mantelpiece.  All you had to do was tell us the answer to the following question: Which actor played Jimmy McNulty in The Wire?  The answer was Dominic West, and the lucky winners were Justine Cushion of Redhill, Mick Stewart of Hertfordshire and Sheila Johnson of CHorley - well done all!

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