When it comes to books, traditional guilty pleasures bring me little pleasure. Thrillers don't thrill me; spy novels rarely spook me. I prefer narrative nonfiction, what John McPhee calls the literature of fact. Before this year, there were four novelists whose new works I couldn't wait to read: John Updike, Philip Roth, Don DeLillo and Richard Ford. They're all marvelous writers, but I feel free calling them guilty pleasures because they are older white men who have a brutally honest and decidedly male sensibility. Now I'll add Richard Price to that list. On a trip to Honolulu, I started Lush Life, and it took hold of me so much that I kept reading it during spring evenings at Kapiolani Park when I should have been luxuriating in the green expanse below Diamond Head. I was lost in New York City's world of cops, bartenders and punks, and Price had me deep inside the mixed-up brains of all of them.
Maraniss's new book is Rome 1960: The Olympics That Changed the World
Next An Old Wife's Tale