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The first item on the Better World Books 2016 Reading Challenge is to read […]
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Martin Preib is an officer in the Chicago Police Department--a beat cop whose first assignment as a rookie policeman was working on the wagon that picks up the dead. Over the course of countless hours driving the wagon through the city streets, claiming corpses and taking them to the morgue, arresting drunks and criminals and hauling them to jail, Preib took pen to paper to record his experiences. Inspired by Preib's daily life as a policeman, " The Wagon and Other Stories from the City" chronicles the outer and inner lives of both a Chicago cop and the city itself.
The book follows Preib as he transports body bags, forges an unlikely connection with his female partner, trains a younger officer, and finds himself among people long forgotten--or rendered invisible--by the rest of society. Preib recounts how he navigates the tenuous labyrinths of race and class in the urban metropolis, such as a domestic disturbance call involving a gang member and his abused girlfriend or a run-in with a group of drunk yuppies. As he encounters the real and imagined geographies of Chicago, the city reveals itself to be not just a backdrop, but a central force in his narrative of life and death. Preib's accounts, all told in his breathtaking prose, range from noir-like reports of police work to streetwise meditations on life and darkly humorous accounts of other jobs in the city's service industry." "Here, Preib's universe of police officers, criminals, and victims--and everyone in between--comes alive in ways that readers will long remember.
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