Hunter In Zaire

By George Plimpton From Shadow Box 2014 I had a number of people to see the next day. I dropped in to see Hunter Thompson. I found him in his room. “I got everything stashed behind the pipes,” he said, after he had peeked out a crack in the door to make sure who I...

Memphis Kid and the Horrible Truth About Prize Fighting

By W.C. Heinz From The Professional 1958 Eddie had come back off the road with the others and had his breakfast, and I had left him lying on his bed and reading the morning papers and listening to the radio while Jay sat at the table writing postcards. After three...

From Pinkerton to Nick and Nora

By Nathan Ward From The Lost Detective 2015 During the winter of 1932, Sid Perelman saw Dashiell Hammett back in New York, at the Sutton Club Hotel on East 55th Street. To land there, Hammett had burned through his remaining movie money at more luxurious...

Eddie and the Gun Girl

By Mark Kram Jr. From Eddie and the Gun Girl November 4, 2013 Excerpted from Eddie and the Gun Girl, a Kindle Single about the shooting of Eddie Waitkus, the real-life event that’s best known as the fictional pivot of Bernard Malamud’s The Natural.  The Edgewater...

The Day the War Came for Muhammad Ali

By Leigh Montville From Sting Like a Bee 2017 The day moved slowly. Bob Halloran tried to keep the conversation going in the living room of the small concrete house at 4610 NW 15th Court in the worn-down section of Miami, Florida, that the residents called...

Elmore’s Opening Lines

By Elmore Leonard From All of the ’Em 1953-’05 1950s   “Dave Flynn stretched his boots over the footrest and his body eased lower into the barber chair.”—The Bounty Hunters (1953)   “At times during the morning, he would think of the man named Kirby...

Always Take Care of Your Beat Guy

By Dennis D’Agostino From Keepers of the Game 2013 In the tradition of Jerome Holtzman’s No Cheering in the Press Box, enjoy this excerpt from Keepers of the Game: When the Baseball Beat Was The Best Job On The Paper concerning the exploits of battlin’ Dick Young:...

Jean-Pierre Laffont’s Love Song to the Big Apple

By Alex Belth The Stacks Reader August 19, 2017 My mother is Belgian and throughout my childhood we entertained relatives when they came through New York. Not just my grandparents, my aunts and uncle, but cousins, friends, and friends of friends. My father was a...

Grateful Dead I Have Known

By Ed McClanahan From My Vita, If You Will 1998 If you’ve got it all together, what’s that all around it? —Inscribed on my bathroom wall by Ken Kesey, who attributed it Brother Dave Gardner A bright Sunday afternoon in August 1971, just one week after Bill Graham...

Friday Night at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge

By Paul Hemphill From The Nashville Sound: Bright Lights and Country Music 1970   If You Don’t Clean Your Tab in 1968, Your Credit Is No Damn Good in 1969.   Thank You.   Tootsie.   —Notice Behind the Bar At Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Nashville,...

Pride and Prejudice

By Davide Maraniss From Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero 2006 There was something about Clemente that surpassed statistics, then and always. Some baseball mavens love the sport precisely because of its numbers. They can take the mathematics of a...