The Wire...Victorian Style

The greatest TV show painstakingly and hilariously re-imagined as a Dickensian novel.
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The greatest TV show painstakingly and hilariously re-imagined as a Dickensian novel.

Since HBO masterpiece The Wire premiered in June 2002 reams of critical weight have been written on it. A point often raised is the Dickensian aspect to the series: as a window into understanding contemporary American city life, with multiple characters and complex plotting, The Wire acts in the same way as Dickens’ magazine serials did in the 1840s and 1850s.

Which is all good and chin-strokey. What is really great, however, is when someone takes the germ of an idea and grows it with such marvellous attention to detail that something different - but as good as - the source material is created.

Joy DeLyria and Sean Michael Robinson review The Wire as if it had been serially published over six years starting in 1848. Stick with me, because the resulting  faux academic paper is a real joy. Here The Wire is not written by David Simon, but by long forgotten Bucklesby Ogden, a contemporary of Dickens’. Bunk, Omar, McNulty – all are re-imagined as Victorian characters. And it works. The sample pages of this ‘forgotten work’ are particularly superb. As, for example,  Bunk and McNulty’s classic ‘Aw Fuck’ cold case scene is re-imagined you are simply left wanting more.

There is no point filleting DeLyria and Robinson’s work. Just read the paper and enjoy the pages. And look forward to a full book from the authors, which should be available just before the 10th Anniversary of The Wire itself here.

And for more info on the book visit here

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