I bought The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-city Neighbourhood by David Simon and Edward Burns whilst on holiday a few weeks ago. Simon and Burns take the time to document the lives of a small community from Baltimore with a large group of drug addicts and dealers living in the neighbourhood.
The book follows the community for a full year – it is therefore not surprising that it weighs in at a meaty 628 pages. Their account is detailed and doesn’t hold back, passing judgment both on the local community but more crucially on the politicians who don’t seem to intervene. It’ll soon be nearly two decades since the events of The Corner were first written about, and yet it’s still just as relevant today as it was back then. The authors’ analyses of the street level view of drugs are just as true today, which is quite depressing.
If you’re prepared to put the effort in, this book is a strong report on the drug society.