EW Staff
January 19, 1996 at 05:00 AM EST

PIECEWORK Pete Hamill (Little, Brown, $24.95) Hamill, a journalist, vagabond, curmudgeon, and unabashed romantic, has staked out the entire world as his territory in the more than 30 years he’s been writing and reporting. In Piecework, he uses witty, muscular prose to take stock of craft and life in equal measure in a range of previously published essays on heroes, special places, America’s racial divisions, and his enduring love affair with New York. Sometimes, there’s much more heat than light. He thunders about the evils of illicit drugs, but the absence of comments about alcohol, that legal narcotic, is curious, in light of the revelation of his own bouts with the bottle in A Drinking Life. But in two essays that form a tough but poignant coda, Hamill writes of middle age, a fateful hospital visit, and the weight and power of his own mortality. Here we find Hamill at his best, with a clear vision, fierce intelligence, and a charity about life, love, and work that is — like this book — refreshing in these downbeat days. A+

You May Like