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    Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From the Sopranos and the Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad (Hardback) By (author) Brett Martin

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    DescriptionA riveting and revealing look at the shows that helped cable television drama emerge as the signature art form of the twenty-first century. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the landscape of television began an unprecedented transformation. While the networks continued to chase the lowest common denominator, a wave of new shows, first on premium cable channels like HBO and then basic cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television's narrative inventiveness, emotional resonance, and artistic ambition. No longer necessarily concerned with creating always-likable characters, plots that wrapped up neatly every episode, or subjects that were deemed safe and appropriate, shows such as The Wire, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Shield, and more tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race, violence, and existential boredom. Just as the Big Novel had in the 1960s and the subversive films of New Hollywood had in 1970s, television shows became the place to go to see stories of the triumph and betrayals of the American Dream at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This revolution happened at the hands of a new breed of auteur: the all-powerful writer-show runner. These were men nearly as complicated, idiosyncratic, and "difficult" as the conflicted protagonists that defined the genre. Given the chance to make art in a maligned medium, they fell upon the opportunity with unchecked ambition. Combining deep reportage with cultural analysis and historical context, Brett Martin recounts the rise and inner workings of a genre that represents not only a new golden age for TV but also a cultural watershed. Difficult Men features extensive interviews with all the major players, including David Chase (The Sopranos), David Simon and Ed Burns (The Wire), Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm (Mad Men), David Milch (NYPD Blue, Deadwood), and Alan Ball (Six Feet Under), in addition to dozens of other writers, directors, studio executives, actors, production assistants, makeup artists, script supervisors, and so on. Martin takes us behind the scenes of our favorite shows, delivering never-before-heard story after story and revealing how cable TV has distinguished itself dramatically from the networks, emerging from the shadow of film to become a truly significant and influential part of our culture.

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  • Full bibliographic data for Difficult Men

    Difficult Men
    Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From the Sopranos and the Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Brett Martin
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 303
    Width: 163 mm
    Height: 242 mm
    Thickness: 28 mm
    Weight: 549 g
    ISBN 13: 9781594204197
    ISBN 10: 1594204195

    B&T Merchandise Category: GEN
    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T1.6
    BIC E4L: PER
    BIC subject category V2: APT
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    BISAC V2.8: SOC052000
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 01
    Ingram Subject Code: PR
    Libri: I-PR
    B&T General Subject: 595
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15880
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/21CNTY, CHRN/1990
    LC subject heading: ,
    BISAC V2.8: PER010030
    B&T Approval Code: A07603000
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC22: 791.45097309
    LC subject heading: , ,
    B&T Approval Code: A34364056
    LC subject heading: ,
    DC21: 791.45097309
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 791.450973/09049
    LC classification: PN1992.8.S4 M2655 2013
    Penguin Putnam Inc
    Imprint name
    The Penguin Press
    Publication date
    31 August 2013
    Author Information
    Brett Martin is a Correspondent for "GQ" and a 2012 James Beard Journalism Award winner. His work has appeared in "Vanity Fair, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, The New Yorker," "Esquire, Food and Wine," and multiple anthologies. He is a frequent contributor to "This American Life." He is the author of "The Sopranos: The Book "(2007).
    Review quote
    "Following what the journalist Brett Martin identifies as a first burst of literary energy in the 1950s (when the medium was young) and a second in the 1980s (when the forward-thinking television executive Grant Tinker's MGM Enterprises begat the groundbreaking "Hill Street Blues"), this moment of ascendancy has become television's 'Third Golden Age.'" And in 'Difficult Men, ' Martin maps a wonderfully smart, lively and culturally astute survey of this recent revelation--starting with a great title that does double duty....Martin writes with a psychological insight that enhances his nimble reporting." "--New York Times Book Review" ""Difficult Men" is grand entertainment, and will be fascinating for anyone curious about the perplexing miracles of how great television comes to be." "--Wall Street Journal" "Martin is a thorough reporter and artful storyteller, clearly entranced with, though not deluded by, his subjects... In between the delicious bits of insider trading, the book makes a strong if not terribly revelatory argument for the creative process." "--Los Angeles Times" "[A] smart, fascinating read on the serpentine histories of some of this generation's most celebrated TV dramas." "--San Francisco Chronicle" "Martin offers sharp analysis of the advances in technology and storytelling that helped TV become the 21st century's predominant art form. But his best material comes from interviews with writers, directors, and others who dish about Weiner's egomania, Milch's battles with substance abuse, and Chase's weirdest acid trip ever." "--Entertainment Weekly" "I read "Difficult Men" with the binge-like intensity of discovering "Deadwood "on DVD -- in three days, to the neglect of other responsibilities... I've been waiting for years for someone to write an "Easy Riders, Raging Bulls" for the HBO era...Martin does all that, with dry wit and a flair for juicy detail... an authoritative and downright riveting