Week of March 30, 2005  | George Pelecanos

This week's guest is George Pelecanos. I discovered Mr. Pelecano's work in the mid-1990's.  His crime novels take place in Washington D.C., and he writes about the city with a style and a flair that is uniquely his own. 

When I read a George Pelecanos novel I keep pen and paper handy, because I know that I'm going to be buying some new CD's as I read the book. He uses music as an integral part of his stories, and he does it effectively. We're the same age, so I always get a stroll down memory lane with his musical references.

DRAMA CITY, recently published by Little, Brown, is Mr. Pelecanos's latest novel. It features Lorenzo Brown, a man recently released from spending eight years in prison. The story follows Lorenzo as he adapts to life on the street. 

He works in animal control, and I found the book to be a wonderful look into the life of an ex-con who is trying to make a better life for himself and his family after his release from prison. 

It is a fascinating look into a side of Washington D.C that other writers ignore, or don't know exists. You will meet some interesting dogs along the way as a bonus. There is also a strong female character in the novel, Rachel Lopez.

I have chosen DRAMA CITY to be my first featured book on the Kacey Kowars Show website.  DRAMA CITY is a great place to start with George Pelecanos, but it's only the beginning.

After you finish this one you can go back and read RIGHT AS RAIN, with the wonderful characters of Derek Strange and Terry Quinn. Next you can read THE BIG BLOWDOWN, a noir classic that features Nick Stefanos, and the fascinating characters that frequent his grill. 

During our conversation Mr. Pelecanos and I discuss THE SWEET FOREVER, a novel of heartbreaking beauty and grace.

If you have not read George Pelecanos you are in for a treat. Don't forget to read KING SUCKERMAN. You can also watch THE WIRE on HBO. Mr. Pelecanos started out as a writer for the show, and now he is a producer. The fourth season starts in 2006.

He is also working with Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg on a project with HBO that is similar to A BAND OF BROTHERS, but the locale is the Pacific Theater.

I hope you enjoy my conversation with Mr. Pelecanos. I know I did. 

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