Saturday, August 18, 2007

D Magazine's Dallas: The 30 Greatest Stories Ever Told, edited by McGill and Rogers

D Magazine is like most local interest magazines: it covers a range of topics including politics, crime, business, and lifestyles aimed at the affluent local (in this case, Dallas) crowd. To celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2004, the periodical released a book containing 30 stories that span the publication’s history. I grew up in the Dallas area and was looking forward to reading this, but many of the stories are badly dated. Blackie Sherrod’s ode to Jack Proctor for instance didn’t have much meaning to me because I’d never heard of Proctor. Tom Stephenson’s description of the Cullen Davis murder investigation was a compelling read, but because it was written before the trial actually took place it was a frustrating finish that left me hanging. Mike Shropshire’s examination of the Clayton Williams gubernatorial campaign suffers in a similar fashion, as the election hadn’t yet taken place. This book would have been much more interesting if the editors had provided introductions or epilogues to illuminate the vignettes. If you spent any time in the Metroplex during the 80’s or 90’s then you might enjoy reading this—despite the tone of this review, I did like this book—but without a connection to the area (and the lack of any expository text) I suspect you’ll find this a bit of a mess.

First Sentence (from the Foreward):
It seemed a simple task: pick the 30 greatest stories ever told in the pages of D Magazine.

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