Notes from the Underground: The Most Outrageous Stories from the Alternative Press

Nancy Armstrong, Editor Chamberlain Brothers $14.95 (338p) ISBN 978-1-59609-008-8
Nondaily, free-circulation newspapers are the antidote to much of the bland reporting that exists in mainstream newspapers, as this compilation of the best articles from the alternative press of 2004 makes clear. The selections, from LA Weekly, the Dallas Observer, the Boston Phoenix, the New York Press, the Village Voice, the Stranger and other publications, are powerful, often bitingly so, and reveal curious worlds that exist deep within our culture. Two of the best pieces are a fascinating-albeit dangerous to report-story by Ben Ehrenreich from LA Weekly about ""a new generation of tramps"" who ride freight trains along the West Coast, which plays to a larger story about America's history of movement and self-reliance; and a personal and very touching piece from the New York Press by David Ritchie, an American writer living in Seoul, about suffering from diabetes and the subsequent disappearance of his ""capacity for sexual response."" Armstrong, a freelance writer formerly of the Philadelphia City Paper, has succeeded in culling an eye-opening sample of the best (though not necessarily ""outrageous,"" as the subtitle promises) of America's alternative press.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
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