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Saturday Book & DVD Review: “Grace After Midnight,” by Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, and “The Wire”

October 18th, 2008

Finally, a memoir where someone doesn’t lie their head off. “Grace After Midnight” is the story of Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (who played Snoop on the acclaimed HBO series “The Wire”). (Grand Central Publishing, 2007, $22, 233 pages.) She is one amazing Baltimore woman. As a teenager, she landed in Jessup State Penitentiary for killing a woman in self-defense.

Whether Pearson is writing about her birth (as a three-pound, cross-eyed baby who was addicted to crack), about her mother tearing the dress off of her baby girl’s body and selling it for drugs, or about her knack for selling dildos and perfume in prison, she writes it raw, pure, and poignantly. She’s got a sense of humor, too, thank God for her.

She’s not asking for anyone’s pity. She’s thinking maybe you need to hear her story.

You do.

“Regret pulls me in one direction; hope pulls me in another. Hope is for all the good I wanna do.”

Nice job, Felicia. Be strong and keep acting — you have an amazing talent you’ve been given there.

I am a little weird about “The Wire,” and by “a little” I mean I am a rabid fan who watched all five seasons in a pretty eclipsed period of time (between March of this year and earlier this month, when I finished the run). I loved the writing, the acting, the directing, the writing, the editing, the cinematography, the writing, the writing, the writing. Everything about this show, every character, every plot, every scene, was tight, honest, relentless, engrossing. It was a relentless, amazing show. I liked it more than “The Sopranos,” more than “Six Feet Under,” more than any movie I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s right up there with my favorite books (“Song of Solomon,” “Catcher in the Rye,” “To Kill a Mockingbird”) and from this girl, that is the highest praise possible. I don’t want to tell you more, but don’t give me this, Oh, I don’t have cable. Because neither do I — I got it on DVD. There you go.

Don’t worry, no spoilers here. But watch this scene, from the beginning of Season Four:

I could listen to her voice all day long. “Man says if you want to shoot nails, this here’s the Cadillac, man.”

I could start again with Season One and watch it all over again.

Reviewed today:

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