Home » Nonfiction » Gary Rivlin » Drive-By

September 17 , 2010



Although the dreadful toll of random violence is often reported, rarely do we glimpse the human element behind it. News reports keep the tally of homicides, but as the occurrence of such violence increases, so does its facelessness.

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Drive-by shootings are almost definitively anonymous, there are no fingerprints, no fibers, no hairs, nor any other telltale clues typical of most crime scenes. There is usually no hard evidence beyond ballistics and a car description so generic it is virtually useless.

In Drive-By, Gary Rivlin penetrates the anonymity of one such incident and creates an extraordinary portrait of the people entangled in it. He takes us behind the headlines, and through bold investigative reporting, finds the individuals so often left out of the story. In this real-life narrative, we meet the teens who, on Sunday, the eighth of July, were involved in a scuffle over a bicycle, and on the ninth became murderers and victims. By presenting the story of this murder in human terms, Rivlin challenges the stereotypes and indifference that allow the problem of inner-city violence to escalate.

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