For anyone who enjoys a good story with dirt and realism, you really should read 'The Choir Boys' by Joseph Wambaugh.
A novel about the work and relaxation of a group of NYPD officers, the stories appear at first to be a group of anecdotes strung together by 'Choir Practice', the euphemism for the post-work stress relief of drinking and cavorting. The main group of officers in the novel are Roscoe Rules, Whaddayamean Dean, Spencer van Moot, Father Willie Wright, Calvin Potts, Francis Tanaguchi, Spermwhale Whalen, Baxter Slate, Sam Niles, Harold Bloomguard. Figure out who the Vietnam kids at the start are and you get a silver star. As you read further you find they all connect with one another, as work colleagues invariably do.
I challenge anyone not to fall down laughing when you read about 'The Night the Padre Tried to Eat Pressed Ham Through the Wrapper' or 'The Day My Balls Blew Up'. I challenge anyone with kids not to cry when you read the chapter on Tommy Rivers.
"He removes the greatest ornament of friendship, who takes away from it respect" - Cicero. As used to effect by Baxter Slate, ever the academic. I think he's my favourite character.
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