The room is pretty much packed. They’ve just asked anyone who’s next to an empty seat to raise our hands, so I do, and smile invitingly at a guy who’s still standing, wearing a white oxford with a blood-spatter pattern over a Wire t-shirt. Then I realize, duh, that’s Richard Price.
He’s pleased by the size of the crowd; so pleased, he says, he’ll read for three full hours. “Bring it on!” I say, but I don’t think he hears.
It’s a great reading. His timing makes me wonder if he’s done standup.
On what he’s learned from ride-alongs with cops: “Look at the ocean — smooth, glassy surface, sun shining off it. Being in a cop car, it’s like someone’s given you a snorkel mask, and you see the Great Barrier Reef…the hidden history, the tensions, tectonic plates shifting.”
Someone asks him what he thinks of the movie made from his (fantastic) book Freedomland. “There was a movie made from Freedomland? Next question.”
On the process of searching for the right story to tell, given a rich setting: “I have the right street, but I don’t have the house number.”