The Best of John L. Smith
By John L. Smith
Brings together the best of the more than 2,000 columns written by John L. Smith in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. 15 years of singular insight into the fast, fluid, and often funny Las Vegas.
"John Smith lies when he says this book is about Vegas. This wonderful collection of his columns are essays of the universal populace, a series of glances at the people around us, the ones we see and don't see, the famous and the unknown, who compose our cities. Smith gets into their hearts and into their souls. He writes about stunt nun Jenny Malcolm, about the Great G.L. Vitto's voice of midnight, about ex-boxer Gary Bates whose gift of blood saves lives, about the violent death of mobster Herb Blitzstein, and about the ultimate godfather Frank Sinatra, who, for a moment, finds peace in anonymity. The book is a glorious mix of winners and losers and of gentle introspections. When we aren't watching Redd Foxx become a bitter old man, we're hearing about a boy, some ants, and a bike at Christmas, and about an old friend on the streets struggling to regain the part of him that was once real. You don't have to be from Vegas to love John Smith's writing. These are essays for all seasons. I love every one of them."
-- Al Martinez - Al Martinez, columnist for the Los Angeles Times and author of The Last City Room, a 1999 release by St. Martin's Press