Aunque tenga el peque o inconveniente de estar en ingl s, es uno de los mejores libros que puedes leer sobre series. Chances are, if you have any tolerance at all for television, you ve watched at least one of the signature dramatic shows that have cropped up on cable during the past decade I certainly have I m a sucker for this stuff, and I didn t fully understand why until I read Brett Martin s Difficult Men, a superbly constructed tribute to these programs and their creators.Martin argues that The Sopranos, The Wire, Mad Men, Breaking Bad and a few other high quality TV shows are the signature American art form of the first decade of the twenty first century, the equivalent of what the films of Scorsese, Altman, Coppola, and others had been to the 1970s or the novels of Updike, Roth, and Mailer to the 1960s His thesis is hard to argue with, and I say that having devoured much of the output of those filmmakers and writers.Difficult Men dwells largely on the creators of those four celebrated dramas David Chase The Sopranos , David Simon The Wire , Matthew Weiner Mad Men , and Vince Gilligan Breaking Bad plus a few others, especially Alan Ball Six Feet Under and David Milch Deadwood If you ve watched any of these programs, you will easily agree with Martin s assertion that their protagonists belonged to a species you might call Man Beset or Man Harried badgered and bothered and thwarted by the modern world As Tony Soprano said, encapsulating the meaning of life for all these men, Every day is a gift It s just does it have to be a pair of socks The conceit in Martin s title derives from the indisputable fact that Chase, Simon, Weiner, Gilligan, Ball, and Milch collectively possessed enough neuroses, inner conflicts, self doubts, disappointments, psychological wounds, and personality quirks to match the six leading men of the dramas they brought to the screen In short, Tony Soprano and Don Draper have nothing on these guys and Martin amply demonstrates that by recounting the sometimes colorful but excruciatingly frustrating paths most of them followed to sell their shows to HBO, FX, and AMC.At least one of the six, David Milch, would qualify for the Neurotics Hall of Fame Martin describes the time when a writer on one of his shows arrived for his first day of work to see a man in the second floor window peeing on the flowers below Oh, must be Milch, the receptionist told him Milch had and presumably still has a reputation as a genius, but he tended to drive everyone working with him around the bend At some point, Martin reports, Milch stopped committing scripts to paper at all, preferring to come to set and extemporaneously dictate lines to the actors Can you imagine being one of those actors Martin draws an interesting parallel between these contemporary serialized television dramas and the work of the Victorian writers Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, George Eliot, and others who gained the 19th century equivalent of superstardom on the strength of their serialized novels In both cases, format enabled artistry, allowing the creators to develop complex, fully fleshed characters and story arcs that weren t limited by the 42 minute stricture of today s network TV one hour dramas.To my mind, the most fascinating chapter in Difficult Men is the last one before the epilogue Martin describes sitting for days on end in the writers room for the show Breaking Bad along with creator called showrunner Vince Gilligan and his crew of very gifted and extravagantly paid screenwriters That chapter alone is worth the price of the book You ll never look at TV drama again the same way if you read it.Difficult Men is a well organized, skillfully crafted, and insightful look at one of the most watched cultural phenomena of our time.According to his website, Brett Martin is a correspondent for GQ His work has appeared in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Bon App tit, Food Wine, and many others, as well as on public radio s This American Life. This book is an incisive assessment of the latest major evolution in television the Third Golden Age and a penetrating look at some of the behind the scenes creators, writers and executives who made it happen It analyzes the role of the changing business model of TV, including premium cable and basic cable.Where it fails, though, is in its focus on just two shows The Sopranos and The Wire They occupy than half of the book The Shield, Mad Men and Breaking Bad each get a chapter, while everything else Sons of Anarchy, Damages, Justified and so on are relegated to just a passing mention or two.It s a good read, but it could have been varied in its detailed examinations Many other shows were well into their runs during the period the book covers and are neglected. I hoped for There are stories about how some talented people met lots of those and how some people are difficult than others, which is what I expected What I wanted to see, and didn t get it, are some blow by blow exchanges in the Creation Room, however they call it these days Some explosions of genius would be nice How some idea morph into the game saver, etc I would have thought that some eccentric wierdo produced some spark, built on by someone else, marketed by someone else much less of that Often I see one guy or girl come up with the riff in a music documentary and I didn t enjoy much of it in the narrative world Too bad. Should I be embarrassed in admitting these are my favorite artists I asked my artist friend this question and he said NOOOO.This realization occurred to me while reading Brett Martin s book, Difficult Men These artists are the driving creative forces behind the best artwork of my lifetime They should be celebrated My affection should not be closeted.Martin hones in on the showrunners that I love David Chase, David Simon, David Milch, Mathew Weiner and Vince Gilligan I m not sure I ve ever devoured a book as I did DM I couldn t get enough information on these fascinating men and their processes.Like most artists, they re damaged and reflexive While they differ in technique, they share a passion and a focus The expression too many cooks spoil the broth has never been fitting These men were able to communicate their single vision and we learn how the TV writing process is both an individual and a group effortIt s not for everyone, but this is certainly a book for writers If you love one or two of these shows, you ll love this book This book is not a love letter Martin is both a reporter and analyst He presents deeply flawed, brilliant men, engaged in a high pressure writing process These television shows, and the artists that formed them, will be studied a century from now I m very confident in offering that prediction. A wonderfully reported and thoughtful explorationDifficult Men is grand entertainment, and will be fascinating for anyone curious about the perplexing miracles of how great television comes to beWall Street Journal Martin is a thorough reporter and artful storyteller, clearly entranced with, though not deluded by, his subjects In between the delicious bits of insider trading, the book makes a strong if not terribly revelatory argument for the creative processLos Angeles Times Martin offers sharp analysis of the advances in technology and storytelling that helped TV become the 21st century s predominant art form But his best material comes from interviews with writers, directors, and others who dish about Weiner s egomania, Milch s battles with substance abuse, and Chase s weirdest acid trip everEntertainment Weekly Enjoyable, wildly readableBoston Globe An engaging, entertaining, and utterly convincing chronicle of television s transformation Martin operates with an enviable fearlessness, painting warts and all portraits of autocratic showrunners such as David Milch Deadwood , David Simon The Wire and Matthew Weiner Mad Men Anyone interested in television should read this book, no matter how much or how little they know about the shows it chroniclesNewsday Difficult Men, with its vigorous reporting and keen analysis, is one of those books that crystallizes a cultural moment and lets you savor it all theDallas Morning News Martin s analysis is intelligent and his culture commentary will be of interest to fans of many of today s better written showsChristian Science Monitor Masterful unveils the mysterious to all but insiders process that takes place in the rooms where TV shows are writtenNew Orleans Times Picayune Difficult Men delivers what it promises Martin had good access to actors, writers and producersDifficult Men is an entertaining, well written peek at the creative processFort Worth Star Telegram A vastly entertaining and insightful look at the creators of some of the most highly esteemed recent television series Martin s stated goal is to recount the culmination of what he calls the Third Golden Age of Television And he does so with his own sophisticated synthesis or reporting, on set observations, and critical thinking, proving himself as capable of passing judgment, of parsing strengths and weaknesses of any given TV show, as any reviewer who covers the beat in short, the sort of criticism that must now extend to television as much as it does to any other first rate art BookforumShowrunners are as complex and fascinating in Martin s account as their anti hero protagonists are on the screen Breaking Bad, The Shield,and Six Feet Under have dominated the recent cultural conversation in the way that movies did in the 1970s Martin thrillingly explains how and why that conversation migrated to the erstwhile idiot box A lucid and entertaining analysis of contemporary quality TV, highly recommended to anyone who turns on the box to be challenged and engagedKirkus starred Martin deftly traces TV s evolution from an elitist technology in a handful of homes, to an entertainment wasteland reflecting viewers anomie, to the signature American art form of the first decade of the twenty first century Publishers Weekly Brett Martin lays out the whole story of TV s new Golden Age lucidly and backed by awesome reporting and TV watching Difficult Men delivers the inside story of the creation of these landmark TV shows, along with Martin s astute take on how these series fit into the larger pop cultural landscape of the early 21st century If I were you, I d pre order this terrific book on my Kindle or Nook It should be among the most talked about non fiction titles of the summer ctnews.com A New Yorker Book to Watch Out ForA Vulture Beach ReadA Christian Science Monitor 10 Best Books of July This book taught me a thing or two about how a few weird executives enabled a handful of weirder writers to make shows I still can t believe were on TV But what I foundinteresting and disturbing is how it helped me understand why an otherwise lily livered, civic minded nice girl like me wants to curl up with a bunch of commandment breaking, Constitution trampling psychos and that s just the cops Sarah Vowell, New York Times bestselling author of Unfamiliar Fishes, The Worldly Shipmates, and Assassination Vacation Aptly titled, and written with verve, humor and constant energy, Difficult Men is as gripping as an episode of The Sopranos or Homeland Any addict of the new golden television or extended narratives on premium cable will love this book Along the way, it is also one of the smartest books about American television ever written So don t be surprised if that great creator, David Chase of The Sopranos , comes out as a mix of Rodney Dangerfield and Hamlet David Thompson, author of The Big Screen and The New Biographical Dictionary of Film Brett Martin has accomplished something extraordinary he has corralled a disparate group of flawed creative geniuses, extracted their tales of struggle and triumph, and melded those stories into a seamless narrative that reads like a nonfiction novel With characters as rich as these, you can t help but reach the obvious conclusion Difficult Men would itself make one heck of a TV series Mark Adams, New York Times bestselling author of Turn Left at Machu Picchu The new golden age of television drama addictive, dark, suspenseful, complex, morally murky finally gets the insanely readable chronicle it deserves in Brett Martin s Difficult Men This group portrait of the guys who made The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Deadwood, Mad Men and Breaking Bad is a deeply reported, tough minded, revelatory account of what goes on not just in the writers room but in the writer s head the thousand decisions fueled by genius, ego, instinct, and anger that lead to the making of a great TV show Here, at last, is the real story, and it s a lotexciting than the version that gets told in Emmy acceptance speeches Mark Harris, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures at a Revolution Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood Sometime in the recent past the conversation changed My friends were no longer talking about what movie they d been to see, but what television show was their latest obsession Brett Martin s smart and entertaining book illuminates why and how this happened while treating fans to the inside scoop on the brilliant head cases who transformed a low brow medium into a purveyor of art Julie Salamon, New York Times Bestselling author of The Devil s Candy and Wendy and the Lost BoysIn the late 1990s and early 2000s, a wave of TV shows, first on premium cable channels like HBO and then basic cable networks like FX and AMC, dramatically stretched television s inventiveness, emotional resonance and ambition Shows such as The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Mad Men, Deadwood, The Shield tackled issues of life and death, love and sexuality, addiction, race, violence and existential boredom Television shows became the place to go to see stories of the triumph and betrayals of the American Dream at the beginning of the twenty first century This revolution happened at the hands of a new breed of auteur the all powerful writer show runner These were men nearly as complicated, idiosyncratic, and difficult as the conflicted protagonists that defined the genre Given the chance to make art in a maligned medium, they fell upon the opportunity with unchecked ambition Difficult Men features extensive interviews with all the major players, including David Chase and James Gandolfini The Sopranos , David Simon, Dominic West and Ed Burns The Wire , Vince Gilligan Breaking Bad , Matthew Weiner and Jon Hamm Mad Men , David Milch NYPD Blue, Deadwood and Alan Ball Six Feet Under , in addition to dozens of other writers, directors, studio executives and actors Martin takes us behind the scenes of our favourite shows, delivering never before heard story after story and revealing how TV has emerged from the shadow of film to become a truly significant and influential part of our cultureBrett Martin is the author of The Supranos The Book 2007 His work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, Food and Wine and Vanity Fair Difficult Men is an insightful history of popular US TV drama which traces the emergence of shows such as The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Wire, and explores their engagement with important social issues around love, sexuality, race and violence.