7 Books Superfans of The Wire Should Read

From the author who created an oral history of The Wire, a roundup fit for the fandom.

The Wire

Tap the book covers to learn more

The Wire confused viewers and critics alike when it premiered more than 15 years ago on HBO. The episode ended without any sense of finality and left more curious questions than definitive answers. As the audience would come to learn and eventually crave, David Simon, the show’s creator, had a story to tell, and his relaying unfolded slowly, across the lifespan of five seasons and 60 hours. Each episode became akin to a chapter; watching and appreciating the show was like reading a great novel.

The similarities are no coincidence. Before turning to television, Simon authored two nonfiction books that serve as the origins of The Wire. He later recruited some of the finest crime novelists to write for the show. Here are some of those books—and a few others—that fit into any effort of understanding The Wire.

Featured Image: Johnny Nunez / Getty Images; Author Photo: Nicola Borland

Get recommendations for the greatest books around straight to your inbox every week.


JONATHAN ABRAMS is an award-winning journalist who writes for Bleacher Report. He is the author of the New York Times bestselling Boys Among Men. He was previously a staff writer at Grantland, the Los Angeles Times, and the New York Times and is a graduate of the University of Southern California.