Affleck’s Boston

When we who write about the working class and underclass in Boston choose to do so, “crime fiction” (and its cinematic brother, film noir) often best serve our purpose. The crime novel is a social novel, custom built to address issues of class warfare and class distinction and the ills society foists on the people it flies over. When Dickens wrote about the underclass in London or Jacob Riis took photos of the NewYork City poor or published “How the Other Half Lives,” I’m sure there were those who would have preferred Dickens write about the Upper Crust and Riis take pretty pictures of ponds in Central Park, but that would be to miss the point. Dickens’s London wasn’t the London, it was a London. Same thing with Riis’s Manhattan; it was but one tale of many. And so it is with Ben Affleck’s Boston.

– Author Dennis Lehane, on the difference between reality and fiction.  A great, but short op-ed reminding political officials that not everything is always peachy in their cities, even if crime fiction embellishes the problems.  For the record, Affleck’s The Town opened with a very respectable weekend win of $24 million.

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