Jack Olsen
 
The Pitcher's Kid is Jack Olsen's memoir of the first 18 years of his life, years that formed his voice, his ear, and his passionate concern for the underdog. It is a story of a young boy's desperate yearning for a father during a time of extreme poverty and confusion. The book has been compared to Frank McCourt for its poignant depiction of deprivation, to Geoffrey Wolff for its sad depiction of a deceptive father, and to David Sedaris for its hilarious depiction of childhood. This is an unforgettable tale of coming of age during the hard years of America's Depression and of a family's struggle to not just survive, but to triumph.
	Born June 7, 1925, Jack Olsen was the award-winning author of 33 books published in 15 countries and 11 languages. A former Time bureau chief, Olsen wrote for Vanity Fair, People, Paris Match, Readers Digest, Playboy, Life, Sports Illustrated, Fortune, New York Times Book Review and others. His books included The Misbegotten Son, The Bridge at Chappaquiddick, the eco-thriller Night of the Grizzlies, and his monumental study of a Nazi massacre in Italy, Silence on Monte Sole. Three of his works were adapted for the screen, including Have You Seen My Son? on ABC. The Philadelphia Inquirer described him as "an American treasure." Jack Olsen passed away on July 17, 2002.
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Some comments about The Pitcher's Kid, and about Jack Olsen:

"The Pitcher's Kid is a haunting memoir full of laughter and tears that beautifully depicts the ancient inherited shame of fathers and sons." - Joseph Wambaugh

"This book is a treasure. The last of the deep footprints left by the master, and our first insight into his "formative" years, combining that self-deprecating style Jack always used when speaking of himself with information we never expected to see the light of day. Anyone interested in journalism, true-crime reporting, or writing with real narrative force who passes this one up is passing up the entire course for the price of cab fare to the school. And, not for nothing, this one hit me deep in the heart. Hard." - Andrew Vachss

"I'd known for years that Jack Olsen was the preeminent true-crime writer of our time.  Now - ten years after his death - I find out he's a gifted memoirist as well.  The Pitcher's Kid is the best personal account of growing up in the '30s and ''40's that I've ever read (and I was there!) - entertaining, insightful, rich in detail, and laugh-out-loud funny.  It's a wonderful book!" - Aaron Elkins

"Jack Olsen was the first writer who told me, long before I'd published anything, that I could be a writer. He was one of the most warm, humane, and decent people I ever met, The Pitcher's Kid is the story of his early life. I hope you'll read it, I think it's the only thing he ever wrote about himself." - Alan Furst

"With a storyteller's passion for narrative and a forensic investigator's ear for wrong notes, Jack Olsen set the bar for crime journalists. His ultimate goal, he once said, was to learn how and why a child grows up to be a monster. In his best work, Olsen gave us the chilling truth about psychopathic behavior. In The Pitcher's Kid, Olsen lovingly writes of a transient childhood where his father, a hustler of dubious reputation and miserable morals, is the ghostly center of the story and the child's measure of manhood. Olsen spent his writing career unveiling the atrocities humans commit. In his own memoir, he shows us the tenacity of a child's love as well as the origin of the author's search for truth." - Zak Mucha, LCSW

"The irascible, quick-witted, and passionately opinionated Jack Olsen lives among us again with the publication of his wonderful and colorful posthumous memoir, The Pitcher's Kid, which is at once a window into Jack's soul and a piercing, and telling, emotional and psychological portrait of his younger years.  We can now add to the considerable body of his work - 33 books - this illuminating self-examination, which sheds light on all the rest even as it stands alone with, in the end, a curious and peculiarly American rough dignity. The Pitcher's Kid will prove of value to anyone interested in the art of the memoir, and in the vagaries, too, of paternal love." - David Guterson

Comments for Salt of the Earth:
The cold mind of a criminologist, the relentless spirit of an investigative reporter and the searching heart of a poet all combine to produce Jack Olsen — the acknowledged master of American crime journalism.
 
Comments for Last Man Standing:
Jack Olsen, the undisputed King of True Crime, combined dazzling, suspenseful narrative and superb investigative reporting to illuminate one after another dark chapter in American history. His unique blend of surgical logic and lyrical language will never be duplicated. Ever.


From Publishers' Weekly, on the Edgar-winning non-fiction book, DOC: "This masterful book by the author of SON, as much a searching sociological study as a true-crime narrative, tells what happened in Lovell, Wyoming, when these happenings came to light: the community lost its bearings and the doctor was convicted of rape." 

From True Crime Review, on COLD KILL: "With the consummate skill of a master, Jack Olsen portrays the twisted relationship between a psychopathic killer and a deeply disturbed woman…the lies and manipulations that would end in an unspeakable crime…and the seductive woman detective who would get David West to confess – in a compelling, unforgettable tale of murder and love."
Olsen was described as "the dean of true crime authors" by the Washington Post and "the master of true crime" by the Detroit Free Press. Publishers Weekly called him "the best true crime writer around."
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