This book is a coffee-tablesque biography of Mike Royko written shortly after his death in 1997. Strange, I think I read Royko in his lifetime, but if I did, it must have been his syndicated work in actual newspapers, as I did not get a job with Internet access until 1998.
Long time readers know I like Royko (see my book reports on One More Time, Like I Was Sayin’, and Dr. Kookie, You’re Right!). I think I’ve got another collection of his around here somewhere, and I’ve also read his profile of Mayor Daley I, Boss, in the days before the blog.
Interesting side note: According to this book, Royko was encouraged to write Boss by Saul Alinsky.
This book takes an overview of his career from his time in the military through the three Chicago daily newspapers. It has some interviews with people who knew him, particularly his sons by his first wife. It’s a bit hagiographic, but as I’ve mentioned, I don’t mind admiring a figure about whom you’re writing (or reading).
It’s not a deep biography, weighing in at only 114 pages and featuring a lot of photos, but it offers some insight into the man behind the columns that the columns themselves didn’t provide on their own.
I enjoyed it. If you liked Royko, old man, you might, too.
On the other hand, I’m going to have to get away from biographies. Man, they’re all like, It’s going good, it’s going good, he’s dead, the end. At the end of the year, these can hit one right in the depressive cleaving groove.
Books mentioned in this review: